21 Following
annehart

annehart

How to plan a character-driven story plot for a video game or for writing historical fiction text and drama

 

 

 

Take the Creative Writing Preference Classifier, Enhancer, and Clues Helper

©2007 by Anne Hart

 

Writers clubs listed in the public libraries and/or state library, sometimes focus on holding meetings that discuss one or more genres of imaginative writing. This is one Sacramento author's three-part series on how to use your interest in media to write historical fiction. For localized fiction, you can tap your own city's public libraries or state library for factual information. Check out this creativity enhancement series. This is Part III of How to Use Your Media & Culture Interest to Write Historical Fiction. Check out Part I and Part II of this fiction writer's creativity enhancement assessment and clues helper (for entertainment purposes) online. 

 

Also helpful are two of my books, Do You Have the Aptitude & Personality to Be A Popular Author: Professional Creative Writing Assessments, and  30+ Brain-Exercising Creativity Coach Businesses to Open - iUniverse: How to Use Writing, Music, Drama & Art Therapy Techniques for Healing. ASJA imprint, iUniverse. 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0-595-42710-9. The book titles also at this date are listed at Amazon.com.

 

"Turanian Catalyst" Creative Writing Assessment

You are an historical fiction adventure and intrigue writer working on a novel, play, or script that will eventually become a computer video game for young males and/or an interactive audio book of stories with clues for the Web about a Turanian catalyst, a person who brings people together to join territories, tribes, or interests based on common ancient ancestry or language group.

 

The setting is in a city you will choose, located in medieval Asia Minor, Central Asia, along the Steppes, or in Mongolia. Your hero's name is Tumen Il-Kağan. The year is 551 of the Common Era. According to ancient Chinese sources, your hero's name means "cloud of smoke."

 

The plot of your story begins as Tumen gathers together a group of Turkic people who live in the Altai Mountains. Their village is very difficult to reach and is called Ergenikon. The scene opens in the cloud-whipped valleys beneath the Altai Mountains.

This person, avatar, or hero has unending adventures trying to create a vast territory of united Steppe Peoples speaking related languages. The hero calls this vast legacy of land, Turania.

 

Your first Göktürk Kağan travels between various places in Central Asia and Mongolia and is exposed to Buddhism from Chinese travelers he meets along the Silk Road. The hero is a Göktürk Kağan. You can make your main character or protagonist native to the Steppes or anywhere in Central Asia, Asia Minor, or Mongolia, but being of a Turkic-speaking language group.

 

His mascot is the grey wolf, and the grey wolf has a white she-wolf companion. So the hero is seen walking with two wolves on each side of him signaling people he meets with the wolf hand sign.

 

Your protagonist/hero, Tumen Il-Kağan, is in a race against time because the area is in the grips of a mini-ice age. The hero travels to teach wolf hand symbols to fellow Turanians across Central Asia from the area on the West near the Black Sea (Pontus) all the way beyond the Caspian Sea's East Coast to the Altay Mountains, along the Silk Road, and on to Mongolia and western China. The protagonist (main character) travels the Silk Road from his or her native land in the Altay Mountains.

 

He sets out on a road that leads to Western China and spreads the wolf hand sign greetings that was said to originate in Siberia thousands of years ago

 

Across the Silk Road that the Byzantine Romans used, a teenaged Altay widow named Sui asked help from Tumen to prevent her from being forced into an unwilling marriage with a Sogdian refugee because the Sogdian refugees fled to Tumen's territory. Shah Anushirvan Khorasau I. (closer in territory and language groups to Persia) persecuted the Zurvanites. Sui wants to marry the protagonist of your story. But the Sogdian refugee wants to marry Sui for power, so he can overtake the Kağan.

 

You have a bit of a Samson and Delilah theme somewhat. You can reverse the plot and make it a Delilah and Samson theme. The question is, according to your personality preferences, how will you write this interactive story, according to your writing style preferences?

 

Tumen meets Ashina, one of ten sons born to a grey she-wolf in north Gaochang. Ashina also was a ruling dynasty and tribe of ancient Turks in the 6th century. The Ashina's leader, Bumin Khan had descendants that revolted against the Rouran. His brother, Istemi, ruled over the east and west of the Göktürk empire.

 

Ashina's ancestors came from the Suo nation, north of Xiongu. Chinese legends say Ashina's mother was a wolf and the goddess of a particular season. The Ashina tribe of skilled military archers were descended from one archer named Shemo.

This Shemo fell in love with a sea goddess near Ashide cave, according to the Book of Zhou (Lighu Defen, et al. Also see the Book of Sui (Wei Zheng, et al.) The Ashina royal family was composed of many different ethnic groups. They arose out of the Pingliang soldiers from eastern Gansu.

 

So you have a story line right there of why they would want to use the wolf hand symbols or signs made (in profile view) with the middle finger and ring finger pressed to the thumb to signify the nose and mouth of the wolf with the pinky and index finger straight up to signify the wolf's ears. With all this information, how will you organize your story?

 

Clues


The leading character is the Kağan who also is a scribe in several languages he's learned from his travels in Altay and along the entire length of the Silk Road between Western China, the Altay, and Byzantine Constantinople. This is the 6th century. In the Altai/Altay, nature is worshipped. As he travels closer to China, he is influenced by Buddhism.

 

This first Kağan of the Göktürks has inherited wealth from an ancestral line of Altay royalty. He's a male healer and scribe, age 20, living in the royal yurt. He grew up learning many languages as he traveled the Silk Road from the Altay to China and west to Asia Minor. This character is your alter ego and takes on your own personality as he solves problems or crimes.

