Let’s imagine that you’ve been working diligently on your new children’s story, but something is lacking. Could it be that your characters are too perfect? If so, your readers will not be engaged in reading it and will quickly lose interest. Your readers won’t really care about what happens in your story unless they can connect with the characters you’re creating. We’ll talk about some ways to make sure your characters are memorable.
Make your readers feel the emotions of your characters: You may have had a writing instructor or an author friend remind you that you must help your readers to relate to whatever is happening to the characters in your story. How can you do that? One way you can accomplish this is not to use tired clichés in your writing. Instead, use original ideas. If you have children about the same age as your characters, take note of the language they use. What kinds of activities interest them?
Do your characters follow their personality? Let’s say that Kylie loves music. She practices piano religiously so she can perform well at her recital. But, she’s terribly frightened of heights. With this in mind, it wouldn’t be a good plan to have her suddenly decide she wants to excel in diving.
Does your dialogue fit? It’s most important that your characters don’t speak like adults. They don’t often use perfect grammar. If you’re not sure about this, spend some time with children and pay particular attention to the words they use. Be sure to keep your dialogue lively and insure that it advances your plot in some way.
Get to know your characters: In order to write a story that will engage young readers, you must know you’re characters well. How can you do that? Besides spending time with children, you can role play. Pretend you are one of your characters. Listen to the music they enjoy. Treat your story “people” as if they were part of your family. Observe the activities they love. Being involved can really make a huge difference in how well readers will connect with your story.
In summary, here are some hints to remember when writing for children:
1. Be sure that your readers feel the emotions of your characters.
2. Get to know your characters, as if they were part of your family.
3. Make sure that the actions of your characters match their personalities.
4. Use dialogue that matches the way today’s children speak.
I hope that these suggestions set you on the road to writing the perfect children’s story.