Monday, March 31, 2014

A Is For ACL (Adjective Check List) - Crafting Characters #AtoZChallenge

     The Gough Heilbrun Adjective Check List (ACL) is an assessment used to identify common psychological traits. It was developed by Harrison G. Gough and Alfred B. Heilbrun, Jr.  The list contains 300 adjectives such as confident, poised, and cautious. Assessment takers choose the adjectives that they think best describe themselves (or someone else). Any number may be selected from the list of adjectives. The 300 adjectives correlate to 24 scales. 15 of the scales assess needs or desires, while the other 9 scales assess "attributes, potentialities, and role characteristics". The ACL also measures, to some extent, creativity and intellect.
    Now, most of us can't afford to buy copies of the manual and tests. However, we are writers and it should be a simple matter to generate a list of 50 to 100 adjectives describing personality traits.  Choose one of your characters, sit down, and really think about it. Which traits would you select to describe him/her? More importantly, which would your character choose for himself? Is he an introvert masquerading as an extrovert (thereby annoying people by "trying too hard)?  Is your character self-aware, honest, have insight into his own strengths and weaknesses?  Or is he narcissistic, suffering from delusions of grandeur, or totally out of touch with how he appears to others?  Perhaps he carries an ideal vision of himself which doesn't translate into the real world.
     Try this exercise with a beta reader(s):  have them choose 5-10 adjectives which describe the main character.  How do they compare with the adjectives which you have chosen?  Is there overlap?  If not, why not?

    Just for fun, here are a few adjectives that you might not recognize.   :-)


(BTW, if you are interested in purchasing the ACL, here is the LINK. )

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ready To Go for the #AtoZ Challenge!

There just weren't enough hours in my days during the month of March.  Writing was relegated to the backseat, and the blog has been on hiatus. 

It will be up and running on April 1 for the A to Z Challenge.  If you're new here, pertinent info and links can be found at Jumping Into the A To Z Challenge.

In the meantime, here's a teaser related to my theme.

Introverts are snobs.  Extroverts are bossy loud-mouths.  Introverts are great listeners.  Extroverts are happier.  Everyone is either a complete introvert or extrovert.  All of these are true.  None of these are true.

None of these are entirely true.  Brain imaging studies do show that introverts and extroverts process some information and external stimuli differently. Introverts seem to use more information processing regions;  they may require more solitude and reflection time to problem solve and decide on courses of action. Extroverts tend to be expressive and comfortable in social situations and appear energetic;  but this does not necessarily mean that they are happier or better adjusted than introverts. People generally lean toward one particular end of the spectrum, but it's rare for anyone to be at one extreme or the other 100% of the time.

When crafting a character for a story, do you give any thought as to whether he/she is an introvert or an extrovert?  How would you describe your own personality? 

Take a quiz here