 

It is also known that 30,000 Alans (an Iranic-speaking tribe) formed the royal guard (Asud) of the Yuan court in Dadu (Beijing) China.

 

The 10 Choices:


1. Grounded/Down-to-Earth 6. Verve
2. Rational 7. Enthusiastic
3. Decisive 8. Investigative
4. Loner 9. Outgoing
5. Traditional 10. Change-Driven

 

 

1. To write your story, would you prefer to
a. go to the archives and find out who really was the first ruler of the tribe. You'd start with the book references listed in Wikipedia online, and then consult your own language translations, if any, of the book titled, The Turks, by Güzel, Hasan Celal; Oğuz, C. Cem (2002), The Turks, 2, Ankara: Yeni Türkiye, ISBN 9756782552. Then you'd look for translated letters sent by Sui to the Kağan asking to send her a young husband (down-to-earth) or

b. dig deeper and find out the connections between Chinese and the Turkic documents, to read about who was the first Kağan of the Göktürks. You'd look up other books listed online and in libraries on the history of Turks and Turanians. Then you'd look up wolf hand symbols and signs among other cultures from India to Native Americans and Siberians.

Then you'd read the emotions and gestures, the body language of the wolf hand symbols to see what they mean and where they originated—Siberia, or the Altay (also spelled Altai) or beyond to Mongolia. Then you'd deduce why Sui doesn't want to marry the Sogdian refugee that she has been promised to by her father who is destitute and caught in the famine of the mini-ice age of 6th century Altay. (verve)
a. □
b. □

2. Would you be more interested in researching history and writing about
a. the closeness of the relationship that surfaced between the Huns and the Turks from the sixth century back to 4,000 years ago (enthusiastic) or
b. analyze the business deals and diplomatic events between these equal powers to see who was winning the race to becoming the superpower of the century? (rational)
a. □
b. □

3. Are you more interested in the fact that
a. A Turanian Khatun (Queen) who wrote all her letters in an Altay (Altai) dialect, (down-to-earth) or
b. To find out whether the Kağan's father, was so admired or so hated after his death because he worshipped the lucky charm, a tamga, of a wolf spirit or whether he worshipped a tamga of a white horse or a hawk. (verve)
a. □
b. □

4. Would you rather write about
a. The sons of a royal Ashina clan being adopted, sent as a gift from Mongolia during their Altay step father's festival of his many years of reign (enthusiastic) or
b. You'd prefer to solve the mystery of why some of the sons of the royal Ashina are thought to be associated with the Tribe of Levi by some, according to whether they have a 'Y' chromosome sequence that has the letter 'Q' in it that may or may not link some royal Ashina to some Levites from Eastern Europe. Ashinas are said to come from the Suo nation, north of Xiongu (rational)?
a. □
b. □

5. You are a Khatun (Altay Queen). Would you rather
a. exercise your right as a widow to claim an unmarried Altay prince (enthusiastic) or
b. marry your late husband's male nanny because it's only right and fair to restore an Altay Turanian to Turania's throne? (rational)
a. □
b. □

6. An Altai princess of a vast stretch of land she calls Turania in the 6th century who is a widow may have written to her father-in-law to send her another of his sons for
marriage to her. As a writer of her life story, would you rather

a. create a laundry list of princes that she must interview and screen in a dating game (down-to-earth) or
b. create a story where she rides 1,000 miles on a donkey to run away from her servant after he forces her to marry him and has magical adventures disguised as a 14-year old boy studying philosophy and alchemy with Chinese acupuncture healers and
astrologers she meets in her travels at the far end of the Silk Road? (verve)
a. □
b. □

7. Are you more interested in ending your story with
a. A Turanian prince marrying an Altai young widow, then taking the Kağan's adoptive grandmother, (you might create a story about a mythical Queen Yildiz) as a second wife, so that you have closure and an ending for your story (decisive) or

b. would you rather let your story remain open for serialization, since the Kağan's widow is never heard from again after she marries her late husband's regent and nanny. He then marries a different princess, from the royal Ashina tribe, since the fate of the Turanian Kağan's widow after marrying the regent is not recorded in history? (investigative)
a. □
b. □

8. If you were a Turanian, would you prefer to
a. decide immediately to obey the Ashina Kağan and leave your own country to marry the widowed Queen of the Turanians because duty required it, knowing you'll probably be killed when you arrive by the same person who killed the former Kağan, (decisive) or
b. stall for time as long as possible, waiting for validated information to arrive regarding the diplomatic climate between the Ashina and the Turanians (since Turanians are Altay and the Ashina are similar, but from Xiongu)? (investigative).
a. □
b. □

9. You are the Göktürk Kağan who had been adopted in infancy as a gift from an Ashina ruler because the Khatun (queen) had six daughters. If you were Kağan, would you
a. speak in the Altay/Altai language in front of your Xiongu-area dialect speaking Ashina Regent, thereby possibly inflaming the nationalism in him (investigative) or
b. plan and organize methodically to have a whole line of people close to you from your own country of origin, Altay and Turania originating in Central Asia) rather than from the lair of the wolf-goddess mother that legend has told you was the place of your origin?
(decisive)
a. □
b. □

