creating characters

How to write a villain. What role does he play? He is your antagonist, your protagonist's main threat to reaching her goals. He stands in her way, creates conflicts, and forces her to make tough choices.

Character Development – How to write a Villain

Today’s post looks deep into the skill of how to write a villain.

Your story contains many elements that are critical: a main character, a plot, settings, etc. One of the most important is the villain or the antagonist. He adds depth and flavor to your story, more so than any other secondary character.

Who is your villain? Your villain is your antagonist, your protagonist’s main threat to reaching her goals. He stands in her way, creates conflicts, and forces her to make tough choices that tests her and ultimately makes her stronger.Click To Tweet

Let’s dig deep into how to write a villain.

Continue reading Character Development – How to write a Villain

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Whatever your character's occupation, you can bet his birth order had an effect on his personality and career choice.

#ThrowbackThursday

This blog about birth order appeared (with slight changes) on February 13, 2012.

Birth Order

Or

Why Your Characters Behave The Way They Do

Does your hero run a large corporation? Is he a mover and shaker in the business world? Or is he in a creative field such as advertising or entertainment? Does he negotiate well? Speak first and regret it afterward? Maybe he’s the life of every party.

Whatever his occupation, you can bet his birth order had an effect on his personality and career choice. First born children generally share characteristics, as do last borns and middle borns. Not all attributes apply to each birth order, but on average studies have shown them to be more true than not.

Today, we’ll discuss the peculiarities of the first born and the middle child. Next week, we’ll look at the youngest, only child and twins as well as the variables that can affect their behavior.

Birth order. Whatever your character's occupation, you can bet his birth order had an effect on his personality and career choice.

 

First Born Children

First Born children usually have the most attention directed at him/her, even before birth, because the pregnancy was a BIG DEAL. More likely than not, multiple generations pin their hopes and dreams on them and pressure them to perform from day one.

They are their parents’ “guinea pig”, and their parents often overdo and overprotect their first born child. The first born child grows up faster. Parents hand them responsibility early.

Some common characteristics:

Perfectionist Reliable List maker Organized Critical
Goal oriented Prompt Scholarly In control Well groomed
Motivated to achieve success Believes in law and order No gray areas Likes structure Logical
Critical Energetic Ambitious Enterprising Serious

 

Professions – A higher percentage of first borns are in science, medicine, law, accounting, architecture, engineers, computers, and reporters (except on air).

He gets things done and has confidence in being taken seriously by others.

21 of the first 23 astronauts were first born children.

2/3 of entrepreneurs are first born children.

Strengths Weaknesses
High confidence level, taken seriously, strong concentration, confident, feels supported and that they will be respected for what they do A fear of being dethroned, overachiever, strong-willed, feel as though they’re never good enough, selfish, critical

 

Two typical types

First born children come in two typical types – compliant/willing to please and assertive/strong willed.

The compliant first born grows up as a pleaser of others. Since childhood, he was the one responsible to get things done. His parents depended on him, and it was his solemn duty to not let them down.

Common characteristics of the compliant first born:

Reliable Good student Pleaser Nurturer Strong need for approval
Won’t complain Team player Conscientious Cooperative “Grin & bear it” mentality

 

The second type is the assertive, strong willed type. They are the pace-setters and trend-setters. They have high expectations, not only of themselves, but everyone else.

Common characteristics of the assertive first born:

Assertive Strong-willed Precise Insistent High achiever
Driven Perfectionist In control Want things their way Conventional

 

Famous first borns:

Oprah, Charlton Heston, Rush Limbaugh

 

 

Middle Children

Middle childrens’ attitude and lifestyle plays off that of the firstborn child. Generally, their personalities are the opposite of their older sibling. If he senses he can compete, he will. If the older child is stronger or smarter, the second may go off in another direction.

Middle borns may feel like a fifth wheel. They go outside of their family to create a “family” with friends.Middles are the most secretive of all birth orders, because they feel the world isn’t paying attention and chose not to confide their plans.

They are the last to seek professional help because they consider themselves mentally tough and independent.

Others consider them the most monogamous, and they have a strong commitment to make the marriage work.

Professions include sales, art, advertising, a career that involves negotiating or being level headed and unbiased.

They are tenacious because they’re used to life being unfair.

Middle children characteristics include:

Strengths Weaknesses
Peacemakers, unspoiled, realistic, imaginative, loyal, mediator, independent, flexible, diplomatic Hates confrontation, stubborn, suspicious, rebellious, “family” is friends, difficulty setting boundaries

 

Like first borns, they come in two types.

