1. SerenaYasha
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    SerenaYasha Member

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    Developing Character's Childhood

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SerenaYasha, Feb 8, 2011.

    I want to show my readers what my main character's childhood was like to explain more who she is the way she is.

    the problem is keeping it sweet, innocent and how a child would at in that situation at that age.

    My character Kaira has always tried to do the right thing. the moments are when she is little she sees a kid getting bullied gets between the bully and the victim. She tries to act tough but her nerves get the best of her and she starts to cry.

    We all had those moments where our hearts want to do the right thing but fight or flight kicks and and your body want to get away from the stress.

    Well Kaira always steps in but then starts to cry having her two best friends come a help her.

    This is meant to be a very cute moment, but I'm having a hard time knowing that it lead to a sad moment. ( she and her friends friendship fade)

    I also want to show that Kaira goes from being a cry baby protector when little to a real life hero who protect her city ( like batman) just with a genius cousin making the gadgets.

    How do I keep with the age yet show what i need to show.

    NOTE: This is the characters/story I am mainly posting about if it looks familiar
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Socrates and Nate's First Day

    This was my attempt at doing something similar - There are three parts to it on the thread. I tried to keep the language more simple, ideas straightforward and honest. It goes from the little neglected boy starting his first day at school to an illustration of the abuse. Its in first draft form but it seems to have worked, trying to keep his emotions quite stark and pared back also helped.
     
  3. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    I'm currently reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and I think an excerpt of it may help you:

    " 'Well, I don't like the way we have to turn all the lights off at night now,' he admitted.
    'Everyone has to do that,' said Mother. 'It keeps us safe. And who knows, maybe we'll be in less danger if we move away. Now, I nees you to go upstairs and help Maria with your packing. We don't have as much time to prepare as I would have liked, thanks to some people.'
    Bruno nodded and walked away sadly, knowing that 'some people' was a grown up's word for 'Father' and one he wasn't supposed to use himself."

    You see? Honesty, simplicity, naiveté...

    I strongly recommend this book. It will certainly help you. ;)
     
  4. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Childhood is synonymous with cuteness, so I don't see the difficulty. Knowing that their friendship is going to fate in future doesn't mean you can't make a present moment cute or the char is no longer friends with the others doesn't mean he/she can't remember a cute moment she shared with them.
     
  5. ArckAngel
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    ArckAngel Member

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    I'll stop you all right there. I'm an ESL teacher in China teaching kindergarten. I love my kids and many of the others that I teach and my friends teach. But Childhood may be synonymous with cuteness, but it's also very synonymous with amoral behavior.

    Depending on how young you're talking, children don't know how to act. They don't always know the difference between right and wrong. Sometimes they don't know why they can't hit one another or fight. They see it as fun, but they don't yet recognize how their actions can affect others.

    If you want a realistic depiction of a child don't make it 100% innocent and cute and happy. Don't make your character a moral standard. I'd suggest making this a clarifying moment and acceptance of maturity to some degree, yet fleeting. Something that may have stuck with them later in life, and yet while in their childhood is but one good act out of a mass of chaos. (many good and bad acts as we all commit as children learning a moral code)
     
  6. Broken Essence
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    Broken Essence Member

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    I agree with ArckAngel. Depending on how young the kid is a lot of them don't know how to act. And even if it's a bit older of a kid maybe if they are around 12-13 they're starting to get into moody teenager mode who thinks they're always right even when they aren't. Around that age a lot of girls start to become really really mean.
     
  7. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    One thing to remember, if this is the character thinking back, remember we don't always remember the bad we do, and sometimes we never forget the bad we do. We gloss over parts. If it was a bad memory the bad part sticks out, if it is a happy memory, then that sticks out.
    Truth in what happened, and truth in how we remember it are two different things.
     
  8. RFortea
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    RFortea New Member

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    Dear SerenaYasha,
    I always find that the best lies have a lot of truth.
    Let's face it; fictional writing is lying (wonderful lying!) It seems that your story is a fictional one, so, you must find a true memory/idea that pulls at the sentiments of your reader. As soon as you've hooked your reader, you have the liberty of writing unbelievable things.
    However, you must have a very strong truth to eliminate the possible triteness associated with a child who wants the world to be a perfect place.

    For example, if you read Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird," you will notice that many memories and heart-felt moments hook the reader, making him believe the sincerity of the author's actions. For example, Scout, the main character, says that her neighbor called scout's snowman a "morphodite." In reality, scout's neighbor calls the snowman a hermaphrodite.

    It's that sort of heart-felt hook that's going to make your reader willingly believe the emotions of your characters.

    I hope that helped.
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your character as a child is still your character. There is no set rule for how they HAVE to be. Maybe they were a little terror as a child or maybe they were bastion of wisdom, or a dork, or just a "get along" type kid. They are your character. Treat their childhood as you would any other time of their life, keeping the childhood reasonably believable like you would anything else.
     
  10. NathanaelWorks
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    NathanaelWorks Member

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    I'm a serious person, but when it comes to dealing with people...

    Do the cops eat donuts?

    Maybe it's because she knows that she was made up by a weirdo.
     
  11. donna grace baird
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    donna grace baird New Member

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    How about having her happen upon a group of younger girls cowering from bullies, she is able to find strength in wanting to rescue while at the same time she makes the connection, needed to help herself
     
  12. D.T.Roberts
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    D.T.Roberts Senior Member

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    To make personal insults, is not the purpose of this forum. If you have nothing constructive to offer, it's best to keep your opinions to yourself.
     

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