10. Would you rather write about
a. terms of the treaty between the peoples of Turania and Ashina of Xiongu based on the facts provided by records (down-to-earth) or
b. the theories set in motion when the Ashina Kağan marries the Altay Kağan's widow and soon after, the widow disappears, and the Ashina marries another Khatun (Queen) mythically named Yildiz, the so-called daughter of a mother goddess of the wolf tribes that use wolf hand symbols to show loyalty to one another's similar language tribes? (verve)
a. □
b. □

11. Do you like writing about
a. enigmas or puzzles set in motion by symbols on intimate funerary equipment in a mystery novel (rational) or

b. why so many other Turanians use wolf hand symbols or signs where the index finger and the pinky are raised to represent the wolf's ears while the thumb crosses over the folded middle and ring fingers—or both the Turanians and the Ashinas use the wolf finger symbol of a wolf face in profile where the middle and ring fingers and thumb form the long wolf's snout while the upheld pinky and index fingers form the wolf's ears? (enthusiastic)
a. □
b. □

12. A tag line shows the mood/emotion in the voice--how a character speaks or acts. Are you more interested in
a. compiling, counting, and indexing citations or quotes from how-to books for writers (down-to-earth) or
b. compiling tag lines that explain in fiction dialogue the specific behaviors or gestures such as, "Yes, he replied timorously."? (verve)
a. □
b. □

13. Would you rather write
a. dialog (enthusiastic) or
b. description? (rational)
a. □
b. □
14. To publicize your writing, would you rather
a. give spectacular presentations or shows without preparation or prior notice (investigative) or
b. have to prepare a long time in advance to speak or perform? (decisive)
a. □
b. □

15. If you were a Turanian Khatun (Queen), would you prefer to
a. receive warnings well in advance and without surprises that your late husband's nanny and regent is planning to get rid of you and marry another Queen of a different Tribe (adoptive grandmother of your late husband); so you could conveniently disappear (decisive) or
b. adapt to last-moment changes by never getting down to your last man or your last bowl of fermented mare's milk? (investigative)
a. □
b. □

16. As a scribe, artist, and poet in early medieval Turania would you
a. feel constrained by the Kağan's time schedules and deadlines (due dates) (investigative) or
b. set realistic timetables and juggle priorities? (decisive)
a. □
b. □

17. As the Kağan's widow, do you feel bound to
a. go with social custom, do the activities itemized on the social calendar, and marry your dead husband's unmarried brother because it's organized according to a plan (decisive) or
b. go with the flow of the relationship, deal with issues as they arise, marry a Khazar warrior from another tribe, marry a Royal Ashina from Xiongu, or simply make no commitments or assumptions about what's the right thing to do because time changes plans and you just prefer to wait until more information is available? (investigative)
a. □
b. □

18. You're the Ashina Kağanreading the Altay Turanian widow's desperate letter in your own country of Xiongu. Is your reply to the Altay (Turanian) Khatun (Queen) more likely to be
a. one brief, concise, and to the point letter (rational) or
b. one sociable, friendly, empathetic and time-consuming letter? (enthusiastic)
a. □
b. □

19. You're the Göktürk Kağancontemplating who most wants to replace you with an
Ashina ruler. You make a list of

a. the pros and cons of each person close to you (rational) or
b. varied comments from friends and relatives on what they say behind your back regarding how your influence them and what they want from you. (enthusiastic)
a. □
b. □

20. The human body is like the Silk Road, you have been taught. You're the great healer who came all the way along the Silk Road from China trying to heal with acupuncture needles as your tools, working your way along the energy points of chi to help the Göktürk Kağanin medieval Turania. Would you rather investigate
a. the tried and true facts about energy points (down-to-earth) or
b. want to see what's in the overall picture as part of your expertise before you place the acupuncture needles at specific energy points that the Göktürk Kağan calls his clues? (verve)
a. □
b. □

21. You're a Silk Road traveling healer looking for the energy meridians or points on the Göktürk Kağan's older brother. Your job is to restore his energy in his golden wise years. You
a.
seldom make errors of detail when looking for clues to heal such as taking notice of the Göktürk Kağan's rival wedding present to the young, healthy Khatun (Queen)--her freshly inscribed tamga charm for good luck, an amulet of a white horse. (down-to-earth) or
b. prefer more innovative work like writing secret love poems to the Queen disguised as prayers to the wolf goddess and watching for the sacred horse's spirit to escape through the ice cave hole dug into the frozen tundra near one of the Altay mountains. (verve)
a. □
b. □

22. As a scribe and healer, you become
a. tired when you work alone all day in a dimly torch-lit yurt (outgoing) or
b. tired when the latest Göktürk Kağan interrupts your concentration on your work to demand that you greet and entertain his guests all evening at banquets with wolf hand shapes as shadow symbols on the walls of the yurt near a lamp of fire. (loner).
a. □
b. □

23. When the Khatun (Queen) asks you as a healer to write love poems for her that she can
hand to the Göktürk Kağan, you

a. create the ideas for your poems by long discussions with the Queen (outgoing) or
b. prefer to be alone when you reach deep down inside your spirit to listen to what your wolf goddess (soul entities) tell you as the only resource for writing metaphors. (loner)
a. □
b. □

24. You are in medieval Turania investigating the death of an elderly Göktürk Kağan and prefer to
a. question many different foreigners and locals at boisterous celebrations in different languages (outgoing) or
b. disregard outside events and look inside the family history/genealogy rune inscriptions on a stone for the culprit. (loner)
a. □
b. □

25. The next Göktürk Kağan, at a young age asks you to develop ideas for him about how to act when
ascending the throne so young. You prefer to develop ideas through

a. reflection, meditation, and prayer (loner) or
b. discussions and interviews among the Göktürk Kağan's playmates on what makes the Göktürk Kağan laugh. (outgoing)
a. □
b. □

