Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How to Create Memorable Characters in Picture Books, Part 1

Unfortunately, there is no secret formula to creating likable, memorable characters to which we can discover and unveil for all to use. Fortunately, we can create fresh, new characters that will appeal to readers.

The child must closely identify with the way a character thinks, acts, and feels. A young child does not have reasoning ability, so a gator seems as logical a pet as a dog or cat. The opposite is true for picture books for older readers where logic and reasoning can be vital to the story. Either way, children like to see themselves represented in a book and in a way in which their world view is evident. Keep the story child-focused and consider the age of the audience.

Judge your characters by what they do. Sure, witty dialog is great and adds to the appeal of the story, but if all the characters do is spit witty dialog, they will soon become B-O-R-I-N-G. The character needs to do something: interact with others and move the story forward. 

Call for submissions for Young Writers and Adult Writers:

Prize Categories:

Young Poets: 2 Categories

Middle School Students: now know as Dave Drake Literary Prize

Middle schoolers must provide contact email of parent or guardian

High School Students: Students of high school age.

Adult Poets: now known as Spring Robinson/Mahogany Red Lit Prize

Poets between the age of 20 and 60 years old: this category includes college aged students

Senior Poets:  Poets 61years and older

Submission guidelines at

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 40+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK.

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