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             30 October, 2020

Category:  Articles » Writing & Speaking » Writing


Fiction Writing - Character Creation - Astrology and Enneagram

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2009-12-09 23:40:40     
Article by Jaxine Daniels

The best part of writing fiction, for me, is creating characters. Two of the tools that I regularly use to create great characters are astrology and the enneagram.

The Enneagram is made up of nine core personality types. Each type has it's own distinct characteristics but also takes on characteristics of those on either side of it. The types are: Perfectionist, Helper, Achiever, Romantic, Observer, Questioner, Adventurer, Asserter and Peacemaker. Each profile will give you how that type reacts to certain situations, tendencies and things they would never do. I love this last one and often spend time thinking about what could possibly make my character do something that he would "never do."

Two quick and easy resources for Enneagram are: The Enneagram Made Easy and Are You My Type, Am I Yours? Both by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele. Of course there are also many references online.

Another option is to work up a profile based on your character's astrological sign. A Scorpio will act and react completely differently than a Capricorn. With my PJ series, I went so far as to give each person a birth date, time and location. Then, I went online and plugged those facts in to get a free astrological chart for each character. Did I use all that I got? Not by a long shot. But it did give me some great ideas for conflict.

One of my favorite books on Astrology is: The Complete Book of Astrology by Caitlin Johnstone. Mind you, I am not even attempting to be an expert on astrology. I am simply using the tool to create characters.

Another resource for building characters is the classic archetypes that go back even to Greek mythology. Two super resources for this: 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt (Am I the only one who always thinks of Lethal Weapon when I hear the name Victoria Lynn? - sorry, I digress) and The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders.

Disclaimer: You don't have to believe in any of this stuff to use it for character building.

Final thoughts: have fun building characters. It's one of the best parts about writing fiction. Get to know your characters. You'll find that they become great friends. I have one character that has a major aversion to Peeps. So every Spring, when the yellow marshmallow birdies hit the shelves, I always smile and think of Nic.

Specialized in: Fiction Writing - Character Creation - Astrology - Enneagram
URL: http://jaxinedaniels.com
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