Blogs by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
Creating Memorable Characters for your Children’s Stories
6/13/2012 7:06:44 AM
Today we’re going to discuss characterization. What is that? It’s the art of creating a person for your story. You’ll need to describe your character’s personality traits and physical attributes so that your reader will relate well with him. The more completely you develop your characters, the more interesting your story will become. You’ll want to be as creative as you can so that your characters aren’t too ordinary, or boring.
What kind of main character should you create for your young readers? Be sure your protagonist is believable. Give him realistic flaws. Maybe he has a kind heart, but a quick temper. Maybe she’s painfully shy, but one of the smartest kids in the class. Children realize we all have strengths and weaknesses, so you should create your characters accordingly. Also, remember to describe them physically so that your readers can visualize them and connect with them. After you’ve described your characters, read through the story to ensure you have kept them true to the traits you’ve given them. Did you forget that Jessie was the fearless soccer player, but in your story, she’s afraid to try out for the team? Is Brandon, who hates public speaking, suddenly, leading the debate team competition? These scenarios would be workable, because the actions contradict the character’s traits.
Now, how important is a name? I have one suggestion on this subject. Keep in mind that names that were popular years ago, may not be on the top of the list today. For example, Marie and Tom were common names years ago. Today they’ve been replaced by names like Emma and Jacob. It’s easier for your young readers to connect with your characters if they have contemporary names.
In conclusion, try to keep these things in mind when writing your children’s story:
1. Use names that are popular today.
2. Create believable characters with strengths and weaknesses.
3. Develop your characters completely to make them interesting.
4. Be sure your characters actions fit the traits you’ve given them.
I hope that these suggestions help you to create wonderful characters for your stories. If you’d like to comment, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to ask questions as well.
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