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Writing Children Characters

Discussion in 'Creative Zone' started by Gazi, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Gazi

    (Litleo ♀)
    Level 9
    May 27, 2018
    Dawn Stone ★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★Reaper Cloth ★★★
    Does anybody else struggle with writing children under the age of fifteen? Children just grow so much in such short periods of time, so there's such a huge behavioral and sometimes physical difference between a six year old child, and a seven year old, and the circumstances in which they were raised can contribute as well. How do you guys go about writing children? Do you write all children ages the same way or research common child behavior for the age that you're writing about?
  2. BraviaryScout

    BraviaryScout Way of the Wind

    Level 66
    Apr 18, 2017
    Crown of ValorPoké Ball ★
    It depends largely on the child's age. The only way I find to have a good real grasp on writing children is to be around them.

    I am in my mid-twenties, yet a lot of my younger cousins are still in their single digits with the newest one born just a couple of months ago.

    You're absolutely right in that kids grow up quickly, but a lot of times writers tend to overestimate how developed they are. For example: I once read a fic where a two year old girl was talking in complete sentences while my own cousins about that age were still babbling. Of course they could still pronounce words, but at two, they're far too young to even say many words.

    Children often reflect the behavior of their parents and how they are raised, but generally remain happy and optimistic depending on that. Keep in mind mannerisms come into play as well. Often a child who is disciplined in those manners will continue to display them even when not around their families. This often surprises others.

    Personally, I'd go for whatever age group you need to write the kid at. Obviously you wouldn't want a fifteen year old to act like he's five...although moodiness can prove there are exceptions.
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  3. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Level 19
    Mar 17, 2015
    I don't try it often, but I usually try to model those characters off of family members who are the same age. A little cousin or nephew or whoever, and try to get it as close as possible. It's easier to be realistic when you're working based off reality. You also won't have a fully articulate infant this way, which is a nice thing to avoid.

    One tip I've been told (but haven't been able to use yet) is to keep in mind that kids have a lot of misunderstandings. Just look for an online list of "silly things I used to believe as a kid" or "kids' misunderstandings" for some ammo. Maybe this kid thinks that Work is a single place that all adults go to together and that teachers exist only in school; or misunderstand the meaning of "doctor" to only mean what is really "surgeon". It makes sense to me that sprinkling in those types of misunderstandings might add a layer of believability to it.
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  4. Pyrophobic Quilava

    Level 14
    Mar 21, 2018
    The few children I have on my book usually go as over intelligent, which I'm very aware of that because non-main character children are way more grounded.

    Fortunately most of them are nobles, so I have a room for them to express complex thoughts and difficult words, especially when I do show some contrast.

    Apparently this is a problem I have with relatability, according to my parents (of course) I was too smart for my own age and kids around had difficulty keeping up with my line of thought. This always sounded like a parent thing to me despite me remembering some frustration around that, but now that I work with kids of several ages once a week I realize there may be some truth to that.

    What Zero said works. Also consider that when you said exceptions, this can go everywhere. From quiet kids well behaved and eager to learn, to 19 years old being the typical spoiled teen from movies in the 90s.
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