Cute And Cuddly / Snakes And Buggies – Adding Children As Supporting Characters

My second oldest son captured my heart from the day he was born, but one particular moment stands out in my mind. My little guy was cuddled up next to me. He put a hug around my neck and a wet kiss on my cheek. The next thing he said lifts me up on even my darkest of days.

“Mommy, you are the biggest Mommy in the whole wide world.” Sniff, Sniff. Yes, my eyes got teary. It wasn’t that I had just been told I was the size of a house, but that I had been told I was the best in the world.

To a young boy bigger is better, so I scored the ultimate compliment.

Children can say things that no one else can say and get the awe moment from our readers. They might have messy pets, scraped knees, a goofy laugh and missing teeth, but they tug at our heart strings.

Are you struggling to build in a sense of awe at different points in your book, or lack smile moments? Then adding in a child as one of your story’s cast is a solid idea.

How can you create a believable child character?

*Determine the age and research. Take time to hang out with a mom who has experience kids, preferably has more than one of her own. That will give her a more complete picture about age trends.

A Resource that allows you to look up gender and age and find what a child is saying and focusing on at that age could be immensely helpful to you: Yardsticks by Chip Wood. It is very easy to use and a great asset to a writer.

*Develop a few quirky habits. For example, some boys are notorious for chasing frogs or a girls who is always feeding her imaginary friend tea. Brainstorm a few quirky habits they could have that make you smile. If you can’t think of any, try watch old episodes of  TV because many shows relied on this kind of humor then.

Shows like:  Leave It To Beaver     and    The Andy Griffith Show   

*Give them a physically endearing quality. Boys often have dimples or a hair colic, a girl could have large eyes and sweet smile. Whatever this quality is, make it cute and it makes the reader think.

*Stir trouble in the mix. Add some mischievous behavior or some way that they cause trouble in a child-like innocence.  It can add humor and conflict to the book.

*Give them a common phrase. Pick something that they say that is totally them. I can still here Beaver say, “What you up to Wally, ” Build this dialogue piece out of the research by grade level. Think of what they do and their developmental nature at this stage, then build dialogue out of that.

What else do you like to see in a child character that makes you cry or smile?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

5 thoughts on “Cute And Cuddly / Snakes And Buggies – Adding Children As Supporting Characters

  1. Pat Trainum says:

    I loved when Andy asked why Opie couldn’t sleep and Opie said, “I just fell awake.”
    Thanks for helping me with a 9-year-old’s perspective! lol

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    LOL! That’s cute! You are so welcome, Pat.

  3. M. Saint-Germain says:

    How did you know I’ve been writing about a five year old girl? You didn’t, but I am going to look up this link. Im certain it will help Great post. At one point I have Quinn, my five year old, ask her dad to check under her bed for monsters. Typical I think. My daughter used to aske me to do the same. But later in my story Quinn will be hiding under a bed when she’s found by a vigilante so the scene also serves as a foreshadowing. Thanks Michelle.

  4. […] in a book to fill out the star cast, but it needs to be there.  A quirky character can be a child, a sidekick with a sense of humor, a character with oddities that make them stand out, a pet, […]

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