Learning Character

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
She's two months old, and my little girl is already gaining her own attitude. Here's what I've learned about her already:

1. She likes to eat. The bottle is good.

2. If you do not feed her within every three hours, she lets you know she's hungry. Loudly...and nothing will satisfy her until she's had her bottle (yes, she is a single-minded, stubborn child).

3. Daytime naps have become overrated (makes me almost miss those days she slept all day).

4. Sleep time is something she feels the need to fight (though she is sleeping lots better at night once she'll finally pass out).

5. Though she likes to snooze until eight or nine each day, she's actually a very happy morning person (that's the best time to coax a smile out of her anyway).

6. She has awesome neck control; a little bobble head going on, but she still amazes me by her strength.

8. She loves watching her older cousins stand over her and lick on lollipops and then stick their blue tongues out at her.

9. She loves to move and is always moving, exercising her arms and legs...she'll even do it in her sleep.

10. She loves to be on the move. If you're holding her, you better be rocking, walking, or swaying, otherwise you're boring, and she lets you know about it. Loudly.

11. Ceiling fans and lights are awesome things to watch in her world.

12. She can look you right in the eye and appear to understand everything you're saying...if she's in the mood to give you her attention, otherwise she's off in her own world, gazing about the room.

13. She loves her bath...or maybe she just loves being bare, 'cause she likes getting her diaper changed too.

And there are thirteen things on the thirteenth I know about my daughter so far. They might be very simple, average details for a nine-week-old, but they make her uniquely her.

Which makes me think about the characters I write. Each little detail about them I create doesn't have to be something big or amazing. They don't have to save the planet in their spare time or hold three different doctorate degrees. I can give them thirteen simple, average qualities and still make them unique and individual and realistic.

So, thank you to my Lydia Marie for teaching me a lesson about writing. I can make good, believable characters using simple, everyday details.


  1. You have such a good point about not needing "fabulous" and "awesome" backstory for our characters! They can be regular people with regular problems. LOVE this!!!!

  2. She is so cute, and, boy, can I see the attitude! Good ideas here, too. The ceiling fan is intriguing--there is something that attracts us to repetitive motion.

  3. Adorable! Beautiful family you have. :O)


  4. She is breathtaking! I feel my characters are taking a whole new life, graduating to new areas everyday.

  5. It's amazing, the things we learn from our children. How we made it to 30 something years on earth without knowing these things, I don't know, but I am constantly amazed by what I discover about people from a darling little two year old.

    Enjoy every moment!

  6. She's adorable, Linda! Sounds like you're enjoying each and every moment!

  7. She's so completely beautiful!! Almost makes me want another one. :-) I'm glad you're enjoying her so much, and good point about characterization!

  8. Awww...that is so sweet! I'm glad you're able to enjoy all these great little things about your precious girl. :)

  9. Yay for Lydia! She sounds so precious. Hope you post more pics!

  10. I love your idea. Sometimes its the little things we don't think about as authors that make our characters REAL!