Thursday, February 16, 2017

Be a kid by Paula Mowery | Guest Post

Emilie here: I'm excited to introduce you to Paula Mowery as she talks about creating characters for children's books!

Be A Kid


As an author of two women’s fictions and six romances, I’m no stranger to creating characters. Of course, bringing women to life isn’t a struggle since I am one. Now, men characters can pose some challenges, but I do interact with men and live with one in particular, my hubby of twenty-seven years.

Recently, I started creating a children’s chapter book series. The main character is a feisty little girl named Chloe Ann Parker. My first idea for this character came from a little girl at my church, whose personality and cute looks are reflected in Chloe.

But then came the hard part. The story is told from Chloe’s point of view. I needed to write it as a child for children.

The following are tips and things I’ve learned in this journey to write like Chloe:

A child character needs to talk like a child. I work at an elementary school, so the first thing I did was to listen to the kids converse with one another. There are times I don’t write something in perfect grammar, because a child of Chloe’s age hasn’t reached that level of fluency yet.

A child has a different perspective than an adult. A child sees issues from how they specifically affect him or her. I had to think on that level and not just transfer an adult reaction to the child character.

What’s important to a child is often different than an adult. Children notice different things. They see things in light of what they can accomplish. They see things in their innocence.

Children learn different lessons. The themes and lessons learned are not to the level of an adult. Children aren’t ready to learn sophisticated lessons. They are still learning about the basics like what it takes to be a friend, what potential they have in math or spelling, and what’s for lunch.

At the beginning of this school year, I asked one of the first-grade teachers if we could pretend that Chloe was in her class. I would get her students in on it. The teacher and I sent home a permission form to use the first names of the kids in the class. Though it is often hard to get papers back from home, we received every one of those forms. I meet with the class every Friday afternoon before I leave. I normally arrive with questions about what they are doing in class or I pose questions about what they would tell Chloe in a particular situation. I then utilize their answers and create a post on my writing blog for kids. The kids give me answers and insights into their minds that make Chloe come to life as a first grader.

Part one of The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker – First Grade is out just in time for Valentine’s Day. But don’t miss the first book from kindergarten. That first chapter book introduces readers to Chloe. But I am quite excited about this first-grade edition, since the first graders’ names from Mrs. Taylor’s class will appear in print.

In conclusion, I suggest if you create a child character, you hang out with children of that similar age. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to immerse yourself and just be a kid!
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Paula Mowery has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction, especially romances of all sub-genres. She holds a Master of Education and taught English/Language Arts in public school and then came home to educate her own daughter, first through twelfth grades. She teaches at writing conferences such as the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. TAG, Tomorrow’s Author Guild, is a pilot program she is currently creating in which she teaches and designs writing lessons to encourage young writers as well as assisting teachers with writing instruction.

Paula is a published author in Christian fiction. One reviewer stated that her writing “thunders with emotion.” Her novella, Be The Blessing, won the 2014 Selah Award. Her story, The Prayer Shawl, from the book, Legacy and Love, was a finalist in The Carolyn Readers’ Choice Awards from North Texas Romance Writers of America. Her devotions have also been included in several devotional anthologies. Connect with her on her blog, www.paulamowery.blogspot.com.

T. A. G. stands for Tomorrow’s Author Guild. The goal of this program is to encourage the writers of the future. Because lack of purpose can equal lack of motivation, writing lessons are created and taught with the aim of sparking interest in the student and providing a platform in which to practice good writing skills. The writing lessons are created to help alleviate some of the pressure and demands of teachers so that they can accomplish the writing objectives in fresh ways. www.getkidswriting.blogspot.com