26. As an Altay healer and Shaman, you are
a. rarely cautious about the family position of those with whom you socialize as long as they are kind, righteous people who do good deeds (outgoing) or
b. seeking one person with power to raise you from healer to the next Göktürk Kağan of Turania, if only the present Göktürk Kağan would ask your advice. (loner)
a. □
b. □

27. You are a sculptor, healer, and scribe in early medieval Turania when the Göktürk Kağan asks you to carve a name for yourself using Ataly runes on a special stone with magical properties that bears the image of a wolf and is a special representation of its owner. Would you
a. inscribe the Turanic rune that means 'remote' (loner) or
b. choose a special name for yourself that means, "He who shares time easily with many foreigners along the Silk Road, beyond Altay?" (outgoing)
a. □
b. □
28. As an ancient healer, Shaman, and scribe, do you work better when you
a. spend your day off where no one can see you asking the sacred wolf goddess why its teeth are so sharp if it is supposed to be so intelligent (loner) or
b. spend your free time training teams of apprentice healers using the acupuncture needles you learned how to use before you left China to travel along the Silk Road due west? (outgoing)
a. □
b. □

29. If you discovered a new land, would you build your cities upon
a. your wise elders' principles as they always have worked well before (traditional) or
b. unfamiliar cargo that traders brought from afar to civilize your land? (change-driven)
a.□
b.□

30. Do you depict the Göktürk Kağan's victories on a stone in Turanian runes exactly as
a. surviving witnesses from both sides recounted the events (change-driven) or
b. the Göktürk Kağan wants people to see? (traditional)
a.□
b.□

31. If you're self-motivated, would you avoid learning from your Tarkhan (military leader) because
a. your overseer doesn't keep up with the times (change-driven) or
b. your overseer doesn't let you follow in your father's footsteps? (traditional)
a.□
b.□

32. Would you prefer to
a. train healers, Shamans and scribes because your father taught you how to do it well (traditional) or
b. move quickly from one project to another forever? (change-driven)
a.□
b.□

33. Do you feel like an outsider when
a. you think more about going back along the Silk road to China or staying in the Altay in the future than about current healing chores in Turania (change-driven) or
b. do you think more about the stress of being of service to invaders from many different lands along the Silk Road that have now replaced your forefathers' familiar Chinese foods with unfamiliar dairy cuisine from Altay and Xiongu such as fermented mare's milk? (traditional)
a.□
b.□

34. Do you quickly
a. solve problems for those inside when you're coming from outside (change-driven) or
b. refuse to spend your treasures to develop new ideas that might fail? (traditional)
a.□
b.□

35. Would you rather listen to and learn from Turanian, Ashina, and Chinese philosophers that
a. predict a future in which old habits are replaced with new ones (change-driven) or
b. are only interested in experiencing one day at a time? (traditional)
a.□
b.□

 

#

 

Self-Scoring the Test

Add up the number of answers for each of the following ten writing style traits for the 35 questions. There are seven questions for each group. The ten categories (your ten choices) are made up of five opposite pairs.

 

The 10 Choices:


1. Grounded/Down-to-Earth 6. Verve
2. Rational 7. Enthusiastic
3. Decisive 8. Investigative
4. Loner 9. Outgoing
5. Traditional 10. Change-Driven

Then put the numbers for each answer next to the categories.

1. Total Grounded/Down-to-earth 6. Total Verve

2. Total Rational 7. Total Enthusiastic

3. Total Decisive 8. Total Investigative

4. Total Loner 9. Total Outgoing

5. Total Traditional 10. Total Change-Driven

 

To get your score, you're only adding up the number of answers for each of the 10 categories (five pairs) above. Note that there are seven questions for each of the five pairs (or 10 designations). There are 35 questions. Seven questions times five categories equal 35 questions. Keep the number of questions you design for each category equal. The other assessments containing 35 questions (in this book) are similar and are scored with the same self-scoring process as this assessment.

 

#

 

Look at the other previous sample 35-question assessments in this book that have their boxes checked. Note that in them, the four highest numbers of answers are enthusiastic, investigative, imaginative loner. This last but not least test would score the same way.

Choose the highest numbers first as having the most importance (or weight) in your writing style preference. Your score would be your own creative writing style and the way you plot your character's actions, interests, and goals, one example of many (for fiction writing and specifically mystery writing) could be an enthusiastic investigative vivacious (verve-with-imagination) loner.

 

Your five personality letters would be: E I V L C. (Scramble the letters to make a word to remember, the name Clive, in this case.) There are no right or wrong answers. Your writing style is individual and can be made up of your personal letters or preferences. You write according to your personality choices, writing style, and the behavior and environment of your characters.

 

Note that in the first sample scored test in this book (using a setting in ancient Egypt) there is a tie between C and V. Both have a score of '5'. However, since 'V' (verve) which signifies vivacious imagination with gusto competes with 'C', being change-driven, the 'verve' in the vivacious personality wracked with creative imagination would wither in a traditional corporation that emphasizes routinely running a tight ship. Traditional firms seek to imitate successful corporations of the past that worked well and still work. They don't need to be fixed often unless they make noise.

 

Instead, the dominantly change-driven creative individual would flourish better with a forward-looking, trend-setting creative corporation and build security from flexibility of job skill. When in doubt, turn to action verbs to communicate your 'drive.' If you're misplaced, you won't connect as well with co-workers and may be dubbed "a loose cannon."

