Nara Pyrrin was created as a non playable character when I first introduced her mother, Lorenza. I didn’t think that I would turn the little girl into an actual account but I eventually made the leap a few months after. The background was easy since I already knew how Nara was and had introduced the back story through Lorenza’s Jedi recruitment.
Yet, Nara has been one of my most difficult characters to write since I first created her. I have an extremely hard time writing children characters. It is ironic because I like my characters experiencing parenthood, but including babies or already teenage characters (if possible in their late teens) is much easier for me. You don’t really see much written about youth between one and thirteen year old included in my stories. It isn’t a lack of interest on my part, because I love stories that have great children characters in them, but I just feel horribly awkward writing them myself.
Stretching boundaries as a writer is important, and this is why I still write Nara, but I have got more used to write combat scenes (my other nemesis as a writer) than I have to write children characters! Sometimes I have muse for Nara and she functions well, though it seems to only work so far when she interacts with her best friend and now step brother, who is the same age as her. I am planning to slowly try to push myself in writing the now close to seven year old girl more.
Regarding how I pictured her, Nara went through a couple first image claims at first, until I found out that Amandla Stenberg had done modeling as a child. After having loved her portrayal of Ru in the first Hunger Games movie, she was a natural fit for Nara. Since I switched to this claim, it has also helped me write Nara some more.
I remember loving the scene in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones when we saw Yoda teach Jedi Youngling at the temple on Coruscant. It had been an inspiration for me to write such a character as well. So far, Nara hasn’t really learned anything Jedi, but having lived on Jedi ground for the past few years, and being Force sensitive, she probably will pick up a few things before becoming an actual Padawan – which is allowed as from ten year old in the SWRPG setting.
Nara was a rather shy child when she arrived to the Jedi temple with her mother, shortly after having lost her father. It was also why her best friend – now stepbrother – was such a big influence on her, as he was more extrovert than her. She was a smart little one from the start, but the way the two kids influenced each other has been a very interesting writing process with the other writer involved. It led to Nara having gained enough confidence to switch roles in a way when her stepbrother went through a very difficult phase, after being rescued from a kidnapper. It made Nara be bolder and trying to find her own way of making things better, just like both their parents.
Finding the right way for a child to communicate is a challenge for me. I have very little experience with children myself, and even with doing research and reading a lot of things involving children characters, it is hard for me to really find an adequate voice for children characters. Over the last couple of years, I have done a little more writing children character, not just thanks to Nara but also because of some of my other characters having children too. I still have a long way to go before possibly being comfortable writing children characters, but little by little, there is some progression.
- Do you write children characters?
- Is there a certain age you are more comfortable with for such characters?
- Do you have certain tips you rely on to write children characters?