how to write characters

Use numerology to define fictional character traits. Learn more at
Use numerology to define fictional character traits. Learn more at

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,


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

*#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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Birth Order

Birth Order

How birth order affects your characters

We all know the cliches of the spoiled baby of the family or the tyrant older sister.  Why not use this information to drive your characters through your story?

In “Birth Order, Adding Depth to the Characters You Write,” I examine the strengths and flaws of each child of a family’s hierarchy (now grown for your plotting purposes). If you’ve wondered why your hero is a leader, a clown or a negotiator, the answer might be in where his birth order lies.

The last section looks at the romantic relationships between the different birth orders.  Do you want your hero and heroine to clash?  Make them both first-borns.  If your heroine has older brothers, how does her status affect her relationship with the hero, who is the youngest of his clan?

A truncated version of this information was presented as a workshop to my writing group, Grand Rapids Region Writers Group.

Happy writing!




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