Posted in writing inspiration

Goals & Motivations // Intro | Character Series

Waddup Savi Crew!

Last week, I continued my Character series where I used the final four characters—from my own Episode story Manhattan Prep—to demonstrate the strength and weaknesses of the 16 different personality types utilising the 16Personalities profiles. If you missed that blog post, feel free to check it out here.

This week, as promised, I will be discussing character goals and motivations. I think this is what makes characters just like us and is the difference between a good character and a great character.

Now before I dive in to our topic at hand, I usually like to start with a definition. What is a goal? What is a motivation? Are they mutually exclusive? Can they be used interchangeably? Well, let’s see.

The definition of goal, according to Wikipedia:

“A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve.”

By that same token, the definition of motivation, according to Wikipedia:

Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, willingness and goals. Derived from the word motive, it is a need that requires satisfaction.”

So to answer the question, can they be used interchangeably, the short answer is no. Goal = desired future result. Motivation = reason or need. Clearly they don’t mean the same thing. But the bigger point is that your character needs both of these traits to feel real to a reader. Lemme explain.

If your character does not have a goal, what is the point of the entire story? Readers aren’t going to invest any time into reading a story where the character roams aimlessly on a train that has no destination or end. No Sir! No Ma’am!

Worse yet, if your character has zero motivation then their actions have no purpose. First they do this, then they do that and we aren’t really sure why. Sounds like a snoozefest, doesn’t it? Because if the character has no motivation—i.e. doesn’t care—why should we?

Let me demonstrate with a character that’s not from my Episode story. Rather she hails from my Catholic fiction WIP, The Magnum Empire. Her name is Ilanah and she is the servant to the new leader of the Empire. Ilanah’s goal is to keep herself and her baby brother, Eiran safe. It doesn’t change from the story’s beginning to its end which, by the way, is not a requirement—goals can change.

Ilanah’s motivation is survival. Her people are oppressed, live in abject poverty and all she wants to do is make it out on the other side (and yes, motivations can also change). Since her motivation is to survive, it drives all her actions. She is willing to serve the Empire as she feels it will help shield her family from the incumbent leader’s evil activities.

This works for a while until she ends up betraying them to the Sacred Circle since she feels that power will shift in the circle’s favour. Later on in the story, she betrays the circle when (let’s say, for the sake of not wading into spoiler territory) her situation changes and she needs to protect Eiran. Remember, survival drives her actions and the desired result is keeping her and her brother safe.

Because she had a clear goal and motivation, it wasn’t hard for me to write her character arc. It wasn’t just she did this, then did that; it was more cause-and-effect instead of random. Characters’ goals should be just as important to the character as it is to readers. Two different characters can have the same goal with different—and to make for better reading, opposite—motivations. Because opposite motivations means instant conflict.

Next week, I will be temporarily suspending my Character / Setting / Plot series in order to primarily focus on April Camp NaNoWriMo preparations. Be sure to look out for that blog post especially if you’re thinking about participating / have participated / don’t even know what I’m talking about, etc. After Camp Nano is over I will resume with Goals & Motivations using examples from my Episode story, Manhattan Prep.

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!

Posted in writing inspiration

The Final Four // Personality Types | Character Series

Waddup Savi Crew!

Last week, I continued my Character series where I used four more of my own characters—from my Episode story Manhattan Prep—to demonstrate the strength and weaknesses of the 16 different personality types utilising the 16Personalities profiles. If you missed that blog post, feel free to check it out here.

Sadly, this week is the final week where I will be featuring the final four characters who display the final four personality types. As mentioned in the previous weeks, these will be minor characters. Today’s minor characters: Kate’s overprotective father, Mr. Bishop; Manhattan Prep soccer drill sergeant, Coach Campbell; teacher’s pet and school genius, Adam; and Manhattan Prep school principal, Headmaster Lee.