You know you're writing in the right genre when your personality connects with the genre of fiction or creative nonfiction readers and groups to share meaning. Communication is the best indicator of your personality matching a corporation's character traits. It's all about connecting more easily.

 

Your main character or alter-ego could probably be an enthusiastic investigative imaginative loner. But you'd not only have lots of imagination and creativity—but also verve, that vivacious gusto. You'd have fervor, dash, and élan.

 

The easily excitable, investigative, creative/imaginative loner described as having verve, is more likely to represent what you feel inside your core personality, your self-insight, as you explore your own values and interests.

 

It's what you feel like, what your values represent on this test at this moment in time. That's how a lot of personality tests work. This one is customized for fiction writers. Another test could be tailored for career area interests or for analyzing what stresses you. Think of your personality as your virtues.

 

Qualities on this customized test that are inherent in the test taker who projects his or her values and personality traits onto the characters would represent more of a sentimental, charismatic, imaginative, investigative individual who likes to work alone most of the time.

 

The person could at times be more change-driven than traditional. The real test is whether the test taker is consistent about these traits or values on many different assessments of interests, personality, or values.

 

What's being tested here is imaginative fiction writing style. Writing has a personality, genre, or character of its own. The writing style and values are revealed in the way the characters drive the plot.

 

These sample test scores measure the preference, interest, and trait of the writer. The tone and mood are measured in this test. It's a way of sharing meaning, of communicating by driving the characters and the plot in a selected direction.

 

This assessment 'score' reveals a fiction writer who is enthusiastically investigative in tone, mood, and texture. These 'traits' or values apply to the writer as well as to the primary characters in the story.

 

The traits driving a writer's creativity also drive the main characters. Writer and characters work in a partnership of alter egos to move the plot forward. A creativity test lets you select and express the action, attitudes, and values of the story in a world that you shape according to clues, critical thinking, and personal likes.

 

#

 

Here's a sample scored assessment.
 

"Turanian Catalyst" Creative Writing Assessment

You are an historical fiction adventure and intrigue writer working on a novel, play, or script that will eventually become a computer video game for young males and/or an interactive audio book of stories with clues for the Web about a Turanian catalyst, a person who brings people together to join territories, tribes, or interests based on common ancient ancestry or language group.

 

The setting is in a city you will choose, located in medieval Asia Minor, Central Asia, along the Steppes, or in Mongolia. Your hero's name is Tumen Il-Kağan. The year is 551 of the Common Era. According to ancient Chinese sources, your hero's name means "cloud of smoke."

 

The plot of your story begins as Tumen gathers together a group of Turkic people who live in the Altay Mountains. Their village is very difficult to reach and is called Ergenikon. The scene opens in the cloud-whipped valleys beneath the Altay Mountains.

This person, avatar, or hero has unending adventures trying to create a vast territory of united Steppe Peoples speaking related languages. The hero calls this vast legacy of land, Turania.

 

Your first Göktürk Kağan travels between various places in Central Asia and Mongolia and is exposed to Buddhism from Chinese travelers he meets along the Silk Road. The hero is a Göktürk Kağan. You can make your main character or protagonist native to the Steppes or anywhere in Central Asia, Asia Minor, or Mongolia, but being of a Turkic-speaking language group. His mascot is the grey wolf, and the grey wolf has a white she-wolf companion. So the hero is seen walking with two wolves on each side of him signaling people he meets with the wolf hand sign.

 

Your protagonist/hero, Tumen Il-Kağan, is in a race against time because the area is in the grips of a mini-ice age. The hero travels to teach wolf hand symbols to fellow Turanians across Central Asia from the area on the West near the Black Sea (Pontus) all the way beyond the Caspian Sea's East Coast to the Altay Mountains, along the Silk Road, and on to Mongolia and western China. The protagonist (main character) travels the Silk Road from his or her native land in the Altay Mountains.

 

He sets out on a road that leads to Western China and spreads the wolf hand sign greetings that was said to originate in Siberia thousands of years ago

 

Across the Silk Road that the Byzantine Romans used, a teenaged Altay widow named Sui asked help from Tumen to prevent her from being forced into an unwilling marriage with a Sogdian refugee because the Sogdian refugees fled to Tumen's territory. Shah Anushirvan Khorasau I. (closer in territory and language groups to Persia) persecuted the Zurvanites. Sui wants to marry the protagonist of your story. But the Sogdian refugee wants to marry Sui for power, so he can overtake the Kağan.

 

You have a bit of a Samson and Delilah theme somewhat. You can reverse the plot and make it a Delilah and Samson theme. The question is, according to your personality preferences, how will you write this interactive story, according to your writing style preferences?

 

Tumen meets Ashina, one of ten sons born to a grey she-wolf in north Gaochang. Ashina also was a ruling dynasty and tribe of ancient Turks in the 6th century. The Ashina's leader, Bumin Khan had descendants that revolted against the Rouran. His brother, Istemi, ruled over the east and west of the Göktürk empire.

 

Ashina's ancestors came from the Suo nation, north of Xiongu. Chinese legends say Ashina's mother was a wolf and the goddess of a particular season. The Ashina tribe of skilled military archers were descended from one archer named Shemo.

 

This Shemo fell in love with a sea goddess near Ashide cave, according to the Book of Zhou (Lighu Defen, et al. Also see the Book of Sui (Wei Zheng, et al.) The Ashina royal family was composed of many different ethnic groups. They arose out of the Pingliang soldiers from eastern Gansu.

