Imaginary Characters

This month we’ll be discussing strategies you can use to develop great characters in your stories. I love to write stories for the beginning readers and chapter books market, so I thought it would be fun to give a tip on creating imaginary characters for this genre.

(Beginning readers are books like THE CAT IN THE HAT that help kids learn to read all on their own.)

As Dr. Seuss has shown, even nonsense characters spark a child’s imagination and can be created to star in your story. If you have ideas for imaginary characters in the beginning readers and chapter books market, follow the example Dr. Seuss gave us and name these imaginary characters with words or mix-matched combinations of words that use vocabulary geared for this reading level.

For instance, the Grinch, the people living in Whoville, and the Who that Horton hears all have names that can be read successfully by little ones who are trying to read on their own. If you’re writing for the beginning reader market, stay away from naming your imaginary characters with difficult invented names such as Aeridophila or Cleopatricia. Those names are great for older readers, but not as easy to encounter on a page for children who are just beginning to read.

-contributed by Nancy I. Sanders


5 responses to “Imaginary Characters

  1. Nancy, good point. I had to read those more difficult names slowly to get them. Imagine a child trying to do it!

  2. Thanks, Gloria! And yes, it would be hard for little kids to try to read those difficult names. -Nancy

  3. write2ignite

    Thanks, Nancy, for the reminder. I hope all is going well for you.

    Jean Hall

  4. shirleyshibley

    A good start to character month–names. Sometimes I tend to forget how important names are, and just use one I like or don’t like. Seuss probably spent hours over names, and isn’t it worth every minute? Nobody could make up a name better than “The Grinch,” I’m sure!

  5. Such good advice, Nancy. Though I confess to loving Cleopatricia and Aeridophila for older kids. Where did you get those splendid names?


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