Characters on the Couch

I’m taking a bit of a detour today to talk about another aspect of my art that I don’t talk about as much as I’d like on this blog – characters.  You might have seen a few of my muses here and there in my art, but never quite gotten to know them, as they’re all on the sidelines while I sort out the Artist part of my career instead of the Writer.  Eventually, I want to bring characters to the forefront of my art AND writing and that is where the savvy Jeannie Campbell comes in!

Aurora Adonai, one of my
first muses.

Any writer will tell you that research is key to writing convincing, engaging scenes and never is that research more important than when you’re working with characters with psychological disorders.  We can make as many guesses as we like about the textbook definition of a psychological disorder and its effects, but this can come off as stiff, as if we’re recalling a grocery list of symptoms when we write.  That is where Jeannie comes in.  As a licensed marriage and family therapist, she has opened her couch to the analysis of our fictional brainchildren.

Last year, Jeannie did an analysis for Aurora, my unstable Elvish hitwoman.  Her analysis opened my eyes to the possibilities with this character, not only for what she is capable of, but how best to balance the darkness of her past with that element of humanity that would keep her sane and also grounded as a character.  For Aurora’s full analysis, you can read on here.

With so many characters chilling in the backstage of my brain, I plan to use Jeannie again in the future.  For that purpose, I’ll be visiting her newly opened website – The Character Therapist!

Jeannie Campbell, The Character Therapist by Elizabeth Mueller

She offers brief assessments of characters for free or a detailed assessment at $14.99.  If you sign up for her newsletter, you can get a copy of her ebook “Writer’s Guide to Character Motivation”, a handy 28 page guide to help you build your characters from the ground up.

For those of you pondering characters, I recommend giving Jeannie a shout!  Meanwhile, I’ll continue plotting ways to send more imaginary folks to fill up her proverbial waiting room.

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