by Pamela Jaye SmithMYTHWORK
[Based on Pamela's book, Inner Drives: Create Characters Using the 8 Centers of Motivation (chakras) published by Michael Wiese Prods and available at the Writers Store.]
Want to create characters that last forever?
Learn to use the same character-building tools used by myth-makers and story-tellers throughout the ages.
Want your characters to be understood around the world?
Use the global system of character analysis and creation that’s based on how we really are – physically, psychologically, and philosophically. Since every person has the same system, everyone will intuitively recognize your characters if you align them with this system.
One of your biggest challenges is to create characters that sound, look, and act differently one from the other. Learn to use the Inner Drives to create unique, dynamic, believable characters.
The Inner Drives chakra system is a rich resource for character development, character arcs, and building ensembles. Chakras are actual bundles of nerves in our spinal column that control the endocrine glands which release hormones, which affect our feelings and actions – and sometimes vice versa.
Learn to use these Inner Drives and you too can tap into the power of myth for characters in any genre or style. My article in The Writers Store ezine gives an overview of the chakra system and its relevance to media.
In this column we explore the Throat Chakra, home of conscious creativity, art, writing, science, architecture, finance – anything that requires logic and reasoning.
Techies, geeks, STEM programs [science , technology, engineering, math], education reform... there’s a lot of concern and action today around getting the Throat center more active and more accurate, particularly in Americans, whose intellect and abilities have been declining precipitously in recent decades.
Yet we all use so much technology – a physical result of Throat Chakra activity – you’d think more people would actually exhibit intelligence...good luck there.
In these days of the short attention span, dumbed-down media, failing schools, lowered standards of the arts [particularly writing and media-making] are signs of a week Throat Chakra. Yet on the positive side, a strong Throat Centered character has the ability to focus, concentrate, and see things through to completion. They will certainly stand out from among the “ordinary” others.
- Writing & the Arts
On the strong side it produces amazing results via logic and ration. On the weak side you get the absentminded-professor type or the over-talkative know-it-all.
Between the Cervical Vertebrae #6 and #7.
ENDOCRINE GLANDS & HORMONES
Thyroid and Parathyroid -- affects metabolism, memory loss, depression, lack of concentration.
Anything that requires logic, precision thinking, plotting, an overview as well as details, or a grasp of consequences falls into a Throat Center focus. It is usually an unemotional frequency, ruled by the head rather than the heart.
Greek philosopher Plato calls the Throat Center the “isthmus or boundary” between the higher and lower selves, keeping one from polluting the other.
The myths of many cultures include Teacher Gods who brings the arts of civilization to humankind -- Egyptians Hermes Trismegistus and Thoth, Greek Hermes and Roman Mercury, Greek sun god/musician/healer Apollo, Mezo-American Quetzalcoatl and Viracochas.
Other famous Throat Center icons from myth and legend include the Greek architect Daedalus, Masonic hero Hiram Abiff, Greek musician Orpheus, and the Celtic bards.
- Artists in all fields
- Scientists, geeks, techies
Bull - A solid, grounded, strong animal, just as words are the solid, grounded manifestation of thoughts.
Eagle - though an animal it is free of the earth, just as with the use of the mind the human animal rises above the dictates of instinct and evolution and can make free-will decisions. The eagle also has a higher vision than earth-bound or water-bound creatures.
Mouth - usually about speaking rather than eating. Egyptian, Hindu, and Tibetan iconography all show lots of mouths.
PLANET & ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS
Mercury - the planet of the messenger, communication, movement
Gemini - communications, particularly verbal
Libra - logical balance, often to the point of obsessive-compulsive
Taurus - the bull symbolism again
- Plaids, stripes, checks
- Lab coats
- Scarves and mufflers wound around the neck
- Choker necklaces
- As a character becomes more communicative, have them progressively loosen the constrictions at the throat: ties, collars, scarves, etc.
- Counting things
- Arranging and rearranging things, absently or obsessively
FOIBLES, PHOBIAS, FOODS
As a creative person you have a very active Throat Center and when writing you may crave something for your mouth/throat. Smoking, drinking, and eating excessively is very common among creative types.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Sore throat
- Being over-talkative, a blabber mouth, a tattletale
STYLES OF SPEECH
- Articulate, intellectual, complex, cryptic
- Exaggeration, lying, gossip
- Accents of the elite and upper classes
- Argumentative, in a logical, ordered, impersonal way
- Foreign words and phrases -- quid pro quo, ala mélange, n’est-ce pas? Ciao, bella!
Bach, Handel, Mozart, Stravinsky, Samuel Barber, John Cage, synthesized music, organ music
Vulcans, Data, John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Terminator(s), Dr. Gaius Baltar in Battlestar Gallactica, and all technology run-amok-stories.
The Social Network, Apollo 13, Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, Good Will Hunting, NCIS, Bones, Law and Order, Matrix, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy, Snow Crash
As a creative type you probably identify with the Throat Chakra. There are many problems inherent in the free expression of creativity – censorship, blocked websites, NSA-type listening and data collection. This Center affords a vast realm of stories and characters, particularly today with communications and creativity so vitally important for the entire species to survive and to thrive.
As story-tellers we create entire worlds and people them with creatures of our own crafting, becoming almost god-like in the process. Throat Center activity is exceptionally rewarding because it is so very creative and plugs one right into the main power source of Life.
So after this marvelously creative Center, what more could a character possibly desire? How about vision? How about balance? How about an integration of the many aspects of the other Chakras? Well, that’s just what the next center of motivation is all about.
Awareness Exercise - Come up with two examples of a Throat Chakra character or situation from media and from real life.
Writing Exercise - Rewrite an existing scene to make your selected character on the Throat Chakra. Use at least four of the descriptors listed above when writing about their actions, how they speak, how they look, their astrological sign, their favourite film, etc.
Inner Drives / The Power of the Dark Side / Symbols.Images.Codes / Beyond the Hero’s Journey / Show Me the Love! / Alpha Babes / ArchePaths / Warrior Way for Filmmakers and many more.
© 2013 Pamela Jaye Smith www.mythworks.net
- More Inner Drives articles by Pamela Jaye Smith
- Balls of Steel: Finding Character Motivation, Conflict and Compassion
- Specs & The City: Establishing Characters and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’
- Storytelling Strategies: Monster University‘s Scary Character Arcs
Tools to Help:
- Pamela Jaye's books and CD's at The Writers Store
- Creating Unforgettable Characters
- Persona: Character Development Software
- Creating Dynamic Characters On Demand Webinar
- Breathing Life Into Your Characters