Friday, March 4, 2011

Great Book Tranlates to: You Gotta read it if You Write For Children

In CREATING CHARACTERS KIDS WILL LOVE, Elaine Marie Alphin gives us fantastic advice which can be applied to any writer.

We learn things from giving our characters the stories they need, a story in search of a cast, and even bringing nonfiction to life.

Ms. Alphin offers a section at the end of every chapter that deals with read the pros. Scattered inside  the chapters are little writing exercises called, Try it Yourself. Here is one that I loved from the chapter called, Keeping Grown-ups in their place: Write a conversation between a youngster and an adult he or she sees everyday, such as the bus driver or cashier at your local McDonald's. (Though my kids have always been home-schooled and didn't do either of those.) So I did mine with the elderly neighbor down the road from our farm. Think of something they have in common that would get them to talking. They both might be shy. How do they overcome that to talk to each other?

Another one: In chapter 4 there is an excellent character interview questionnaire. 56 questions to be exact.

She talks about the letters she receives from kids about why they love her books. The  number one reason? Her characters are just like they are. They identify with them. They compare themselves to the characters we create. But that's true for anyone. So buy the book and grab your highlighter.

I recommend this book to all writers. At least check it out from your local library.

11 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful book. I quess it can also help an aspiring children's author. I have submitted a children's story to a publisher. We shall see what happens. In the meantime, I will check this book out.
    Have a great weekend.
    Smiles.

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  2. The book sounds great. Will check it out. The exercises too sound good. I like the one with the conversation between a child and an adult.

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  3. Sounds like a great resource. Creating a bond between readers and your characters is so important.

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  4. This is my kind of book! Thank you for sharing, this is a "must have" for me.

    Have yourself a special day!

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  5. Okay, bff, you convinced me! Off to find the book. :-)

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  6. Thanks for the book recommendation. Sounds like a must read! Hope your week is going well. :O)

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  7. Sounds like a helpful book and she's definitely right about creating idenitifiable characters.

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  8. Once in a creative writing class, we had a kindergarten come in and we got to read them short stories. It was great practice.

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  9. Sounds like a book I need to get my hands on--thanks for the heads up!

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  10. Thanks!! Always looking for a good recommendation!!! Awesomeness!!! As my 21 year old would say. :)

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