Writing a story for children can be more challenging than it seems, especially that most writers are already adults. As an author who desires to write the next bestselling children’s book, you definitely need to tap into your inner child and recall your childhood to create a more heartwarming story. Moreover, one of the most important elements in a children’s story that authors must put more effort into is the characters.
Giving life to great characters can be the key to a more successful story. It can be the best part of the writing process, but it can also be the most difficult task. Why? It’s because there are moments that creating characters is a piece of cake, while there are moments that you become stuck with no creative juices to summon. However, you must take your time and put more effort into bringing impactful characters to life. That said, we have listed below a bunch of essential tips to help you craft strong and influential characters for your next children’s book.
Create a questionnaire
You probably are thinking about how questionnaires can make your writing process easier? When starting on a blank slate, there are various questions that surely bother you. With this material, you can gradually create a starting line and foundation for your characters. It’s the medium that can help you answer and come up with the basics of building a character, as well as their characteristics.
Therefore, it allows you to answer the questions revolving around the name, behaviors, values, beliefs, physical features, friends, motto, favorite things, and more. You don’t need to complicate it because your readers are kids. Make sure to keep every file for each of your characters. In that way, it will be easier for you to complete your story.
Give them a definite set of qualities
A character with no definite traits will not appeal greatly to the readers. Also, those characters that possess the following tend to lose the readers’ interests: inconsistent actions, perfect qualities, no distinct personality, exaggerated skills, and underdeveloped characteristics. So, by giving your characters a set of personalities and traits, they become more human-like regardless of their remaining fictional features. Take, for example, the clever way that the children’s book author Caroleann Rice created the all-knowing, kind, and wise Solomon Snail.
They can appeal to the readers’ emotions and hearts because they tend to be relatable and likable. Your readers can imagine and even anticipate how your characters feel, think, and act through their qualities. They also become more memorable and inspirational, especially those that primarily moved the plot forward.
Opt to think like your characters
Becoming one in mind with your creation means that you need to think and perceive like them. Sure, you have molded them into the characters that fit your story. But, making them move the story forward would be difficult if you don’t visualize and imagine them. You are still the brain of the whole tale and their source of life.
That said, make sure that your characters embody and show the traits that you’ve bestowed upon them and guarantee that you are giving them justice as they progress the story. This can also significantly help you when you fall stagnant on a particular aspect, given that your genre is intended for kids. Visualizing the thoughts and actions of your characters on that particular scene can summon your creative juices and give you better ideas on the next few events. Thinking like your created set of characters is also the best way to keep a consistent voice for each of them while they develop your storyline.