Defining the Character Types In a Story

What is somebody’s disposition, and how does it change?

I was having a conversation last night with a fellow writer, and in walks his roommate. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t know we were working on becoming co-writers of a book. Additionally I failed to communicate properly, which if you read my blog you know that I’m a bit socially retarded, so it wasn’t a surprise.

We were discussing how to judge people properly, and that pride with greed go together depending on personality types. The judgement angle might have been what turned him around, but I didn’t know so I tried my best to help him understand where I was coming from by saying, “I like you, but if I was going to write you into a book, I’d judge you with my best attempt at objectivity.”

Maybe he didn’t like the idea of being the object of my judgement, as I started in on his lifestyle and what I could look at to define him. I probably should have let him debate the idea of becoming a character in a book, before launching into verbally writing it in a brainstorm, and I felt bad that he left in a hurry seeking water.

This moment was a beautiful example of why I love this place to write. People here enjoy the peace of mind found in sharing perceptions that build each other up, and I found that same feeling when I shared with my co-author. He’s a blogger too, which probably helps him receive constructive criticism, and we laughed together about this, which to me solidified our collective effort to define personalities.

My first attempt to formally develop character types for fiction:

From role-playing games when I was a kid, I remember the process of developing a character to play. We’d roll a ten-sided-die twice and choose from a scale of dispositions:

Diabolical(100-81), Aberrant(80-61), Anarchist(60-41), Scrupulous(40-21), and Altruist(20-0)

The scale was an interesting way to approach personality, and I found that the higher or lower you picked, the less flexibility of choice you had to get “playing in character bonuses”. My favorite “experience points” to earn(this is how you gained character strength), were called “deductive reasoning and or insight”. This is why I love to put question marks where they don’t belong?

The funny thing to me about intelligence, is that it fits into this paradigm for me. In my experience the smartest and least intelligent experiences I’ve had, shrink my options towards contentment. The closer I get to accepting I’m not better or worse, the happier I am.

Editing this now for the sake of grace(I am talking about judgement here, so please take a deep breath and recognize that to me it’s synonymous with definition, and I prefer the thesaurus), I’m realizing that maybe this is why my philosophical approach to imagination is getting me into trouble with people’s comfort zones.

Maybe most people want a clearly defined sentence. They want to know, and are not comfortable with a question mark on identity, because it might imply an unreliable narrator? Is this why I’m pursuing the goal of promoting imagination in education?  Is teaching and learning how to think more important to me, than finding the answers?  In my experience learning how to judge myself more gracefully, builds my self-esteem, mental health,  and confidence.

From an oblique spiritual perspective(non-religious/scientific/creative) I would say that the scale fits gradients of selfishness, as the lowest numbers would be most generous. Pride and shame would be higher while humble would be lower. Hate would be high, while love and compassion would be lower. Nihilism would be highest followed by Materialism, Pragmatism, Utilitarianism, and finally Spiritualism?

Since this is all theory, let’s put it to a test. I’m seeking to help another writer and myself, which would imply a combination of selfish and generous within the gospel of Pragmatism and Utilitarianism, as a teacher/student. I’m concerned that sharing these perceptions with pride wouldn’t help my creative juices, so I’m doing my best to remain objective and humble, as identity is part of well-being, and I hope to maintain my spiritual health. How can I remain objective? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. There. I feel better.

Since I’m talking about character class, I’ve worked myself up to socioeconomic status. What does money do for me? It gives me power in materialism, and allows me to get what I want in selfish ways easier. At the same time it allows me to be generous, so its a matter of choice.  What does lack of money do for me? It makes me wish I was a saint. Most of us are somewhere in between having no money, and having too much.

Since books and life in general consistently have heroes vs villains, and most people compare themselves to these polarized opposites when they question identity, I better address it for the sake of character type definition. It comes down to personal perceptions of good vs evil.

The things that I consistently battle with in my goals towards imaginative thought, are the cultural constructs around perceptions of work and play. Is working in your mind as valuable as working with your body? If what you produce is immaterial like this article, is it justifiable as work? If I love doing it and see it as play, can it still be work in your mind?  If I don’t make money at it, will you call me a professional volunteer, a fool, crazy, or eccentric?

