• Writing Child Characters character development writing help child character children characters writing children writing adivce writing child characters thewritershelpers •

Writing Child Characters

A couple of weeks ago I made a post on writing teenagers, I don’t believe we’ve made a post on child characters recently. So here we go!

Child characters are different to adult characters for several reasons which are stated below. However these differences should make no difference to how you develop your character. A child character has likes and dislikes and both positive and negative traits. 


Depending on the age of your child character and the life they have led, they will be more innocent to your adult characters. This does not mean they think that everything is nice and fuzzy but that they aren’t aware of a lot of the evils of the world. You have to be careful how you play innocence, for example I bet most 9/10 year old know exactly what sex is. So think carefully about how you portray this!


Children are naive, this does NOT mean stupid. They have less world experience and have no independence so they haven’t really seen everything in the world. This makes them naive to other cultures other people. How naive they are depends on their age, personality and background.


Children are more impulsive than adults. We learn through making mistakes and children are still learning (aren’t we all). So children are more likely to display impulsive behaviour. This involves saying exactly what they think. Small children of 5/6 don’t really have a dam, they just say what pops into their head.


Children aren’t stupid. In fact you can have a pretty good conversation with a small child and be surprised what they say. But children haven’t learnt as much as adults and their knowledge grows as they do. Intelligence however isn’t just what they know but how they apply it. 


Dialogue is where you are going to slip up with your child characters. This could be by making the language too mature or not mature enough. You need to know before you start writing how a child would talk, you may have to do research for this. 

It’s hard to remember what we talked like when we were that age so you may need to talk to others, watch some movies with children and read books to see how other authors have portrayed characters of a similar age.

So how do I make my child character realistic?

Research!!! If you know friends or family with young children spend some time with them, see how they interact with others and take special notice to how they speak and what words they use. The wording in dialogue is the kicker in making children realistic. 

Think back to when you were a child or look at family videos, how did you act around family? How did you play? 

Mibba: Writing Realistic Children

Writing Child Characters for Adults

Writing Realistic Children

Writing from a childs perspective (forum)

Writing from a unique perspective

The voice is the most difficult part of any character development and finding a voice for your child character is even harder. But if you can find the right voice that suits the age of your character then that’s fantastic. Don’t be put off if you don’t get it right in the first few tries, keep trying.I look forward to seeing more children characters in your works :)

Hope this has been useful to some of you!!!


2268 notes / 7 years 9 months ago
Writing Child Characters
A couple of weeks ago I made a post on writing teenagers, I don’t believe we’ve made a post on child characters recently. So here we go! Child characters are different to adult characters for several reasons which are stated below. However these differences should make no difference to h...
Let's Talk About: Minor Character Development
“Creating one interesting character is hard enough — but when it comes to writing a whole novel or series of books, you have to create dozens of them. How can you keep your supporting cast from seeming like cookie-cutter people? There’s no easy answer, but a few tricks might help you cre...
What Motivates Your Characters?
A Guide It’s a question that boggles a lot of writers because character motivation can both define and reveal who your character is. Characters have the power to drive stories, and understanding them is often the crux of writing a good plot. So, how do you figure it out? The Motivators There are a...
Your characters and how to love them: 4 simple steps to a believable cast.
At the heart of every novel, short story or fanfiction are the characters. Whether they be good guys, bad guys, major, minor, based on real people, works of fiction, background, foreground or anything in between- your characters make up your writing and knowing them, inside and out, is the key to ma...
Writing Character Voice
It’s not always what you say… But also how you say it that defines how a character sounds. Like all things in writing, understanding and executing character voice involves a lot of mistakes and a lot practice. Out of all of the skills you can have as an author, it’s one of the most difficult to do ...
A NaNo Post to Get You Planning and Inspired
It always really annoys me when I see masterlists and all the links are just linked to other masterlists of links and it takes fifteen tabs to get to an actual article about whatever the question was, so all of these (unless stated otherwise on the link) lead to actual discussion of the topic, not j...
How to Improve Flat Characters
If you’re having trouble making your characters interesting or you feel like all your characters turn out the same, you’re probably creating flat characters. If your character hasn’t undergone a significant change during the course of your novel or your audience is having trouble relating to them, y...
Get Your Background Characters In Line: How to Straighten Up All of Your Characters
Okay. So, when you are flipping through your novel… more likely scrolling, you might notice a couple awkward side characters. While they didn’t seem that bad while you were writing, you suddenly realize that a lot of them just seem like major creeps. It’s okay. That can be fixed!...
Writing the LGBT Community
Writing the LGBT community can be hard, especially if you don’t know what you’re talking about. So to start off this post, here’s just a few things that are easily confused both with writers and with society in general. Being gay is not a personality trait. This basically means no stereotyping. Don&...
What Should You Know About Your Characters?
What should you know about your characters before you begin? How well should you know their backstory? What should you plan out? It really depends on what kind of writer you are, but many people need to have a lot of details planned out before they begin. If you want to have complete control over th...
Characters who make believable choices.
     Motivation, motivation, motivation. It’s all around you, in everything everyone does; there is not a living being on this earth that does something for no reason. The difference for us, as human beings, is that, while we may be unaware the specifics of others and our own, we like to know ...
Every refresh generates a new character flaw with a one sentence description for inspiration.