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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

“You need psychological help!”

I’m not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion in my life I’ve been to a therapist. These wonderful men and women have helped me recognize my thinking errors and change my perspective.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take your emotionally broken characters to the therapist—sit them on the couch and get them some serious professional help?

Ya! You can! Jeannie Campbell’s blog The Character Therapist lets you do just that. Jeannie is a REAL therapist by day and also an author.

Yesterday she had one of my characters on the couch (read about Taggert here), and I learned a lot. I have to say that even just filling out the answers to her questions about him really helped me flesh him out. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. What is the most important childhood event that still affects you today and why?
  2. What is your soft spot or biggest vulnerability? Why? Do others know this or is it a secret?
  3. What is your greatest fear?
  4. What would your best friend say is your fatal flaw? Why?
  5. What would the same friend say is your one redeeming quality? Why?

Try and answer these questions for your characters or make an appointment with Jeannie. All the cool kids are doing it :)

-Angie

15 comments:

Tara Tyler said...

i thought you were talking to me!
i like my crazy characters =)

E.R. King said...

I love this idea! I psychoanalyze my characters a lot. Why do they do what they do? plagues me every time they act in a way I can't relate to, which is funny, seeing how I created them. While I was reading through my MS the other day, I suddenly saw one of my MC's in a completely different way. This is the part of writing that's a blast. Before us our characters didn't exist, but now they're real, breathing in the pages of our books. That's a writer's high I get a lot of mileage out of!

Sara Bulla said...

Awesome! I'm putting Claudius on the couch...hmmmmm. :)

Angie Cothran said...

Tara - LOL!!! The crazy ones are the best.

Emily - Writers high--you nailed it!

Sara - Claudius needs institutionalized!

Abby said...

Oh my gosh - that is such a fun idea! Brilliant really. I can't wait to go check out Taggert on her couch. I will have to do this. So cool and it would be so helpful!

raelynbarclay said...

I love the Character Therapist blog. I'll have to give going through the questions a try :)

K.V. Briar said...

Awesome idea and thanks for introducing me to Jeannie's blog!! Taggart sounds like a facinating character :)

Kim said...

Great idea... thanks for the tip, Angie :)

Angie Cothran said...

Abby - It is brilliant :)

Raelyn - The questions are amazing. They really make you dig.

K.V. - Taggert sure thinks he's fascinating.

Kim - Your Welcome :)

julie fedderson said...

Ah! I love these! It's so important for a character to have a goal and motivation, inner fears. I always find it easier to make a character 3-dimensional when you've defined their issues up front.

Heather Justesen said...

I love these questions. It's amazing how much better you understand a character after asking them these kinds of questions. I've also started writing journal entries from the character's point of view, in their own voice. I've learned some amazing things I never expected this way.

Angie Cothran said...

Julie - You're right. Issues are the key :)

Heather - Journal entries that sounds like a great idea--and A LOT of work.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I've popped into her blog a couple of times but should probably give my characters a real internal scrub-down. Come here Claudio.....

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Can I just say that I LOVE that you don't Captcha anymore! I thought I had gotten rid of Captcha when I started blogging only to learn that it was still there last week. Does it still Captcha on my blog because I thought I got rid of it.

Angie Cothran said...

Shelly - "Internal scrub-down" sounds painful. And YA for the death of the Captcha! Your blog is Captcha free.

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