 

So you have a story line right there of why they would want to use the wolf hand symbols or signs made (in profile view) with the middle finger and ring finger pressed to the thumb to signify the nose and mouth of the wolf with the pinky and index finger straight up to signify the wolf's ears. With all this information, how will you organize your story?

 

Clues

 

The leading character is the Kağan who also is a scribe in several languages he's learned from his travels in Altay and along the entire length of the Silk Road between Western China, the Altay, and Byzantine Constantinople. This is the 6th century. In the Altay, nature is worshipped. As he travels closer to China, he is influenced by Buddhism.

This first Kağan of the Göktürks has inherited wealth from an ancestral line of Altay royalty. He's a male healer and scribe, age 20, living in the royal yurt. He grew up learning many languages as he traveled the Silk Road from the Altay to China and west to Asia Minor. This character is your alter ego and takes on your own personality as he solves problems or crimes.

 

It is also known that 30,000 Alans (an Iranic-speaking tribe) formed the royal guard (Asud) of the Yuan court in Dadu (Beijing) China.

 

The 10 Choices:


1. Grounded/Down-to-Earth 6. Verve
2. Rational 7. Enthusiastic
3. Decisive 8. Investigative
4. Loner 9. Outgoing
5. Traditional 10. Change-Driven

 

1. To write your story, would you prefer to

a. go to the archives and find out who really was the first ruler of the tribe. You'd start with the book references listed in Wikipedia online, and then consult your own language translations, if any, of the book titled, The Turks, by Güzel, Hasan Celal; Oğuz, C. Cem (2002), The Turks, 2, Ankara: Yeni Türkiye, ISBN 9756782552. Then you'd look for translated letters sent by Sui to the Kağan asking to send her a young husband (down-to-earth) or
b. dig deeper and find out the connections between Chinese and the Turkic documents, to read about who was the first Kağan of the Göktürks.

You'd look up other books listed online and in libraries on the history of Turks and Turanians. Then you'd look up wolf hand symbols and signs among other cultures from India to Native Americans and Siberians.

Then you'd read the emotions and gestures, the body language of the wolf hand symbols to see what they mean and where they originated—Siberia, or the Altay (also spelled Altai) or beyond to Mongolia. Then you'd deduce why Sui doesn't want to marry the Sogdian refugee that she has been promised to by her father who is destitute and caught in the famine of the mini-ice age of 6th century Altay. (verve)
a. □
b. ■

2. Would you be more interested in researching history and writing about
a. the closeness of the relationship that surfaced between the Huns and the Turks from the sixth century back to 4,000 years ago (enthusiastic) or
b. analyze the business deals and diplomatic events between these equal powers to see who was winning the race to becoming the superpower of the century? (rational)

a. ■
b. □

3. Are you more interested in the fact that
a. A Turanian Khatun (Queen) who wrote all her letters in an Altay (Altai) dialect, (down-to-earth) or

b. To find out whether the Kağan's father, was so admired or so hated after his death because he worshipped the lucky charm, a tamga, of a wolf spirit or whether he worshipped a tamga of a white horse or a hawk. (verve)

a. ■
b. □

4. Would you rather write about
a. The sons of a royal Ashina clan being adopted, sent as a gift from Mongolia during their Altay step father's festival of his many years of reign (enthusiastic) or
b. You'd prefer to solve the mystery of why some of the sons of the royal Ashina are thought to be associated with the Tribe of Levi by some, according to whether they have a 'Y' chromosome sequence that has the letter 'Q' in it that may link some royal Ashina to some Levites from Eastern Europe. Ashinas are said to come from the Suo nation, north of Xiongu (rational)?

a. □
b. ■

5. You are a Khatun (Altay Queen). Would you rather
a. exercise your right as a widow to claim an unmarried Altay prince (enthusiastic) or
b. marry your late husband's male nanny because it's only right and fair to restore an Altay Turanian to Turania's throne? (rational)

a. ■
b. □

6. An Altay princess of a vast stretch of land she calls Turania in the 6th century who is a widow may have written to her father-in-law to send her another of his sons for
marriage to her. As a writer of her life story, would you rather

a. create a laundry list of princes that she must interview and screen in a dating game (down-to-earth) or
b. create a story where she rides 1,000 miles on a donkey to run away from her servant after he forces her to marry him and has magical adventures disguised as a 14-year old boy studying philosophy and alchemy with Chinese acupuncture healers and
astrologers she meets in her travels at the far end of the Silk Road? (verve)

a. □
b. ■

7. Are you more interested in ending your story with
a. A Turanian prince marrying an Altay young widow, then taking the Kağan's adoptive grandmother, (you might create a story about a mythical Queen Yildiz) as a second wife, so that you have closure and an ending for your story (decisive) or
b. would you rather let your story remain open for serialization, since the Kağan's widow is never heard from again after she marries her late husband's regent and nanny. He then marries a different princess, from the royal Ashina tribe, since the fate of the Turanian Kağan's widow after marrying the regent is not recorded in history? (investigative)

a. □
b. ■

8. If you were a Turanian, would you prefer to
a. decide immediately to obey the Ashina Kağan and leave your own country to marry the widowed Queen of the Turanians because duty required it, knowing you'll probably be killed when you arrive by the same person who killed the former Kağan, (decisive) or
b. stall for time as long as possible, waiting for validated information to arrive regarding the diplomatic climate between the Ashina and the Turanians (since Turanians are Altay and the Ashina are similar, but from Xiongu)? (investigative).

