Who is my character, what shall I call him, or her? What is the story about? Where should I start? These are the questions I ask myself when an idea lands in my head. Where does he live? What does he like? If this is unfamiliar to you, then make yourself a list. Get to know your character from the beginning.

I’m guessing you’re writing a children’s story. Start with a name, if you haven’t yet decided on a name, just write boy or girl.

What is the age of your character? Where does he live?

In a house? On a farm, at the circus?

This is a rough draft, so you don’t have to be real specific at this point.

Does your character have siblings, a Mom and Dad?

Does he have any pets, or maybe is he afraid of dogs?

Now that you have a possible name and age and have written down some of the answers to these questions, where will your story start?

Allow me to assist you.

Character: Boy, age 7

Ben, his family has just moved to a new town and he doesn’t know anyone. At Ben’s old
house, he lived only three blocks from school. Now he must ride a bus. Ben has never been
on a bus. He and his family meet the neighbors, two of the boys go to Ben’s new school, they also ride the bus. Ben doesn’t like Arnie, the older boy. He has a bad attitude, what will Ben do?

For you the writer, thinking about what Ben would do will help answer some of your character’s problems. This information is enough to get you started on a great story. Hopefully it has your mind wandering a bit, doing some brainstorming. I love brainstorming, a great tool for writers. Until next time, when I will share some dialogue ideas with you.

Good luck with your writing!

Theresa Nielsen
Quilting and animals are the two big inspirations for Theresa Nielsen’s other passion–writing! Theresa is currently working on picture books and a young adult novel. She hopes you’ll join her on her journey to further develop her craft as a children's writer! Learn more about Theresa!