Remember: gather up your favorite articles on writing for Writer Wednesday next week!
I’ve been following Jeannie Campbell for a long time. Man, so long I can’t remember how I found her. So long that it’s been more than a year and a half since she analyzed my character on her blog. So long that I’m really excited for her new ebook, the Writer’s Guide to Creating Rich Backstories.
(Yes, backstory can be evil—but that’s more in how you stick it in your story. It’s a necessary evil. Plus, the guide is only $5!)
Jeannie Campbell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California, and she’s an award-winning writer. She combined her two loves (brilliant!) with the Character Therapist blog, and she’s expanded those offerings with the new Character Therapist site.
Since I’ve been through the free blog version of the character assessment, I can tell you a little about how it works:
I wrote to Jeannie to explain the situation in my book, and asked how my character might react, and whether my planned reaction was psychologically feasible. We exchanged emails for a few days, and she gathered background information on my characters and their interactions. She asked for a lot of details to make sure her analysis was thorough.
Once my turn came up in the queue, I got to see just how thorough she was: very! She briefly summarized my character’s situation, the background and my question, then she discussed the various possible reactions, and the factors that would influence my character. Her advice was not only applicable to me and my characters, but they’re also general enough to help any character in a traumatic situation.
Tomorrow I’ll be participating in Elizabeth Mueller’s MC blogfest, using questions from Jeannie’s character assessment “intake form.” Why don’t you join in?
What do you think? What would you ask a Character Therapist?
Character therapist illustration by Elizabeth Mueller