Creating life-like characters –

31 Mar

If you have a problem with characters in your books, here’s an idea that might be of help to you. Investigate the various astrological signs. Really! Start with your own, of course, as that’s the one with which you should be most familiar. A friend wrote to me last month after the passing of the wonderful actor/writer, etc., Leonard Nimoy, forever known to posterity as Spock, and I recalled that he and I shared the same birthdate, although in different years.

Energy and passion are the words most often associated with Aries. True, and it gets us into trouble more often than not. It brought to mind some other big names I knew from past years, that would not resonate with others as much as Spock did. I have to say I didn’t know he was green! When Star Trek was first broadcast, we didn’t have a TV at all, and I think it was 1976 when we were able to get our first color set. But by that time, I was usually upstairs with my little portable B&W set watching PBS while I was sewing.

At any rate, I was thrilled to learn that basketball star and Hall of Fame-er Wayne Embry was born near Dayton on this same date.  Also, from my years of ushering at Severance Hall I discovered Pierre Boulez, who is a HUGE name in classical music was also born the same day, and turned 90 last week! He was here one year on our birthday, and I ran into him in the hallway. Not on purpose, either! However, I did have a program in my hand, and after I wished him Happy Birthday (in English) I blurted out that it was also my birthday. He returned the greeting in French! (Joyeux Anniversaire!) I asked him if he would autograph my program for me, and he did, a huge smile on his face. It was in French, of course, and so tiny as to be indecipherable, but still . . .

A few famous women who share the date are Sandra Day O’Connor, and Nancy Pelosi. Not to ignore Diana Ross in 1944 (who grew up not too far from where I lived while attending high school). Among the writers are Erica Jong, Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost. It’s a very popular date for determined, creative people!

So then I went looking for who else might have been born on my day. I found these sites, which mostly list the same people, but the first one here is unreal. If you read the paragraphs about Aries people, and you know me, you’ll have to agree they must have had me in mind when writing these descriptions. There’s just no other possibility. These are me. Warts and all.

So, if you need a character who is stubborn, and opinionated and bull-headed, you can’t go wrong by creating an Aries persona. If you study the traits of the various signs, your imagination will have an immense amount of information available to help you create real and diverse characters.

If you’d like to see who else shares your birthday, go to the first of the three links above, and enter your birthday in the search box. Happy searching!

Questions?  Comments?  Send me an e-mail!


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