Type 1:

Loner Quiet, shy Impatient Uptight Fights for respect

 

Type 2:

Outgoing Friendly Loud Laid back Patient

 

Famous middle children are Donald Trump, Tim Allen, Julia Roberts, Richard Nixon, David Letterman

Birth Order: Resources

The Birth Order Book, Why You Are The Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman

The Ultimate Personality Guide by Jennifer Freed and Debra Birnbaum

http://www.birthorderplus.com/

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/birtho.htm

 

If you’d like to read my blog posts on birth order, I’ve compiled them in a book on Amazon.

Amazon Birth Order is a compilation of previous blog posts.

Part 2 will re-post for next week’s #ThrowbackThursday.

Blessings,

Cheryl

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Use numerology to define fictional character traits. Learn more at www.cherylsterlingbooks.com
Use numerology to define fictional character traits. Learn more at www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

Use numerology to create characters

 

In today’s AtoZChallenge, the letter “N” is for Numerology

Today, we continue exploring character development, using Numerology as our base.

Numerology traces its origins to the ancient Greece mathematician, Pythagoras, one of the founders of geometry (Yuck!). He discovered the relationship between mind and energy and the almost uncanny match of personality traits based on one’s birth date.

In recent times, author Dan Millman’s book, The Life You Were Born to Live, has renewed the study of numerology.

A quick overview of each life path number

  1. Creative, confidence, self-motivated
  2. cooperation, balance, peacemakers
  3. expressive, sensitive, optimistic
  4. stable, practical, hardworking
  5. freedom, discipline, adventurous
  6. acceptance, nurturing, compassionate
  7. trusting, intuitive, pessimistic
  8. ambitious, goal-oriented, blunt
  9. humanitarian, compassionate, generous

How can I use numerology to define my character’s personality?

First, start with their birthday. I know, fictional characters don’t usually have birthdays. Look at your era, at astrological signs, and at numerology traits to determine a date.

Let me give you an example. Annie Faraday, the main character in the book I’ll write later this year (it’s a WWII story), was born on January 20, 1920. Adding her birth date together 0+1+2+0+1+9+2+0, we arrive at 15. Taking this one step further, add 1+5 to arrive at Annie’s life path number of 6. We express this as 15/6, as the “1” and “5” are minor influencers.

Turning to Mr. Millman’s book, we see the characteristics of a “6” personality are:

  • Nurturing
  • Symathetic
  • Compassionate
  • Loyal
  • Protective

“6’s” are often called caretakers.

Each characteristic has a negative side to it. “6’s” can become anxious, suspicious, jealous or unstable.

The “1” minor influence in Annie’s numbers gives her focus, strong-will, courage, and possibly makes her stubborn and selfish.

The “5” minor influence can make her adventurous, flexible, social, or unstable and careless.

As you can see, Annie can be a complex character, but isn’t that what you want for the characters you write?

And remember, not all “6” are alike, as not all Geminis are alike. There is no monopoly on a trait.

Writing characters is a complex task

Many factors should be taken into consideration when creating a character. Take me, for example.

  • Astrology (I’m a Leo, bossy and confident).
  • I’m also the first born (responsible, driven, confident).
  • I’m a 31/4 (imaginative and optimistic from the “3”, independent and stongwilled from the “1”, and the “4 life path number is characteristic of a step-by-step approach. “4’s” are often called the builder.)
  • On the Myers-Briggs test, I come out as either an INTJ (imaginative and strategic thinkers) or an ENTJ, (bold, imaginative and strong-willed leaders). My classification depends on how introverted (I) or extroverted (E) I’m feeling when I take the test.

Numerology can create friction between your characters

People with a life path number of 4 are hard working,

People with the lifepath number of 2 are practical and sensitive. They are often called The Balancer.I’m a “4”. The builder. Step-by-step. Start at A and end at Z.

My husband is a “2”. The balancer. Considers all contingencies before making a decision.

I want to start. He wants to know if the possibility of rain will influence the decision. Or a full moon. Or if it’s a Tuesday.

Life has been easier once I discovered his vacillation is the perfect character trait of a “2”. He can’t help himself.

I found this chart online that will tell you the compatibility of people with two different life numbers. I’ll be using it in the future.

Numerology is one way to create your fictional characters. What method do you use?

Tomorrow’s #AtoZChallenge* will focus on the letter “O”.

Blessings until then,

Cheryl

If you’d like to continue reading my entries in the AtoZChallenge* and to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would enjoy learning more about Numerology, use the buttons on the left to share this post.

For an in-depth reading, check with Tricia at http://www.triciasenergygarden.com

*#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.

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