a. □
b. ■

9. You are the Göktürk Kağan who had been adopted in infancy as a gift from an Ashina ruler because the Khatun (queen) had six daughters. If you were Kağan, would you
a. speak in the Altay/Altai language in front of your Xiongu-area dialect speaking Ashina Regent, thereby possibly inflaming the nationalism in him (investigative) or
b. plan and organize methodically to have a whole line of people close to you from your own country of origin, Altay and Turania originating in Central Asia) rather than from the lair of the wolf-goddess mother that legend has told you was the place of your origin?
(decisive)
a. □
b. ■

10. Would you rather write about
a. terms of the treaty between the peoples of Turania and Ashina of Xiongu based on the facts provided by records (down-to-earth) or
b. the theories set in motion when the Ashina Kağan marries the Altay Kağan's widow and soon after, the widow disappears, and the Ashina marries another Khatun (Queen) mythically named Yildiz, the so-called daughter of a mother goddess of the wolf tribes that use wolf hand symbols to show loyalty to one another's similar language tribes? (verve)

a. □
b. ■

11. Do you like writing about
a. enigmas or puzzles set in motion by symbols on intimate funerary equipment in a mystery novel (rational) or
b. why so many other Turanians use wolf hand symbols or signs where the index finger and the pinky are raised to represent the wolf's ears while the thumb crosses over the folded middle and ring fingers—or both the Turanians and the Ashinas use the wolf finger symbol of a wolf face in profile where the middle and ring fingers and thumb form the long wolf's snout while the upheld pinky and index fingers form the wolf's ears? (enthusiastic)

a. □
b. ■

12. A tag line shows the mood/emotion in the voice--how a character speaks or acts. Are you more interested in
a. compiling, counting, and indexing citations or quotes from how-to books for writers (down-to-earth) or
b. compiling tag lines that explain in fiction dialogue the specific behaviors or gestures such as, "Yes, he replied timorously."? (verve)

a. □
b. ■

13. Would you rather write
a. dialog (enthusiastic) or
b. description? (rational)

a. ■
b. □
14. To publicize your writing, would you rather
a. give spectacular presentations or shows without preparation or prior notice (investigative) or
b. have to prepare a long time in advance to speak or perform? (decisive)

a. ■
b. □

15. If you were a Turanian Khatun (Queen), would you prefer to
a. receive warnings well in advance and without surprises that your late husband's nanny and regent is planning to get rid of you and marry another Queen of a different Tribe (adoptive grandmother of your late husband); so you could conveniently disappear (decisive) or
b. adapt to last-moment changes by never getting down to your last man or your last bowl of fermented mare's milk? (investigative)

a. ■
b. □

16. As a scribe, artist, and poet in early medieval Turania would you
a. feel constrained by the Kağan's time schedules and deadlines (due dates) (investigative) or
b. set realistic timetables and juggle priorities? (decisive)

a. ■
b. □

17. As the Kağan's widow, do you feel bound to
a.
go with social custom, do the activities itemized on the social calendar, and marry your dead husband's unmarried brother because it's organized according to a plan (decisive) or
b. go with the flow of the relationship, deal with issues as they arise, marry a Khazar warrior from another tribe, marry a Royal Ashina from Xiongu, or simply make no commitments or assumptions about what's the right thing to do because time changes plans and you just prefer to wait until more information is available? (investigative)

a. □
b. ■

18. You're the Ashina Kağanreading the Altay Turanian widow's desperate letter in your own country of Xiongu. Is your reply to the Altay (Turanian) Khatun (Queen) more likely to be
a. one brief, concise, and to the point letter (rational) or
b. one sociable, friendly, empathetic and time-consuming letter? (enthusiastic)

a. □
b. ■

19. You're the Göktürk Kağancontemplating who most wants to replace you with an
Ashina ruler. You make a list of

a. the pros and cons of each person close to you (rational) or
b. varied comments from friends and relatives on what they say behind your back regarding how your influence them and what they want from you. (enthusiastic)

a. □
b. ■

20. The human body is like the Silk Road, you have been taught. You're the great healer who came all the way along the Silk Road from China trying to heal with acupuncture needles as your tools, working your way along the energy points of chi to help the Göktürk Kağanin medieval Turania. Would you rather investigate
a. the tried and true facts about energy points (down-to-earth) or
b. want to see what's in the overall picture as part of your expertise before you place the acupuncture needles at specific energy points that the Göktürk Kağan calls his clues? (verve)
a. □
b. ■

21. You're a Silk Road traveling healer looking for the energy meridians or points on the Göktürk Kağan's older brother. Your job is to restore his energy in his golden wise years. You

a. seldom make errors of detail when looking for clues to heal such as taking notice of the Göktürk Kağan's rival wedding present to the young, healthy Khatun (Queen)--her freshly inscribed tamga charm for good luck, an amulet of a white horse. (down-to-earth) or
b. prefer more innovative work like writing secret love poems to the Queen disguised as prayers to the wolf goddess and watching for the sacred horse's spirit to escape through the ice cave hole dug into the frozen tundra near one of the Altay mountains. (verve)

a. □
b. ■

22. As a scribe and healer, you become
a. tired when you work alone all day in a dimly torch-lit yurt (outgoing) or
b. tired when the latest Göktürk Kağan interrupts your concentration on your work to demand that you greet and entertain his guests all evening at banquets with wolf hand shapes as shadow symbols on the walls of the yurt near a lamp of fire. (loner).

