By Pamela Jaye SmithMYTHWORKS
[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 Aspirational Solar Plexus Chakra, home of generousity, inclusion, aspiration to a higher, better self and world, group consciousness.
ASPIRATIONAL SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA
Why do Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider, the heroine in Erin Brockovich, and Maximus in Gladiator put themselves in dangerous positions? To improve things for others.
- Aspiration and altruism
- Spiritual growth for self and others
- On the softer/weaker side are the extreme woo-woos, airheads, and gullible people taken in by charlatans and wacky ‘personal growth’ or ‘spiritual’ systems and religions.
LOCATION, GLANDS, HORMONES
This chakra, like the Lower Solar Plexus, is also related to the Spleen and the Pancreas [refer to Column #3]. In iconography it is placed above and a bit to the side of the Lower Solar Plexus.
The Christian story of Saul on the road to Damascus illustrates this switch in Solar Plexus frequencies from Lower to Aspirational. According to the New Testament story, Saul had been vehemently persecuting Jesus and his followers and was on his way to Damascus to lead a hate rally. Strolling purposefully down the dusty road and mumbling spitefully to himself, he was suddenly blinded by a brilliant light and heard Jesus’ rather disappointed voice emanating from the sky, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Talk about your epiphany. After that experience, Saul changed his name to Paul, became one of Jesus the Christ’s most devoted followers, and the rest is Church history.
KNIGHTS — Particularly of the European Chivalric Age, and the Hindu Kshatriya Warriors.
GOD-ESS/HEROES with WATER - Venus on the half-shell, painting by Botticelli.
MOTHER GODDESSES - Chinese Kwan Yin, Christian Virgin Mary, Egyptian Isis.
PLANET & ASTROLOGICAL SIGN
VENUS – they mysterious planet of Love.
AQUARIUS — all-for-one-one-for-all, loving, visionary
CANCER — homemaker, caregiver
PISCES — sensitivity
- Clean, neat
- Mesh, net-like fabrics
- Sweeping gestures, hugging (especially group hugs)
- People-pleasers & Enablers
- Martyr Complex
- Indecisive, wishy-washy
- Fear of being alone
- Psychic phenomena, paranormal, supernatural
- Chocolate (for that bonding chemical Oxytocin)
- Fusion cuisine
FOIBLES, PHOBIAS, FOODS
STYLES OF SPEECH
- Inclusive: we, us, join, group, meet
- Compound sentence structure
- Gets others talking about themselves
- Dreamy harps, violins, flutes
- New Age
Greek heroes Theseus, Perseus, and Odysseus when helping others. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Kshatriya Warriors of Justice.
It’s A Wonderful Life, Lawrence Of Arabia, Braveheart, As Good As It Gets, Galaxy Quest, The Little Princess, The Mission, Norma Rae, Schindler’s List, Chinese epics The Three Kingdoms, We’re No Angels (1955)
An Aspirational Solar Plexus character will often be quite likable and admirable, self-sacrificing and noble.
If you have a political or religious agenda you’ll surely have characters on this Center; just be careful not to have them too nice, or too namby-pamby touchy-feely, lest they begin to seem unreal and you lose touch with the audience.
This Center is often the goal of a character’s arc and the uplifting and heartwarming aspect coupled with its frustrating and sometimes freaky downside, make it relevant and compelling to storytellers and audiences alike.
So what’s next after an individual has raised their awareness and taken action to help others and to improve the human condition? Applying logic, critical thinking and conscious creativity – all Throat Chakra activities.
Awareness Exercise - Come up with two examples of an Aspirational Solar Plexus Chakra character or situation.
Writing Exercise - Rewrite an existing scene to make your selected character on the Aspirational Solar Plexus. 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