© November 2010 by Fabienne Lopez
Your story plot calls for a character that is intellectual, unconventional, constantly in their head, a little bit like a distracted scientist. You have tried different tactics to get under his skin, but somehow your “perfect” character is not living and breathing in the pages of your story. So what do you do?
Most writing coaches would advise you to resort to unusual tactics. Using astrology to profile your intellectual character would certainly fit the bill.
The orator, the brainy kid, the communicator, the rational guy that think things through in your story, all of them pertain to the Air element.
Let’s examine this element and how it can help you flesh out a credible character for your story.
The Air Element: Concept and Keywords
Some keywords that describes this element and consequently the Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are:
- analytical, curious, thinking, intellectual, social, detached
- communicative, logical, objective, rational;
- co-operative, inventive, alert, sociable, balanced judgment;
- superficial, intuitive, hyperactive, aloof, scattered;
- calm, charming, chatty, cold, eccentric, friendly;
- harsh, haughty, highly-strung;
- imaginative, impractical, inventive, idealistic;
- lacking direction, lively, logical, mentally active, planning;
- resourceful, sarcastic, self-opinionated, talented, unfeeling;
- curious, unemotional, animated, uninvolved, devoid of feeling;
- very sensitive, needs to communicate, impersonal, distant;
- theoretical, abstract, needs to socialize, needs to share ideas.
This list of keywords can serve as a starting point when you need to know what motivates your airy character. It also provide enough information to get a good feel on how to develop your character (personality, mannerisms, interests and attitudes) using this element.
The Air Element Characters’ Positive Traits and Attributes
An Air character would exhibit the following personality traits:
- A character who is a smart thinker and handles abstract reasoning well, always analyzing, synthesizing and probing.
- The character in the story plot who can solve a dilemma.
- Someone who is inventive and clever, capable of seeing all sides of the equation and glean the best approach to the problem.
- A communicator who likes to ponder out loud about weighty matters.
- A character that is alert, curious and perceptive.
- A character that can truly wear another’s shoes, as it were.
- A character that is guided by the desire of making the world a better place. Their idealism is their most charming quality
- This character is truly cooperative, fair minded and with no prejudice.
- Someone who rarely make foolish mistakes.
- People-oriented, but more inclined toward the group than the individual.
- A life-long student with many varied interests.
The Air Element Characters’ Negative Traits and Attributes
Let’s now have a quick look at the downside qualities of our Air character that could be used to give more depth to our hero:
- He can live in his head and lose touch with reality with unrealistic goals and flights of fancy
- He can be an impractical dreamer, constantly thinking, but not always following through as well as others.
- He appears impersonal, detached.
- He is very social with many friends and acquaintance from all walks of life, but the associations are not deep, or lasting.
As a writer, the more you understand each of the 4 elements the better your characters will drive your story, the better you will know them intimately – their likes/dislikes; physical description, past, present, dreams of the future, what motivates them etc.
I would love to hear from you. What did you discover by using the Air element method to create the characters in your story?
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Photos Credits: Flickr Creative Commons