Let’s talk character development!
Sometimes I’ve worked to develop my characters after I write my first draft.
Sometimes I work more on it while I’m writing the first draft.
But usually I like to develop a basic profile for my main character and some of the supporting cast of characters BEFORE I even start writing.
For several reasons.
One reason is that if I wait to do this until AFTER I write the first draft, there’s a much bigger stage of revision I have to do.
When I take a little chunk of time to brainstorm ideas for my characters BEFORE I start writing, I can weave in personality quirks and unique traits and make these ingredients WORK with my plot and setting to produce a stronger story from the get-go.
So if you want to join me in this journey and follow along, then go ahead and do what I’m doing this week…spend some time thinking and brainstorming ideas about your characters.
If you’re not quite sure what to do, here are some places you can get some pointers:
DEVELOPING CHARACTERS on the blog of my cat writing buddies.
Chapter 7.2 CHARACTERS WITH KID-APPEAL in my book YES! YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO WRITE BEGINNING READERS AND CHAPTER BOOKS.
And if you’d like a one-page brainstorming worksheet I developed for you to Xerox and use for each of your characters, plus learn tips on how to fill it in, CLICK HERE to sign up for the teleclass I’m teaching this Thursday, June 11 at 2:00 PST about our mentor text, Stink #1. (We’ll also be talking plot, setting, and SKILLS you can use to write your own chapter book…and then I’ll share the names of agents with you who are looking for chapter books so you can send your manuscript straight to the top.)
So have fun getting to know the characters in your early chapter book! Sometimes I think this is the most delightful part of the journey. It’s fun to carry your characters around in your head, asking them questions, talking with them, jotting down their silly quirks and lovable traits…
This is one of my favorite perks as a children’s writer…character development!