Quick-Read Crafty Tips: Temperament and Character Development, a Book Birthday, AND #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day Prize Winners! Oh My!

Rather than flooding your inbox, I’m sending out one blog post chock-full of important information, helpful writing tips, and an exciting #BookBirthday announcement! Hold onto your hats…


HOME FOR A WHILE is moving into bookshelves TOMORROW! I’m ecstatic to see this book make its way into the world! Click the cover for a sneak peek!

HOME FOR A WHILE is a book from my therapist’s heart! I wanted ALL of the children with whom I worked to see themselves in the pages of a book. I wanted to create a book that offered hope, positive emotion regulation strategies, and showed the impact we can have on others when we see their strengths.

It is tricky to create compelling characters, especially when we want to be realistic and hopeful at the same time. Here is a Quick-Read Crafty Tip to help you with this process..

In their book, Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions, Pat Harvey and Jeanine A. Penzo talk about the way temperament impacts children’s reactions (and adult reactions for that matter). This is one of the best books I’ve ever read as a parent and as a therapist. Their insight about children’s reactions are applicable to real life and to writing. They can help us sort out our characters and develop them more fully.

Here are a few examples of the way temperament might impact reactions (as adapted from Harvey and Penzo). Let’s think about a child who falls off a bike:

Child A: Initial Reaction: Gets up, brushes themselves off, gets back on the bike

Delayed Reaction: Talks to caregivers about what happened

Child C: Initial Reaction: Gets up, kicks bike, walks away, head down

Delayed Reaction: Doesn’t want to talk about what happened, might yell or “act out”

Child E: Initial Reaction: Cries, runs around screaming for help, refuses to get back on the bike

Delayed Reaction: Very difficult to soothe, cries inconsolably, angry at caregivers, but can’t explain why, might react in a “behavioral” way

This paradigm has not only helped me as a parent and clinician, it has also helped me as a writer. Who is your character? How do they react to adversity? How do they react to attempts to be comforted? What is their initial reaction? Delayed reaction?

These questions acted as a guide when I wrote about Calvin. He leans more toward the Child C temperament. His negative thoughts and feelings impact and fuel his actions. He doesn’t want to talk about what happens. His emotions are so intense at first, that he can’t access Maggie’s support.

He tries to calm his body, but his emotions get the better of him.

Art by Natalia Moore

With patience, persistence, and positive strategies, Calvin is able to calm his emotions and accept Maggie’s concern and caring. Calvin is able to tackle his emotions like a superhero!

Art by Natalia Moore

Thinking about Calvin’s temperament helped me make each scene more authentic, believable, and resonant. I hope this tool will help you develop your characters. What role will temperament play in your character’s narrative and emotional arcs?

And now, for the celebration…

I hope you’ll join Natalia Moore and me as we celebrate Calvin finding his home for a while on Sunday, February 7th at 2:00 pm MST. You can RSVP by clicking on the link below, or by emailing Lauren Casey (see email below). The event is free, but you must RSVP to attend. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/book-launch-with-lauren-kerstein-and-natalia-moore-tickets-136506601921?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

And finally, here are the prize winners from our first #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day of 2021. Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, Shannon, and I had a blast revising with everyone! We can’t wait to see you for our next #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day on April 7th, and our full #ReVISIONweek September 30th-October 6th!

Congratulations to all! We will email you regarding your prizes.

I hope you have a wonderful, productive, creative week!

Feel. Write. Risk.


9 thoughts on “Quick-Read Crafty Tips: Temperament and Character Development, a Book Birthday, AND #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day Prize Winners! Oh My!

  1. Thank-you, congratulations, and yeah! to all the winners! I was so happy to participate in this month’s event. It made an impact on my writing and so I say again, THANK-YOU.

  2. Wow – I won a copy of Joana Pastro’s ‘Lillybelle, a Damsel Not in Distress – fantastic! Thank you very much to Joana for offering the prize and to you for organising the ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day. Thanks too for a really interesting post – lovely trailer for your new book, and great tips for delving into the temperament of your main character!

  3. Lauren and Katie, thank you so much for this incredible opportunity! Congratulations on HOME FOR A WHILE, Lauren, it looks great. Thanks for the revision tips, they’ve been really helpful. I’ve finally made it to the edge of the fisbowl.

  4. Congratulations Lauren on Home For A While! It sounds like a well needed Lovely book♥️♥️
    Congratulations to all the winners!

  5. Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon: THANK YOU SO MUCH for this WONDERFUL forum! I hadn’t written or revised ANYTHING for MONTHS, but I decided to sign-up and, as Lauren says: “Feel. Write. Risk” (words I will be posting where I can ALWAYS see them for continued INSPIRATION!), I was able to CONQUER my fears! I ended up cutting 39 WORDS from my manuscript!!! YIPPPEEE!!! This was JUST what I needed to PUSH myself forward! THANK YOU ALL!!!
    LAUREN: CONGRATS on your WONDERFUL new book! I CAN’T WAIT to meet Calvin and Maggie! What an IMPORTANT message you’ve shared. THANK YOU!!!
    And to EVERYONE: THANK YOU for THE AMAZING PRIZE!!! I AM BEYOND EXCITED!!! Through this tune-up exercise, I have been given YET ANOTHER opportunity to keep PUSHING myself, and to take the next step on my writing journey. I’m ALL TUNED-UP and ready to HIT THE ROAD!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I CAN’T WAIT until April’s Tune-up Day!!!

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