Cracking open the head of a character is one of the most rewarding parts of the writing experience. I grew up in a house full of psychiatrists and metaphysical discussions, so for me, analyzing a character’s agency, thought processes, and darker tendencies is cathartic and helps me push my worlds into more believable territory. If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know that I profess to write “primarily character-driven fantasy”, which is to say, the plots of a lot of my stories are fairly linear, until I throw the mish-mash of personalities in there to jumble everything up.
One of my favorite finds of last year, to help me think beyond the limitations of my own mind (that is, I think that most writers are limited to building the types of personalities that have been exposed to, either in real-life, or some sort of fictional medium), is the Periodic Table of Storytelling (now interactive!) If you haven’t been exposed to this wonderful infographic before, prepare yourself!
Do you have a tendency to use a handful of personalities in each of your projects, with the only major difference between them being artificial (age, appearance, region)? If so, what do you think draws you to those character types?