One of my favorite writing exercises I was asked to complete prior to the publishing of my recently released children's picture book, Kind Soup, was a detailed character development synopsis for each character. This felt daunting at first, because I 'thought' I knew my characters inside and out, but quite contrary to the facts of my 'thoughts'. I LOVED this exercise! I found a deeper love for each of my characters and it built a significantly stronger foundation for my multiple themes and messages throughout the story. It helped me to look outside of the story's walls, and hone in on the who's, why's and what's going on in their lives and what makes them the characters they are. I strongly encourage character development for each and every story. A couple of years ago, I attended a wonderful break-out work session at a SCBWI conference, all focused on character development. I was in the beginning stages of writing Kind Soup, but even then, using a simple outline was extremely well worth the thoughts and creative development. One of our speakers created a couple great resource to help, one in-particular is 'Defining Characterization'. This has been a great tool for me, and I wanted to share it. All the credit goes to author, Janet Fox, for creating this information.
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