gifs: character

anonymous asked:

I was wondering if you had any type of information on age progression with children as how would a four year old act what type of characteristics would he or she have

We are not a child psychology blog (or else we’re a stupendously bad child psychology blog). It is with heavy hearts, therefore, that we must admit that we do not have many (any) in-house resources for the developmental stages of tiny humans. We do, however, have links! 

I highly recommend the book The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits: Includes Profiles of Human Behaviors and Personality Types by Linda N. Edelstein for basic profiles of children in various social and psychological situations from the need-to-know perspective of a writer. 

Other than that, here are some resources for writing four(ish) year olds:

And here are some general resources on writing children:

Also, I bet there are some parents out there on Tumblr who may be willing resources for you, anon. If you’d like to be a resource for this anon on four year olds, please reply to this post. Please do not send us a message with your interest. (It’s much easier for us and for the anon and for everyone, really, if you just reply directly to the post.)

If anyone else has any resources they think would go nicely with this list, please send them along!

Thank you for… wondering…! 


I write and run a lot of campaigns in the new World of Darkness (hereafter, WoD) roleplaying system, a system that focuses on the story over the dice-rolling. In the World of Darkness, players rarely have any idea of what scenarios they will find themselves in until they are thrown in the middle of the conflict. The character creation system focuses on helping the players develop characters they understand well enough to make quick decisions that are loyal to their characters’ personalities. Due to this, WoD’s character creation is actually really useful for developing unique characters for writing. I will probably go into greater detail in later posts, but I will explore the five following components of character creation: epithet, vice, virtue, demeanor, and nature.

Keep reading

Familiar Names and Family Nicknames

While we’re on the subject of what to call family members

This is so much more complicated that just what country your character is from or what culture they belong to. As an example, I will give you some insight into my family dynamics:

  • For the past decade or so, I’ve called my father by his first name (let’s say it’s Frank). This is because we had a long-standing working relationship in a professional environment, and it would have been improper for me to be calling him “dad” all the time.
    I still call him “dad” sometimes, though I’ll also use “daddy” when I’m being cute or “father” when I’m being jokingly formal. Very rarely, I’ll use “da”. “Da” comes mostly when it sounds best in the sentence or when I’m in a hurry.
    • “Frank, where have you been? I’ve been running all over the house looking for you!”
    • “How are you, Dad?”
    • “I love you, Daddy!”
    • “Father, would you be so kind as to pass the mashed potatoes?”
    • “I’m going to see my da in the morning!”
  • I call my mother “B” a lot. This comes from some long-forgotten quirk of my childhood. No one in the family can explain why I do this to my satisfaction, and it started so long ago that I have no explanation for it myself. I also sometimes call her “Peeka-B”. Maybe from “Peek-a-Boo”? Who knows.
    When I’m around my father and calling him “Frank”, I’ll sometimes slip into calling my mother by her first name (let’s go with “Mary”). I also use “mom” sometimes, especially when I’m around other family members who are not part of my immediate family and who aren’t used to hearing the nickname “B”. When I shout for her across the house, I might use “MA!” with an A sound like apple
    I sometimes call my mother “mommy”–again, because, let’s face it, it’s adorable. At times I’ll use “mother” for the same jokingly formal reasons I use “father.” Also, as a result of learning French very young, I sometimes call my mother “maman”. “Maman” is pretty interchangeable with “mom” for me. 
    • “B! You’re here!”
    • “I’m ready to go when you are, Peeka-B!”
    • “Frank, Mary is calling you.”
    • “My mom just bought a new lamp.”
    • “MA, LET’S GO!”
    • “Mommy, will you make me snickerdoodles?”
    • “I can’t imagine why you’d say such a thing, Mother.”
    • “I think we should head over to the bookstore next, Maman." 
  • I also have a brother. We’ll call him "Zander”. Most of the time I call him by his given name, but he also has a couple of nicknames. Chief among these nicknames is “Peaches” which comes from the fact that he has such trouble growing facial hair and is regrettably and perpetually stuck with peach fuzz for a beard. It’s a bit of a jibe, yes, but it’s said with fondness.
    Sometimes I call him “Sloth”, as in Sloth from The Goonies. Because why the hell wouldn’t I? 
    I rarely if ever call Zander “bro”. I often refer to him as “my brother” to other people, but rarely call him “brother” to his face. Sometimes he calls me “sis”, though. Go figure.
    • “I’ve invited Zander down for the weekend.”
    • “Shut up, Sloth!”
    • “Oh, Peaches! Look what I got for you!”
    • I haven’t seen my brother since the beginning of the month.

So much is dependent on the age of your character, family dynamics, personal preference, and sometimes just mood. The micro-culture of your character’s family is going to dictate their in-group dynamics, and that is something you develop for your story just like it develops for real families over the years they spend together. 

Am I saying that you need to have five different names for every person in the family? No way! That could get very complicated for readers! I’m saying that there are many factors contributing to familiar names.

Family members are often around each other a lot and therefore have many opportunities to develop nicknames or familiar names for each other. This is worth considering. It’s worth exploring far more deeply that the surface level of the language spoken between the characters or even the predominant culture of which they are a part. Who says they’re part of only one culture, anyway? That’s a whole new set of complications!

Families are dynamic. They’re complex. My point here is that there’s a lot of room to play around with familiar names, and that’s at least worth considering.

Thanks for reading!