Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Psychology of writing; building your characters from the inside out

Yesterday, I gave a simple, fill-in-the-blank character generation chart for how to make well done three dimensional characters.

As you can tell, it's a very simple way to do it. As noted in the post, it was stolen from a role playing game chart.  However, the chart was created by author J. Michael Straczynski, and I think he might have used it himself at points.

But, you can also get fancy.  You can have entire personality tests for your characters.  For example, there's the Myers-Briggs test ... you know, the type that results in a 4-letter code like INFP (Introverting-Intuiting-Feeling-Perceiver) or ESTJ (Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judger), or M.O.U.S.E.... no, wait, that's the Mickey Mouse club. My bad.

You can also have the Lie to Me special .... if you never heard of the tv show, don't even bother looking it up on Youtube.  It was mostly about the actor Tim Roth being a schmuck; which at this point, might be stereotyping.  In this case, I mean kinesthetics -- studying body language.  I suspect the tv show was stolen from Jeffery Deaver novels (ie: Roadside Crosses, and other Kathryn Dance novels), in the same way CSI was practically spawned from Deaver's far superior Lincoln Rhyme novels (doing forensics before it was cool).

If you want to really try screwing around with your character's head (and, let's face it, who doesn't?) you can always try to build your own profile of them.

There is also at least one psychology blog for writers on the dark side of your characters -- though from the amount of time given to it in the blog, you might as well just study a Sean Ryan short story (right hand column). And for making bad guys.... though I might suggest my own column on that.

Anyway, I think that might be more than you wanted to see today. Hope to see you tomorrow.

Be well, all.

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