Here’s my confession: I’m a complete people nerd. I highly enjoy studying and learning about individuals, groups, mindsets, worldviews, cultures, and everything else that makes up the human race. One of the main reasons I got into writing was the opportunity to make more friends (literally, haha) and try out different scenarios to see how people can get along with each other (or not. Often not. Conflict is story, after all).
As part of this, one of my favorite methods for characterization is the Meyers-Briggs Typology Indicator (MBTI). This personality test divides people into one of sixteen possible types according to cognitive processing types. In other words, it categorizes people according to how they take in and process about the world around them, rather than just “introverted” or “extroverted.” [...]
So I’m still recovering from an awesome time at the Realm Makers 2016 conference. I have a ton of things to catch up on and to share, but in the meantime, I’m featured on Ralene Burke’s blog as a guest author, so go ahead and check it out! Includes some never-before-seen info, including:
Why I’m so passionate about character creation (to the tune of 37)
What would happen if I had to write in pre-internet days (answer: parrots would be involved) [...]
My husband hosted an incubator of chicks in his classroom this past spring. Every day, the students faithfully checked on them. One epic day, they hatched!
Since the 4H gave him a mixture of eggs, most of the chicks were yellow, and a handful were black or greyish and speckled.
When it came time for the students to take the chicks home, guess which ones a lot of them wanted?
That’s right. The black or greyish speckled ones. Especially the chick that my husband had named Ngogo. By the way, this word means ‘fish’ in Swahili. A chick named fish. I challenge you to write a story on that. [...]
I love asking questions. Awkward, weird, wonderful questions that get to the heart of people. It’s one of my favorite parts of getting to know someone. And while the following questions are perhaps a little too personal for general consumption, they are great for grilling protagonists (and other characters) and making them ‘fess up their guts. The thing to remember is that it’s not only what the character answers, but how they answer. A refusal to answer can be equally revealing. The trick is not letting the protagonist off the hook with a one or two word answer–hence, I’ve added bullet points after each question giving additional probes. Get ready to have some character fun! [...]
I want nicer character faults. Y’know, the kind that actually help people? Solid, pretty faults that sound great at job interviews.
Like “I can’t help but tip the waitress 30%.”
Or maybe “I really love grading. I just can’t help going over every test three times.”
Or how about, “I am so excited about cleaning the narsty scum beneath cabinets. It’s a terrible fault, I know…”
Are you feeling it? Me either. Unfortunately, my faults fall along the lines of impatient. Unfeeling Closed off. Things that definitely slant negative, and definitely don’t flatter me. [...]