Free Character Writing Prompts #21:

What about the children? Here are 10 character writing prompts about the children. Some stories, especially those portrayed on television don't do the best job creating realistic child characters. Frequently, kid characters are either cute as buttons saying the "darndest things" at the drop of a hat or they are completely devoid of morals with a propensity to torture as many of their peers as possible. From your own childhood, you know that there are many shades of grey in between with children who have medical conditions, children who are overachievers to the nth degree, children who act more mature than their own parents and more that don't fall into a traditional child archetype. A child in a story should be complex, especially in a format that allows the child's imagination to be expressed through and through. 

Free Character Writing Prompts #21: Children

1. He was the stereotypical role model teenager, according to his parents. In actuality, he only kept up appearances to make it easier for him to sell pot to his classmates. This involved him getting high grades to keep them calm and to participate in several activities that gave him more time at school. He knew that getting caught would not reflect too badly on him before the age of 18, so he played fast and loose to save up as much money as possible. What was he saving for and will his parents ever find out about his extracurricular activities?

2. Not only was he one of the fastest, strongest athletic kids in his school, but he'd even broken state records and was starting to get calls from potential future Olympic recruiters. One of the reasons he was so motivated was because his dad had been pushing him athletically from a young age. The two of them even went to buy hardcore vitamins and protein concoctions from the health food store together. He was embarrassed that his dad would yell at him in public from time to time but he knew it was for the best for his career. What is a typical day in the life like for him and how would he change without his father's guidance?

3. She loved diving into activities with full force...for about two weeks before changing her mind. Her parents had dozens of boxes in the attic that were full of her old, discarded hobbies such as tae kwon doe gear, clay for pottery class and even a children's sewing machine. Her parents didn't want to discourage her from expressing herself, but they were pouring a lot of money into projects she simply wasn't able to follow through on. She was quite laid back about giving up on these hobbies, which tended to annoy her parents even more than whining might. Will she ever find an activity to stick with for life?

4. When she was little, despite her parents pushing her toward math so she could follow in the family accounting business, she wouldn't stop drawing and painting. They had no idea where her innate artistic abilities came from. They were amazed by her dramatic uses of color and her ability to accurately represent people simply by looking at them. She always seemed to do her art with a smile on her face and her parents knew that numbers would never excite her like art did. As her taste in art grows more refined, will she find it a strange subject to discuss with her fact and formula driven family?

5. It wasn't until he was nearly three years old that he spoke his first words, which were in the form of a complete sentence. He was quietly mastering the English language and he took this silent observation to new highs in almost everything he participated in. Aside from oral participation, he mastered nearly every skill at school and his teachers often cited his ability to write at a much higher grade level. His parents worried about his inability to form social connections due to a lack of speaking, but they didn't want to scold him for being who he was either. How will this speechlessness affect him as he grows up?

6. He felt like he had a duty to save his family's souls by going to church, because they were true atheists in every sense of the word. Her parents weren't sure how and why he got so into Christianity, but they made an effort to encourage his newfound interest as best they could. He would give them sermons at dinnertime and he got reports of lunchtime preaching from his very secular middle school. Whenever they asked him where he learned about all this religious talk, he simply said, "God." How will this televangelist in the making cope with school and his atheist parents?

7. Without fail, no matter how much they tried to get her to dress sensibly for a girl her age, she would come home looking much older than 11. They would no longer let her keep makeup in the house, but that didn't stop her from applying it herself sometime during the school day. She would even occasionally return home wearing a different and much more adult outfit than she had on when she returned home. This was completely unacceptable to her parents and they frequently grounded her. She used that time to look up the application of different makeup styles online. Will she ever compromise with her parents over dressing like a woman instead of a pre-teen?

8. She had one goal and one goal only: winning science fair every single year. She poured almost all of her middle school free time into learning more on her favorite subjects so that she could wow the judges all the way up to the national level. Elementary school had been a cinch as she was far above the comprehension level of most, but as she grew older, she knew she'd have to work even harder. She shunned most friendships and sacrificed homework from other subjects to push herself farther in her scientific knowledge. Will she win the upcoming competition and how would she react if she lost?

9. He went to the emergency room so often, his parents joked that he should have a punch card there and get a free visit after 10 trips. An accident-prone combination of careless, unlucky and risky, he was coming home with so many skinned knees and bruised elbows, that his parents actually asked the teachers to keep an eye on him to make sure he wasn't being bullied. He wasn't. He tripped, banged into lockers and slipped more than any child the school nurses had ever seen before. Doctors said that he would grow into his legs eventually, but until then, they should invest in some ice packs and iodine. Why is he so prone to injury and what would it take for him to go a whole day without an accident?

10. No matter what the situation or who was talking to her, she was the kindest, gentlest girl you'd ever met. It was rare to see her mouth in any other position than a smile and to describe her as anything other than upbeat. From a young age she had always said hello to strangers, cashiers and other kids, but she never grew out of the phase of being extremely excited to see everybody in the world at any time. Some of the kids thought her attitude was a matter of her hiding something, some dark secret, but in actuality, she was just extremely nice. Why is she so perky all of the time? 

Did you enjoy these character writing prompts? Buy the full book of 1,000 Character Writing Prompts on Amazon! 

Done with Character Writing Prompts about Children? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts. 

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    Written by Bryan Cohen

    Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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