You know the drill, a quick disclaimer: The personality profiles listed below were sourced from the official Myers-Briggs Foundation website: https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

Mr. Kevin Bishop is Kate’s father who is a CPA for Spencer & Sons, a London-based firm and is extremely overprotective of his two children—sometimes to the point of being unreasonable. His late wife, Krystal—who died thirteen years ago—was a MENSA member; his daughter, Kate is a five-time Mathlete award winner and his son, Kyle is a budding scientist. He has a hard time letting Kate move to New York to attend Manhattan Prep. Mr. Bishop is an ISFJ.

ISFJ (Introverted + Sensing + Feeling + Judging) – “Defender” | Defenders need to know when to say no and stand up for themselves. | Strengths: Supportive; reliable and patient; imaginative and observant; enthusiastic; loyal and hard-working; good practical skills. | Weaknesses: Humble and shy; take things too personally; repress their feelings; overload themselves; reluctant to change; too altruistic

Coach Campbell is Manhattan Prep’s sports coach who is in charge of the school’s varsity football and soccer teams. He is an old-fashioned, male chauvinist who believes a woman’s place is in the kitchen—not the soccer field. He fails to put Leah in the soccer team despite her obvious talent. Later he seemingly reconsiders however it is later revealed that he is merely allowing the soccer players to victimize her. Coach Campbell is an ENFJ.

ENFJ (Extroverted + iNtuitive + Feeling + Judging) – “Protagonist” | Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. | Strengths: Tolerant; reliable; charismatic; altruistic; natural leaders. | Weaknesses: Overly idealistic; too selfless; too sensitive; fluctuating self-esteem; struggle to make tough decisions.

Adam is a budding scientist and comic book enthusiast. He attends Comic Con every year with his fellow Mathletes. He mostly spends time by himself unless someone requires a favour from him, be it Science or Math-related. Although socially awkward, and the occasional teacher’s pet brown-noser, he ultimately becomes friends with Dario and Logan thus greatly improving his social status by their popular association. Adam is an INTP.

INTP (Introverted + iNtuitive + Thinking + Perceiving) – “Logician” | Logicians are known for their brilliant theories and unrelenting logic. | Strengths: Great analysts and abstract thinkers; imaginative and original; open-minded; enthusiastic; objective; honest and straightforward. | Weaknesses: Very private and withdrawn; insensitive; absent-minded; condescending; loathe rules and guidelines; second-guess themselves.

Headmaster Masaru Lee is the school principal for Manhattan Prep. A man of few words, he runs a tight ship when it comes to his administration and demands the very best—damn near ultimate perfection and excellence—when it comes to his faculty and students. A former Lieutenant General for the Imperial Japanese Army, he enjoys doing taekwondo and archery in his, albeit little, spare time. Headmaster Lee is an ESFJ.

ESFJ (Extroverted + Sensing + Feeling + Judging) – “Consul” | Consuls are altruists, taking seriously their responsibility to do the right thing. | Strengths: Strong practical skills; strong sense of duty; very loyal; sensitive and warm; good at connecting with others. | Weaknesses: Worried about their social status; inflexible; reluctant to innovate or improvise; vulnerable to criticism; often too needy; too selfless.

Next week, we’ll be tackling another character trait—two actually, that go hand-in-hand: goals and motivations. Naturally I will be illustrating with my own characters from the Manhattan Prep series since I feel like you probably know them already (thus saving me from having to give backstory before sharing the said examples).

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!

Posted in writing inspiration

More Minor // Personality Types | Character Series

Waddup Savi Crew!

Last week, I continued my Character series where I used four more of my own characters—from my Episode story Manhattan Prep—to demonstrate the strength and weaknesses of the 16 different personality types utilising the 16Personalities profiles. If you missed that blog post, feel free to check it out here.

