Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Aids to Character Development


I know a lot of authors use character charts and questions to plot out their characters. I use them as a start. They’re great for physical characteristics, family information and background. Other people use enneagrams, astrology, tarot cards or maybe a mixture of both to develop and flesh out their characters and develop conflict.
Tami Cowden has a great book The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes for developing your characters and developing conflict.

I have used Enneagrams before. If you don’t know your type, you can take a free enneagram test here. https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/test There are nine types and you can develop the characteristics in each of your characters to create conflict in their styles.
Astrology, or the use of the thirteen zodiac signs can also be a fun way to develop conflict in their characters and their goals. Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Ophiuchus (Nov 29 – Dec 17) and Sagittarius. Ophiuchus is a new one. Who knew?


The constellation Ophiuchus represents a man wrestling a serpent, dividing the snake’s body in two parts.  It is the only sign of the zodiac linked to real men, sharing traits with Imhotep, a 27th century BCE Egyptian doctor, and biblical Joseph. Like Imhotep, Ophiuchus is considered a healer of men and a doctor of medicine or science. He seeks higher education and enlightenment. He is expected to achieve a high position in life. Like Joseph, he is an interpreter of dreams and vivid premonitions. He is envied by his peers and favored by his father and authority figures.

And there’s also the Chinese zodiac. Lots of choices to individualize your characters and bring internal and external conflict.
What do you use for developing you characters?

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