Buckminister Fuller helps me feel good about this dilemma with an idea I love to share:
“I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing–a noun. I seem to be a verb.” On that note his quote about work brought me happiness the other day, when I was doubting my goals and identity as a blogger and scholar:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

Since character development is such an important part of plot, think of this blog as my dream of how I can have a happy ending.  Each article is a moment in my process as a Student/Teacher/Blogger/Artist/Builder/Executive Director, and Friend who loves to write.  With each letter I type, and each thought I share, my understanding of this art grows.  I might get knocked down by a rule, and your encouragement helps me get back up, and attempt to figure out why.

Toys are tools, and work is play.  This is an instrument that does both.  If you are reading for the first time on this blog, welcome to the definition of myself that will never change:  I am in flux and content to ask questions for the sake of TATWIP goals.  If you have questions or answers, feel free to give me some of your thoughts below.  Thanks for reading.


The Stamp On My Sixteenth Year

Bulldozer tracks in mud.

Deep in your belly a thud.

Dried cracking dying earth.

Slayed mirth.

It’s the only poem I’ve written that I remember by heart.  Its taken me to the top of the mountains, and the bottom of the jail cells.  It sank in, won’t be stripped away, and burnt a purpose across my soul.

You wonder why I drop my phones, ditch my cars, and fade into the forest.  You ask if I’m thinking straight, doubt that I care, and wish I’d stuck around.

Blame the poem of my sixteenth year, as it wrote into me, what it was, to be free.

While I do not regret what it does, I wrote this in the hope of a new poem, that you can meet in the burn behind my eyes.

What will your last words be?

When the media comes calling, and you’ve got a chance to create a sound bite, what will it be? I was taught that the answer should be the same to every question regardless of relevance. What is it that you want to say, because whatever you do, that will be all that’s printed.

My glasses aren’t rose-colored, in fact at times they’re black and covered in dust. I see injustice when I care to look, and the only times I stop caring to, is when the collective voice chants,”No!”.

The mob is full of anger chanting a frustration to the world, and I don’t want to be swept up in a moment of passion built on hate. Grassroots movements don’t require a devil to fight, or a bully to whip.

If you’re an activist and are dedicated to changing the world, what do you want to see built? What is the thing you fight for, and are you focusing on that or the thing you wish to destroy?

This idea came to me out of frustration from not being able to answer Peoples inquiries after I burnt out. They wanted to know what I was doing with my time, and I didn’t have an answer that would fit into how they saw me.

For years I’d chosen to be the change I wished to see in the world, by eating vegan, only riding on bicycles, and participating in demonstrations. I carried signs, pamphlet-ted, raised money, sat in meetings, played parts in guerrilla theaters, blockaded roads, went to jail repeatedly, talked to reporters, wrote press releases, and a variety of other volunteer efforts for the sake of the movement.

Like I said, my glasses aren’t rose-colored, in fact at times they lie smashed on the ground at my feet, with each shard representing something I failed to help, or something I did. As the population of our world grows, the problems we face grow too. If you want to contribute to a cause, pick one. What’s the flavor of your hate? Really?!?

I’m writing this article to remind myself to demonstrate the difference between demonstration and protest. The media has a heyday ruining protests. Who wants to see a crowd of angry people on the corner shouting doubts? I don’t. It makes me feel sick.

There are always two sides to a coin, and in my experience, the one that fits me best is the struggle within myself to be honorable as the coin. What is the soapbox you stand on? I had a guy criticize me recently and tell me that I didn’t need a doctorate, and I should use less wordplay. Huh. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I should put up, shut up, and give up.

So what works? What part of acting for the collective health of our world will I be willing to chant as my last words? When the chips are down, and I leave a legacy as a message on my tombstone, what will it be? I don’t want a tombstone, so where will my ashes go? If I disappear in the night, will people miss my laughter or be glad for the respite from my rages?

I love it when a group of people work together to change something. A team on the playing field of life setting out to win. The other team might be playing against you, but at least the game can be fun. Maybe the umpire is corrupt. So what? Wouldn’t it feel better if you won while the ref was cheating?

I hope this inspires me to be more critical of my posts, to take out the judgements, the generalizations, and the doubts. To preserve what I believe in, instead of chanting down a system that brings me frustrations by failing to meet the needs of the underdogs.

The ability to make life ends with a period, while the ability to potentially make life starts with a period. I believe in the ability of the question mark to change the world, do you? What is the change you wish to see? Do you hope for something? When you see something on the street, do you ask yourself a question about it, or make a preformed judgement to chant out doubts, and in the process miss what life is about?