a. □
b. ■

23. When the Khatun (Queen) asks you as a healer to write love poems for her that she can
hand to the Göktürk Kağan, you

a. create the ideas for your poems by long discussions with the Queen (outgoing) or
b. prefer to be alone when you reach deep down inside your spirit to listen to what your wolf goddess (soul entities) tell you as the only resource for writing metaphors. (loner)

a. □
b. ■

24. You are in medieval Turania investigating the death of an elderly Göktürk Kağan and prefer to
a. question many different foreigners and locals at boisterous celebrations in different languages (outgoing) or
b. disregard outside events and look inside the family history/genealogy rune inscriptions on a stone for the culprit. (loner)

a. □
b. ■

25. The next Göktürk Kağan, at a young age asks you to develop ideas for him about how to act when
ascending the throne so young. You prefer to develop ideas through

a. reflection, meditation, and prayer (loner) or
b. discussions and interviews among the Göktürk Kağan's playmates on what makes the Göktürk Kağan laugh. (outgoing)

a. ■
b. □

26. As an Altay healer and Shaman, you are
a. rarely cautious about the family position of those with whom you socialize as long as they are kind, righteous people who do good deeds (outgoing) or
b. seeking one person with power to raise you from healer to the next Göktürk Kağan of Turania, if only the present Göktürk Kağan would ask your advice. (loner)

a. □
b. ■

27. You are a sculptor, healer, and scribe in early medieval Turania when the Göktürk Kağan asks you to carve a name for yourself using Ataly runes on a special stone with magical properties that bears the image of a wolf and is a special representation of its owner. Would you
a. inscribe the Turanic rune that means 'remote' (loner) or
b. choose a special name for yourself that means, "He who shares time easily with many foreigners along the Silk Road, beyond Altay?" (outgoing)

a. ■
b. □
28. As an ancient healer, Shaman, and scribe, do you work better when you
a. spend your day off where no one can see you asking the sacred wolf goddess why its teeth are so sharp if it is supposed to be so intelligent (loner) or

b. spend your free time training teams of apprentice healers using the acupuncture needles you learned how to use before you left China to travel along the Silk Road due west? (outgoing)

a. ■
b. □

29. If you discovered a new land, would you build your cities upon

a. your wise elders' principles as they always have worked well before (traditional) or

b. unfamiliar cargo that traders brought from afar to civilize your land? (change-driven)

a.□
b. ■

30. Do you depict the Göktürk Kağan's victories on a stone in Turanian runes exactly as

a. surviving witnesses from both sides recounted the events (change-driven) or

b. the Göktürk Kağan wants people to see? (traditional)

a. □
b. ■

31. If you're self-motivated, would you avoid learning from your Tarkhan (military leader) because

a. your overseer doesn't keep up with the times (change-driven) or

b. your overseer doesn't let you follow in your father's footsteps? (traditional)

a. ■
b.□

32. Would you prefer to

a. train healers, Shamans and scribes because your father taught you how to do it well (traditional) or

b. move quickly from one project to another forever? (change-driven)

a.□
b. ■

33. Do you feel like an outsider when

a. you think more about going back along the Silk road to China or staying in the Altay in the future than about current healing chores in Turania (change-driven) or

b. do you think more about the stress of being of service to invaders from many different lands along the Silk Road that have now replaced your forefathers' familiar Chinese foods with unfamiliar dairy cuisine from Altay and Xiongu such as fermented mare's milk? (traditional)

a. ■
b.□

34. Do you quickly

a. solve problems for those inside when you're coming from outside (change-driven) or

b. refuse to spend your treasures to develop new ideas that might fail? (traditional)

a. ■
b.□

35. Would you rather listen to and learn from Turanian, Ashina, and Chinese philosophers that

a. predict a future in which old habits are replaced with new ones (change-driven) or

b. are only interested in experiencing one day at a time? (traditional)

a. ■
b.□

 

#

 

When you add up the sample scored assessment, the writer prefers a change-driven enthusiastic investigative vivacious (verve-with-imagination) loner approach to solving problems for his or her main characters. Your five personality letters for your varied writing style aptitude and/or your character's personality preferences would be: E I V L C. (Scramble the letters to make a word to remember, the name Clive, in this case.)

 

Scores

 

1.Total Grounded/Down-to-earth 0 6. Total Verve 5

2. Total Rational 0 7. Total Enthusiastic 7

3. Total Decisive 0 8. Total Investigative 7

4. Total Loner 4 9. Total Outgoing 3

5. Total Traditional 2 10. Total Change-Driven 5

 

Note that there is a tie between C (change-driven) and V (verve). Both have a score of '5'. However, since 'V' (verve) which signifies vivacious imagination with gusto competes with 'C', being change-driven, the 'verve' in the vivacious personality wracked with creative imagination would wither in a traditional corporation that emphasizes routinely running a tight ship.

 

Traditional firms seek to imitate successful corporations of the past that worked well and still work. They don't need to be fixed often unless they make noise.

Instead, the dominantly change-driven creative individual would flourish better with a forward-looking, trend-setting creative corporation and build security from flexibility of job skill. When in doubt, turn to action verbs to communicate your 'drive.' If you're misplaced, you won't connect as well with co-workers and may be dubbed "a loose cannon."

 

You know you're writing in the right genre when your personality connects with the genre of fiction or creative nonfiction readers and groups to share meaning. Communication is the best indicator of your personality matching a character's traits. It's all about connecting more easily with readers who enjoy the characters you create based on your preferences and the character's actions.