So, the main character of “Evelyn’s Drawings Can’t Swim” is a 12-year-old boy named Noah.
You might be asking yourself where I get the authority to create a 12-year-old character anyway?
Interesting you should ask. This past weekend I just finished reading “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak—which is a captivating novel and masterfully written story that I would highly recommend—in which Zusak tells the story of a young girl (who is 14 years old at the end of the story.) As I was reading I was thinking the same thing about him…how did he create and relate to a young girl as an adult male writer?
For me there are several answers to the question…
For starters, I need my main character to be about the age of the children that I hope read this story. They need someone to relate to, who thinks and acts like them in the situations he will encounter; who is learning about himself and the world around him in the same way they are.
My second answer to how I am able to create a believable 12-year-old boy as my main character lies in the fact that I am lucky enough to be related to several boys this age. I have the honor of being the oldest of 28 grandchildren so several of my cousins are currently living the pre-adolescent dream. They remind me often of what it is like to be this age and I am thankful to have them to bounce ideas off of.
And finally I would simply say it is the magic of writing and story-telling. There is great power in words and well-crafted descriptions. And each day I am getting to know my main character more and more. I find out what he is thinking and feeling and hoping and I look forward to sharing that with my readers.
My new friend Noah plays around in my mind often (especially when I am trying to fall asleep.) And just like with my own children, I am really excited to watch him grow as he takes on the adventure that is “Evelyn’s Drawings Can’t Swim”.
I hope you are too!