Thanks for reading my articles. I love what gratitude does for my spirit, and when you give me a reason to appreciate what you do, you make it in me.

Put some of this in your pipe

I’ve had strangers tell me they wanted to have some of whatever I was smoking.  The smile on their face told me it wasn’t fake, as they weren’t biting the flesh on my back in resentment of my happiness, and trying to dim my shine.  They had seen the strength of my attitude blazing with gratitude, and contagion had set in.  They wanted some, and I had it to share.

This gal reminded me of that foreign feeling where weird meets fun and acceptance, by a stranger.  It didn’t come with doubt, worry, or fading purpose, it rode in on a white horse with tail afire.  The dust it left behind by stomping across my brain, was this post.  Good luck with Facebook gal although it looks like you’re doing great

If you look carefully at the tree growth in the middle, you'll see that the foliage isn't the same.  I discovered this while trying to get through it.  Being seventy feet up in the tree, I thought the climbing would get easier and was surprised to find it impenetrably odd.

If you look carefully at the tree growth in the middle, you’ll see that the foliage isn’t the same. I discovered this while trying to get through it. Being seventy feet up in the tree, I thought the climbing would get easier as the limbs would be closer together.  I was surprised to find it impenetrable as the unified limbs had grown into a mass of twisted growth.  It became my favorite tree in the park that day, as a place I could not go, but still wished I had in a beautiful failure.  I could go up there with a saw and make a path through the branches, but I prefer to point it out to others in the park, because the moment of rejection was what brought me to love the tree. 




with WordPress, so you might not need it.

Building Blocks to Preserve Friendships

Since my experiences in managing and owning businesses have consistently agreed with the notion to not mix business and friendship, is it a good plan to start a non-profit with my friends?

As an Executive Director in Training, I can only hope that a link to this article can be a block to build and preserve, the relationships that I hold dear. From the onset of the organizing stage(which is now), I’m planning how to distribute power effectively, so my fellow workers will enjoy contributing, to fulfill the mission.

The board will act as a body of accountability, keeping me from becoming a fascist dictator, but how can I behave as an equal from the beginning? I’m not sure I can, or should. Is the world an equal place? Do I believe in equality? I believe in preserving the rights of individuals to pursue equality, but not in the idea that it will ever exist.

I have talents and skills that I’ve spent my whole life building. I cannot pretend to be less than I am, so others will feel good. No matter how humble I become, there will always be people who envy me, and wish to spite me out of the unequal options that I have earned, been given, or stopped sharing with them, because they are greedy.

Should I break all of the relationships from my birth, in the interest of starting with a clean slate of privilege, just to earn a less fortunate persons respect? How do I respond to people who are stuck in what they don’t have, and want to shame me for what I do?

I grow weary of friends judgements of me, because I’m lucky enough to have a family that is supportive. Am I generous enough? How does that look? I had a close friend tell me in frustration, that the only reason I ask these questions, is because I’m lucky enough to be able to. Maybe he’s right in calling it “Privileged Guilt”, but then again, has he ever talked to a monk, because I see it as a matter of perception.

In pursuing my dream of TATWIP, and the idea of a shared workspace/volunteer/mentor-ship lifestyle, I’m coming to terms with the idea that it’s okay to build my power. I’ve spent years dismantling it by helping other people, and that has brought me cold nights alone, and a physical weight that reflects my frustrations, for an economy that stomps on people.

I don’t want to be responsible for other people’s tasks, but as a dedicated dreamer, I find that the only way to accomplish them, is to develop a talent for inspiring others, to share in the fruits of my dreams. I will do this by building my power up, and then stripping it from my shoulders when the dream comes to fruition. Stripping it from my shoulders is a visualization they should understand, as who likes a boss? I don’t like being called a boss, do you?

How does this sound to you? I’m broke now, but I don’t have to be. I could be rich if I wanted to, but I’m not motivated by money. My motivation comes from the questions I ask here. Is that guilt? Hoping to preserve my passion to manifest visions, is the only thing that I can hold onto. Does that sound like doubting myself because of your misfortunes?

I know what it feels like to sleep fitfully, while shivering on the ground with a growling stomach. Being homeless can be fun if you choose it. I have lot’s of homeless friends, and others in low places, that bring me happiness.

