Writing for Children? Be Sure your Character Grows

Remember how proud you were when you were a little child and learned to tie your shoes by yourself? Do you remember how excited you were when you learned how to write your name all by yourself? Those are wonderful milestones in every child’s life. We all want to remember that we were independent. We accomplished something important on our own. The same philosophy applies to the main character in your children’s story. He or she must change in a positive way, in order for your story to be successful.

Should adults take a main role in your story?

This is not recommended. Are you wondering why? One reason is the adult in the story may not approve of what the child is doing. Perhaps the adult doesn’t want the child to take a risk, but that’s how children learn. It’s one of the ways the child in your story can grow and mature, the same as real children do. In addition, if your main character never takes risks, it could affect the excitement level in your story. Your tale might be too boring. Children are naturally curious so it’s important that they are allowed to be creative in your stories as well.

Concentrate on the interests of children:

Remember telling your friends rumors that you heard in school? Do you recall having special groups, reserved for your best friends only? Maybe you had a group of friends who spent all their time dancing, or playing baseball. Another reason to limit the activities of adults in your stories is that adults have interests different from children. Imagine if your main character was an accountant. It would be hard to imagine most children would relate to someone who loved working with numbers and statistics all day long.

Don’t let the adults give away the answer:

When you were younger, do you recall always asking your parents for the answers to your homework dilemmas? When we did that, our parents would encourage us to look up how to spell the word, or to spend a little more time working on our Math or Science problem so we could figure it out on our own. They realized we’d remember how we solved the problem if we solved in on our own. They knew that by simply supplying the answer to our problem, we’d have no clue of how to solve a similar problem next time we encountered it. If you use the same sort of logic in writing your stories your characters will mature and learn. Your characters need to resolve their own issues. They will become wiser during the course of your book or article This will help keep your readers enthralled with your story and connected to your characters.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne



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