Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Writing About: Children

Recently I told you how to write about babies. Well, now I am going to tell you how to write about children. Out of all the characters that you could create, children are the most fun to write about. 

First, you have to develop them just as you would any other character. Choose their gender, age, hair and eye color, but don’t stop there! Do they have freckles? Are they missing their two front teeth? If the child is a boy, does he have scabs on his knees and dirt on his clothes? If the child is a girl, does she have her hair in pigtails and is she wearing a princess dress?

Fictional children also need personalities. Children actually have the best personalities among us. Is the child in your book goofy, wild, a bookworm, artistic, or a daredevil? Pick one or two of these characteristics and you will quickly have a realistic child. 

Children are also very animated in real life and they should be in books too. We all know that kids can make the funniest faces, so describe their facial expressions whenever possible. And they really can say the dardest things too! The next time you are around children, whether they are your own or are your nieces and nephews, listen to everything they have to say. My nephews have said some pretty hilarious things that I have written down to use in the future.

This is a picture of me when I was little,
wearing my dad's military gloves.

If you need help developing a child for your book that seems realistic, you can use yourself as inspiration. Simply think about what you were like as a child. Or use children that are in your life for inspiration. Just look around, they are everywhere!

Once you know everything about your child character (Does he/she like peas? Have a puppy? Does he/she have a favorite toy?), you can then decide on their role in your book. Is the child going to be the son or daughter of one of your main characters? Then he/she should probably have a big part and come into the story more often (making at least one appearance in every chapter).

Or the child character can be used to diffuse the tension and bring a touch of happiness into a story that is normally suspenseful and action-packed. This method can especially work if the child has a smaller role, as your protagonists’ neighbor per say, that way they can make their appearance when they need to then skip away until they are needed again. I am using this method for a little man in my fourth book and it is often a relief when he shows his cute face.


Characters Make A Book


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