It’s a matter of hope to me. I know that if I need anything in my life, some of the people who I’ve given my love to, will provide it in the way that they can. Poor people feed me, and are happy to do it, when I’m hungry. Rich people have fun partying with me, fulfilling my need to let loose, when I’m jolly.

The doubts of this article have plagued me, ever since people started telling me I was more lucky than them. I’m Irish, I can’t help that I win games, with an obscene average of balls falling in the hole by accident!!

I’ve been weary of the perception of being better off than others, for too long. It makes me sick to be alive, and I can only write this in the hope that my motivations, can survive the guilt trips in the future, with less impact on my time and energy.

“They harbor a secret hatred, for the prettiest girl in the room.”

Are you harboring a resentment of my privilege and power? Do you want some of mine? I’ve got lot’s to give. I just gave you some here. It’s the power of being humble, while aspiring to excellence.

I’m a teacher, and don’t make any money at it. Does this stop me from doing it? No. Do you love money? I don’t think you do. I think you love what money can do. Do you love what money can do for you more, or what it can do for others that you care about?

Welcome to my reality friend. I’ll be building my power back up, as I’m single and ready to change that again, while planning to get you laid too.

I’ve had enough satisfying love in my life, and seen enough misery painted on other people’s love life, to know that hooking you up with somebody I know, could potentially be more fun and easier, than falling in love again for me.

It’s always been a tricky thing for me to navigate the halls of power, while wanting to share it. Reading about what women are attracted to, gave me insight into why I feel this way. I think it was a wiki how, or something of that nature, but it’s the reason why I’m an Executive Director in training: My potential to fulfill all of the requirements of that attraction, makes it my biggest vulnerability.

For example, I was given social power from birth. My parents are “upstanding middle class” citizens, that other people might consider “upper middle class”. With my childhood came the training of answering a telephone acceptably as, “Hello, this is Benjamin, may I ask who’s calling please?” With that one sentence nailed, I’ve got a happy middle class career started, as a receptionist.

Should I be a receptionist then? Will you accept me as your Director? Do you think I have anything to teach you? Do you think I am humble enough, to accept that I’m potentially your best student, as I admire your talents for skills I don’t have?

I’ve gained ten pounds, and the pink of my skin is starting to turn into a tan, because I’ve managed to humble myself enough to process the shame, of asking for a place to stay with a full refrigerator.

I’m sitting on a patio in the sun, looking at a swimming pool, and doing my best to relax for the sake of my recovery, from failing in my ambitions again. From a year of street wisdom survival, sleeping in the same place only twice and moving on, I’ve managed to stay put for a month.

Gaining ten pounds for you might be easy, but it’s never been easy for me. I’m still ten pounds underweight from where I started three years ago, and it feels good to be building myself back up.

I want more weight in muscle than I ever had. I want to be healthy and strong. I aspire to be awesome, because I’m thankful of the things that make me feel lucky, and it’s the only thing I’ll accept as a goal.

I’m thankful for my family and friends. For the people who put up with my latest trail of tears, while I faced my worst fears. As the pounds bring me back to feeling as weird as I can in a healthy way, and the days turn into harmonic correspondence with people who share common dreams, I’m visualizing what the campaign for my purposes, will look like.

If I wanted to be elected to public office, I wouldn’t have published a slice of what I have. If power dominated my appetite, I would have kept my mouth shut and my head down, while building loads of it controlling other people’s effort. That’s not my dream, and will never be my path to long-term contentment, as an Artist Builder.

I feel blessed in my life, and always have. As far as I’m concerned, my opportunities have always been prevalent, potentially awesome, and particularly lucky.

Watching a video about drive, squashed my doubts as an artist, about how money isn’t my motivator. I don’t need to feel guilty anymore for the blessings I’ve been given, as I’m doing my best to live an ethical life, in the only way I can.

My father taught me how to work hard, and that volunteering for the wealth of my community, is the healthiest purpose I could build. He has a masters in business, but uses it for the greater good, instead of personal riches. I love that about him, and as he does, so do I.

Let’s do it folks. If you want to donate money or time, excellent, as I have tools, toys, titles, and a deed for dedication, and would love to have the dream of TATWIP bear fruit!! If not, that’s cool too, as that list of millionaires I keep mentioning is waiting for a team like ours, to remedy the doubts they haven’t addressed, like I did here.