I’ve been having a lot of fun discussing my characters and I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about them too. This week, I will be featuring yet another four of my own characters who display four more personality types. Once again, these (and the ones featured next week) will be minor characters. Today’s minor characters: Jada’s equally malicious twin, Simone; Manhattan Prep resident advisor, Finch; quirky Literature teacher, Ms. Yates; and Dario’s stern father, Mr. Kingsley.

As always, a quick disclaimer: The personality profiles listed below were sourced from the official Myers-Briggs Foundation website: https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

Simone is Jada’s twin sister, her lackey and right hand who goes along with whatever shenanigans Jada has planned. Her mother, Jade is a registered nurse—now retired, her father, Simon is an architect / landscape developer who just won the lottery. Her grim demeanour are menacing to others which she uses to gain the upper hand and help Jada get her way. Apart from her twin though, she is introverted and reserved. Simone is an ISTP.

ISTP (Introverted + Sensing + Thinking + Perceiving) – “Virtuoso” | Virtuosos have a particular difficulty in predicting emotions. | Strengths: Optimistic and energetic; creative and practical; spontaneous and rational; know how to prioritize; great in a crisis; relaxed. | Weaknesses: Stubborn; insensitive; private and reserved; easily bored; dislike commitment; risky behaviour.

Resident Advisor Finch is Manhattan Prep’s student advisory who often multitasks to makes himself feel accomplished. He doesn’t interact with the teenagers on an intimate level because he doesn’t want them to get attached. He’s only seen when students need to transfer dorm rooms or pay housing fees. He does Japanese origami and Hindu yoga meditation in his spare time. R.A. Finch is an ESTJ.

ESTJ (Extroverted + Sensing + Thinking + Judging) – “Executive” | Executives are aware of their surroundings and live in a world of clear, verifiable facts. | Strengths: Dedicated; strong-willed; direct and honest; loyal, patient and reliable; enjoy creating order; excellent organizers. | Weaknesses: Inflexible and stubborn; uncomfortable with unconventional situations; judgemental; too focused on social status; difficult to relax; difficulty expressing emotion.

Ms. Elena Yates is the English Literature teacher who despite her petite frame is quite the stern disciplinarian. Her love of Shakespeare is evident in her clothing and speech. She is the first to notice Kate’s gifted intellectual ability and assigns her to tutor Dario. She advises Kate when she develops feelings for Dario. She comes to Kate’s defense when Jada harasses her because she has a zero tolerance policy for bullying. Ms. Yates is an INTJ.

INTJ (Introverted + iNtuitive + Thinking + Judging) – “Architect” | Architects radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery. | Strengths: Quick, imaginative and strategic mind; High self-confidence; independent and decisive; hard-working and determined; open-minded; Jacks-of-all-trades. | Weaknesses: Arrogant; judgemental; overly analytical; loathe highly structured environments; clueless in romance.

Mr. Dalton Kingsley is Dario’s father who is keen on his only son taking over the family business: a plethora of real estate properties previously held by Dario’s late grandfather, Salvatore. Mr. Kingsley isn’t easy to negotiate with as he doesn’t back down until he gets his way. He treats Dario the way Salvatore treated him—business over everything especially family. Mr. Kingsley is an ENTJ.

ENTJ (Extroverted + iNtuitive + Thinking + Judging) – “Commander” | Commanders are dominant, relentless, and unforgiving. | Strengths: Efficient; energetic; self-confident; strong-willed; strategic thinkers; charismatic and inspiring. | Weaknesses: Stubborn and dominant; intolerant; impatient; arrogant; poor handling of emotions; cold and ruthless.

Be sure to tune in next week where I will be giving examples of final four personality types with the final four characters and highlighting each types’ strengths and weaknesses once again using the 16Personalities profiles (basically Myers-Briggs 2.0).

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!

Posted in writing inspiration

Minor Characters // Personality Types | Character Series

Waddup Savi Crew!

Last week, I continued my Character series where I used four of my own characters—from my Episode story Manhattan Prep—to demonstrate the strength and weaknesses of the 16 different personality types utilising the 16Personalities profiles. If you missed that blog post, feel free to check it out here.

