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The next Children's Writer's World post will be on June 15th.

May 15, 2017

Getting to Know your Characters

When you create characters for your stories, what kinds of traits do they have? What do they look like physically?  What are their personalities like?  What are their relations to others?  



Some writers know everything about their protagonists before they begin writing a new story. It was the opposite for me.  In my upcoming book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show and Tell, the story took off well before I knew what the protagonist Maggie looked like. I had some idea about her personality.  




It seems strange to me that I didn't picture Maggie before I first set out to tell her story. However, halfway into the plot that all changed. The moment Maggie faced a huge problem, her personality solidified and her appearance became apparent, red hair and all.

These are some words that describe Maggie:                                                   
a curly-haired redhead
a first-grader
a student in Ms. Madison's class
a classmate of Emma, Sara, Ally, and Freddie
a woe-is-me, Charlie Brown-like character 
a sister and daughter
a dreamer 
a dog owner
imaginative 
spunky
quirky
determined
loving and lovable
a kid with a big school problem

Every writer has a different approach to creating characters.  So, don't worry that you may not know what your main character looks like when you first start off to write your story.  Be patient.  By the time you have developed the conflict, you will begin to picture the physical traits of your protagonist, get to know her personality and understand her relationships with others.

For more on Maggie, check out:
www.themaggieproject.blogspot.com and www.randilynnmrvos.com








May 1, 2017

Guest Blog: Tips on Writing a Series

Children's Writer's World warmly welcomes author Rita Monette.

How is writing a series different than writing a stand alone book? 
If you don’t know ahead of time you are going to create a series, it can catch you off guard. You will find yourself researching your own books for information.

When I wrote The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, book one in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legend Series, I didn’t intend to write a series. I merely wanted to write a story about my childhood growing up in the Louisiana bayous. Then it became about a legend my father used to tell. When I got to the end, I began thinking about other legends I could have my characters involved in. But that’s a far as it got. That was until some of my readers began asking for more.


As I began book two in the series,The Curse at Pirate’s Cove, I realized that writing the second book wasn’t going to be easy, when I thought it would be a piece of cake. Little did I know how difficult it would be to keep track of all the characters and their physical traits, voice, and mannerisms a whole year after writing the first book.

It wasn’t until I started compiling book three of my series, The Secret in Mossy Swamp, that I decided to create a notebook with a page for each character mentioned in books one and two. Something as small as eye color, or as complicated as a secondary character’s parents’  occupation, can send you scurrying when it comes up again.

Another problem I’ve found with a series is that, if you don’t want to drag a character, or pet, through many books, and you can’t bear to kill them off, think twice about putting them in to begin with. So now I have to tell my hero NO when she asks for another pet.

Still, there is the issue of a reader reading your books out of sequence. I’ve stumbled upon the problem of revealing the mystery in book one, by bringing to life a character in book two that was suspected as dead in the beginning of book one. Thank goodness for second editions.

You can visit Rita's blog at: 
http://ritamonette.blogspot.com