Believable Characters

So, like all writing, one of the key things is to have a character that’s believable.  To do this, there has to be a character study done ( well, its strongly suggested.  I’ve found that I have stronger characters when I use it ).  The use of this is so that you can understand your character and by understanding your character, you will create a more believable story.  For instance, if you weren’t certain about how your character would react to having their favorite blankie taken away, how can you expect your reader’s to?  

According to Ann Whitford Paul in Writing Picture Books, she states that there’s at least five things that you’ll need for a children’s book: name, birthdate age and time of story, appearance, relationships with others, and personality.  Combine all these things into one document, and you have the makings of everything you need to know about your character.

The idea behind a character study is to make it so your character will make plausible choices, and be relatable to the children/adults reading the story.  I think putting a character study in the works of creating a story will also make the story itself stronger.  Instead of spending hours trying to figure out if your character acts the same throughout your story, you would have already done that portion of the work.  I’d also like to think that even if you find that you actually won’t be using a certain character study for what you originally planned, you now have a character that you could pull into a different story.  So character studies aren’t all for naught.

Also, you can kinda see that this isn’t just for children’s books.  Its for other types of writing also, though I’m not sure poetry could be included into that statement. I mostly use character studies for the longer novel pieces that I’m working on.  I can also see the hesitance in doing a character study for a children’s book.  Why waste the time of making a character for a 32 page book?

Well, think of it this way: All characters need the same attention and depth to capture an audience, no matter how young they may be.


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