This week, I will be featuring another four of my own characters who display four more personality types. These (and the ones featured next week and following week) will be minor characters. Today’s minor characters: witty Cassie; sporty Leah and her brooding older brother, Logan; and budding fashionista, Mallory. Once again, a quick disclaimer: The personality profiles listed below were sourced from the official Myers-Briggs Foundation website: https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

Cassie is a natural comedian and proud half African-American, half Native-American who lives with her mother, Loni and older sisters, Nicole and Emily (she has never met her father). She is thick-skinned, resilient and always has a clever comeback. She tends to see the lighter side of any situation. She is slightly boy-crazy and believes alcohol is a necessity when it comes to having a good time. Cassie is an ESTP who would rather crack practical jokes than crack open a book.

ESTP (Extroverted + Sensing + Thinking + Perceiving) – “Entrepreneur” | Laughing and entertaining with a blunt and earthy humour. | Strengths: Bold; rational and practical; original; perceptive; direct; sociable. | Weaknesses: Insensitive; impatient; risk-prone; unstructured; may miss the bigger picture; defiant.

Leah is a sassy Latina and candid sports junkie who lives with her mother, Claudia; father, Rogelio; grandmother, Hilda and older brother, Logan (who she always competes with). She loves gossip as much as she loves food and doesn’t like to be told she cannot do something. She plays soccer (her favourite sport) and hopes to make it to the World Cup and later manage her own team when she gets older. Leah is an ISTJ who wants to make the Manhattan Prep varsity soccer team.

ISTJ (Introverted + Sensing + Thinking + Judging) – “Logistician” | Logisticians’ dedication is an excellent quality, allowing them to accomplish much. | Strengths: Honest and direct; strong-willed and dutiful; very responsible; calm and practical; create and enforce order; Jacks-of-all-trades. | Weaknesses: Stubborn; insensitive; always by the book; judgemental; often unreasonably blame themselves.

Logan lives with his mother, Claudia; father, Rogelio; grandmother, Hilda and younger sister, Leah. His best friend is Dario who he has known since the second grade. He has a nickname (Logie Bear) which Leah calls him because he was a chubby kid. Brooke later develops a crush on him when he helps Leah make the soccer team and stands up for feminine rights against the chauvinistic Manhattan Prep coach. Logan is an ENFP who encourages Dario to get tutored by Kate.

ENFP (Extroverted + iNtuitive + Feeling + Perceiving) – “Campaigner” | Campaigners are fiercely independent, and crave freedom. | Strengths: Curious; observant; energetic and enthusiastic; excellent communicators; know how to relax; very popular and friendly. | Weaknesses: Poor practical skills; find it difficult to focus; overthink things; get stressed easily; highly emotional; independent to a fault.

Mallory is an aspiring fashion enthusiast and assertive Vietnamese-American who lives with her mother, Kim; stepfather, Joe and younger brother, Mason. She likes to match her hair and eye colour with her clothing. Most boys attracted to Mallory are usually intimidated by her tall stature and ultra-feminist ways. Conversation-wise, she is long-winded and has no filter with regard to inequality and racial injustice. Mallory is an INFP who is seeking inspiration for her latest fashion idea.

INFP (Introverted + iNtuitive + Feeling + Perceiving) – “Mediator” | Mediators have a talent for self-expression and revealing their beauty. | Strengths: Idealistic; seek and value harmony; open-minded and flexible; very creative; passionate and energetic; dedicated and hard-working. | Weaknesses: Too idealistic; too altruistic; impractical; dislike dealing with data; take things personally; difficult to get to know.

Be sure to tune in next week where I will be giving examples of four more personality types with four of my own characters and highlighting each types’ strengths and weaknesses once again using the 16Personalities profiles (basically Myers-Briggs 2.0).

Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now. And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life! Happy Writing!