Monday, June 9, 2014

Creating a Child Character and Generating a Starting Phrase

When writing a novel, you include many different characters. You probably have a routine you use to what's come up with the various character traits for each character.

You may not be used to creating a child character. I have a few tips on putting together a profile for a child character to include in your story. 

The resource I used is Take Ten for Writers by Bobbie Neubauer. It's a writing exercise that will take approximately ten minutes to complete. 

1.  Give yourself a name with the initials G.L.S.

2. Give yourself an age between three and nine. 

Now, answer the following questions:

1. Are you male or female?
2. What's your ethnic background?
3. Are you short or tall for your age?
4. Is your build skinny, average, chunky or something else?
5. Where's your favorite place to play?
6. What's your favorite toy/game?
7. What's something you've hidden?
8. What's your brief opinion about adults?
9. What does your bedroom look like?
10. How do (or don't) your parents punish you?

You are now this child. Pull on his/her personality. You don't have to incorporate the information you generated above into your story if you don't want to; simply use it as background information to help you get into character. Write from the point of view of this child, trying to soynd like you really are his/her age. 

Now pick a number between 1 and 10. 

Find the chosen number below. This becomes the starting phrase of writing your story. 

1. My head stuck up above the bubbles in the tub like ...
2. We splashed all afternoon in the baby poll ...
3. The sandbox was overflowing with ...
4. The sun was just setting when I got lost at the carnival ...
5. The cotton candy melted on my tongue like ...
6. Even though my dad yelled at me not to do it again, I couldn't help jumping ...
7. I kept jiggling and wiggling my front tooth ...
8. At the petting zoo, the goat ...
9. The first time I slept over my best friend's house ...
10. I hate getting dressed up, but my mother insisted I ...

Now take ten minutes and write. 

Kids are naturally creative. To reacquaint yourself with this part of your being, engage in kid's activities: climb a tree; buy finger paints and make a messy masterpiece; get crayons and a coloring book and scribble outside the lines; chase lightening bugs in the summer; have a snowball fight in the winter. When you're done playing, but still have the youthful lightness in your heart, grab a pen and paper (or paints, crayons, or markers) and write starting with the words: I played...


Photo Reference: ME! The child in the picture is my oldest granddaughter. Isn't she cute?

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