Fictional characters, especially ones in novels or an ongoing series, need to have plenty of depth. They need good traits, downfalls, a saving grace and a few quirks, with the balance of good/bad depending on their role in the story. Molding a believable, lovable or despicable character takes time, but there are some methods you can use to make the process more interesting.
You can use personality typing, the same kinds used to help real people gain a better understanding of themselves, to help you with character creation. Use all of these techniques in combination, or choose one or two to breathe life into the players in your writing.
Pick an astrology sign for your character. Decide on the basic personality of your characters first. Are they more outgoing or adventurous, or do they like to stay home? Are they cheery and perky or more brooding and mysterious? Look through the descriptions of the signs and choose the one that would work best for your character. Assigning a zodiac sign to your character will give you even more traits and behavioral patterns to work with, giving them a deeper personality. You could even go as far as to give them a “moon sign” and a “rising sign”. The moon rules the emotional/subconscious nature of your personality and the rising sign gives people your first impression. Sometimes all you need is an understanding of their sun sign, which influences your personality the most.
Numerology. The numbers 1 through 9 have their own meaning in numerology besides their number values. There are different ways to use numerology, but the “life path” number is the most important one, just like the sun sign in astrology. This number is found by adding all of the numbers in your birth date and reducing the sum to a single digit — 1-13-1990 would be 1+1+3+1+9+9+0 = 24 2+4 = 6.
Life path number basic meanings:
1 – Inventive, pioneering, leadership qualities, can become bossy or demanding.
2 – Peaceful, fair, visionary, can be pessimistic or passive-aggressive.
3 – Creative, friendly, sociable, can be superficial or flighty.
4 – Hard-working, down-to-earth, dedicated, can be narrow-minded or tactless.
5 – Curious, adventurous, compassionate, can be irresponsible or impulsive.
6 – Family-oriented, domestic, idealistic, can be too self-sacrificial or overly-critical.
7 – Charming, independent, intuitive, can be selfish or argumentative.
8 – Ambitious, workaholic, honest, can be cold or obsessive.
9 – Sensitive, trustworthy, open-minded, can be easily confused or dissatisfied.
Look into the Myers-Briggs personality types. If you’re new to this kind of personality typing, you might want to try taking a free test first. Reading about and learning about your own type first will help give you a better understanding. There are 16 combinations made up of either introvert (I) or extrovert (E), sensing (S) or intuition (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). I’m an INFP for example, which means I’m predominantly introverted (I gain strength from being alone), I’m more intuitive, I’m ruled more by how I feel about things and I perceive things according to my values. This mode of typing will give you a better view of how a character will react to certain situations.
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One of my missions this holiday season. I don’t mean just any old thing that looks like mistletoe. I want real mistletoe.
I only just found out that mistletoe grows high up in the trees, deep in the forests during the winter/late fall. Of course, it has to play hard-to-get.
Apparently the easiest way to get it down is to shoot it out of the tree, and let the pieces of it rain down so you can gather up the sprigs that weren’t blown to bits.
I don’t really want to go trekking through the woods with a gun. Would be interesting, but I would be lucky if I actually found some mistletoe. I’ve never even seen it before. This website might be a good alternative, you get a sprig of real mistletoe for less than $4. A good deal I guess, if it means having real mistletoe without having to hunt for it. (This post wasn’t supposed to be a plug for that website. I just found it.) I’m not sure yet about ordering it, just musing on it.filed under: Diary ||| leave a comment?
I ended up reaching 50,000 words on November 28 around 1 am. I wanted to hurry up and get done so I could move on to other things, and there was no way I was going to fail the challenge. Of course I’m not exactly done with the novel, but now I can rest a little and do other things. Not sure if I want to do NaNo again though… it was kinda rough. Especially with everything going on right now (see this post), it was like everything was trying to jump in my way. It just shows what you can do when quitting isn’t an option. I’m planning on starting the revising/editing after Christmas. I have other things I want to do now, other projects and not to mention focus more on work work work (the secured paying kind).
Something that popped into my head yesterday: With all the stress and worrying lately (my new gray hairs) and feeling like I’ve been flogged emotionally, I got an idea for how to make myself feel better. One thing that I’ve always wanted to do was get rich or at least be financially secure enough to be able to give money to charities. Since I can’t do that right now I decided to look up ways to volunteer and help people without spending my non-existent money. I guess dropping the loose change in my wallet into the salvation army bucket outside of Wal-Mart still counts, but now I want to get out and do something. I think since Christmas (as of right now) looks like a lean one this year, the Christmas spirit is trying to possess me in a different way. It’s also my way of fixing myself.
The plan: Volunteer at the soup kitchen here in town and see if they have other things I can do, like wrap Christmas presents for the donated toys. While I was looking at charities I found one called “In2Books/ePals” it’s a great idea and completely legit. It’s a program where a 5th grader is a assigned a book to read a couple times during the school year, and they get paired up with a grown-up reading buddy who reads the same book as them at the same time. The adult and student are internet pen-pals (email pals?) and the adult is like a reading mentor who encourages the kid and they discuss the story with them. The adults have to go through a background check to keep the kids safe and a teacher reads the emails before the kid does. I got excited about this because 1.) I love to read and 2.) I would be helping a kid get more excited about it and hopefully start to love reading if they don’t already. I signed up and already sent my “getting to know you” letter, now I’m just waiting to get my book-reading email pal. Since the school year already started, I hope I don’t have to wait all the way until next September.filed under: Diary ||| leave a comment?
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” – Albert Einstein
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“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done — by hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” – Terence McKenna