Just recently, I finished another play production week at Monforton School for the 5th graders. I was invited in to help again, since the 5th grade play is tradition. The students did a great job! This year was a pirate play, the first I've written that included two ships, ghosts, and castaways on a lonely island with buried treasure.
Play production week fell the same time I was focused on revising the main character in my newest novel. My critique group needed more from her, and knew she still wasn't complete on the page.
On stage, a character is defined physically - how they move, talk, visibly react. In a book, a character is defined in much more subtle details. There are no exaggerated stomps or arm flings. Instead, the writer hints at past experiences, describes the thoughts without actually explaining them, and weaves in interesting tidbits as naturally into dialogue as possible.
Sometimes I wish I could just throw my character on stage. Let the reader see and hear her in action. Her subtleties would become very obvious. I know what she is as a whole, but getting that whole to the page is the ever-challenge of writers. How do I help the reader see and hear all she has to offer?
Maybe throwing her on stage is exactly what I need to do.
Writing for children is a passion - along with reading kid's books, writing plays for kids, and teaching kids how to write!