Articles Files Videos Sites Bookstores Classes Categories Critique Services
Ads Blogs Donate
03.09.2011 21:49    Comments: 0    Categories: Fiction Elements  Fiction Writing  Writing  Writing Characters  Writing Craft  Writing Tips      Tags: character pro 5.0  weiss ecreative  science of character  

Ever heard of serotonin? Without getting too "sciencey," it's a chemical in the brain that affects behavior. High serotonin levels cause a calmness, serenity and resistance to change. Low serotonin levels cause edginess, risk taking, and desire for change. Now the interesting stuff: In a study of monkeys, it was discovered that the monkey in charge, the "alpha," has a very high level of serotonin, and the lower members of the hierarchy have lower serotonin levels. Not only that, but the level skyrockets within minutes of taking charge. Now, what does this mean to us non-monkey writers? It works the same way with humans. When you get to the top, you stop worrying so much and you don't take as many risks as those under you. And those lower on the totem pole are more likely to have the desire and risk-taking behavior to take over and have their serotonin levels rise.

In stories, we want our heroes and villains to be active, fighting for change. Usually, a villain was once in charge and lost it--a big motivator. And a good hero, generally, has never shown up on anyone's list of most powerful people. Why is this? Serotonin. Here's the upshot of all this science: start your hero down and keep him down till the end. Those that are in power will be more complacent and not willing to change. Think of Jaws, for example, the Mayor is in charge and really doesn't want anything to change. He's complacent and way too calm for the situation. The Mayor's teaming with seratonin. Meanwhile, our hero Sheriff is a small town guy who no one really respects. He never gets respect or moves up the ladder until the end when he defeats the bad guy. Keep your hero down and keep him there. It's not just a good character tip, it's good science.


Character Pro 5.0 By Weiss eCreative.



Character Pro 5 develops your characters by showing you what makes them tick. Using The Enneagram, a proven psychological system for understanding human behavior, Character Pro creates a "Character Spine" by assessing each part of your character's behavioral traits. The program's specialized tools help you create well-rounded, complex, and realistic characters. Character Pro is especially useful if you need a unique way of building a database of characters.

Order by: 
Per page: 
  • There are no comments yet

Visit our online bookstores:

  1. Kindle's Free eBook Store
  2. Fiction Writer's Bookstore
  3. Romance Writer's Bookstore


Socialpolitan.org is in Association with Amazon.com

0 votes


Jobs from Indeed
Socialpolitan: Fiction Writing Gpix Advertising. Become A Pixel Owner. Learn how your ad could be here.

If this page has been of any value to you, we would appreciate if you help us by spreading the word. Join Fiction Writing Craft on Facebook Join Fiction Writing Craft on Twitter Follow Us

Please take a moment and vote for us at Writer's Digest 101 Best Writing Sites. Thanks!