Renowned children’s author, Judy Blume says that one of the most significant and fundamental aspects of storytelling is the creation of compelling characters.
Indeed, creating a three-dimensional character or a well-rounded character takes a lot of reflection and thought. How do we guide our young writers in doing so? Here are three tips to get your child started.
1. Consider your character’s appearance
-What does your character look like?
-Does he/she/it have any outstanding facial or body features?
-Is your character tall/short?
-What colour hair and eyes does your character have?
These are just some of the basic questions to ask your child when constructing a character. To help our students visualise a character’s appearance, we usually ask them to paint a mask before attempting to answer the above mentioned questions.
2. Consider your character’s speech
-Is your character soft spoken or does your character speak loudly?
-Are there certain words or phrases that your character is known to use?
-When does your character use these words or phrases?
One way to get children to imagine how a character would speak and what he/she would say is to create a puppet show using simple materials. This method also allows the child to role play with different characters that are interacting with each other. Click here to find out how to do this.
3. How does your character act?
-How does your character act when he/she/it is around close family or friends?
-How does your character act when he/she/it is around strangers?
-How does your character act when he/she/it is (insert emotion word here)?
To answer the questions above, you could get children to respond by wearing their masks and acting out their reactions.
In addition, click here to watch a video on how to facilitate such a session with a child.