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annehart

How to plan a character-driven story plot when writing historical fiction

 

Here are some tips on writing historical fiction set in ancient times as well as writing entertaining culture about history or media for creativity. Let's say you want to set your fiction back in ancient Egypt or the bronze age. How do you begin the story to hold the attention of readers after your research on actual historical events is done?

 

The trick is to find the way that holds and keeps the attention of your readers by revealing how your story is resolved by your characters. That's called dénouement in a story, novel, or script. If you're not writing, you also can use this method in storytelling in front of an audience or even in writing song lyrics or the first paragraph of a nonfiction article.

 

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. Check out my books, How to Turn Poems, Lyrics, & Folklore into Salable Children's Books: Using Humor or Proverbs, and Ethno-Playography: How to Create Salable Ethnographic Plays, Monologues, & Skits from Life Stories, Social Issues, and Current Events—For all Ages with Samples for Performance. Check out the slideshow on one site of 50 of my 87 paperback book covers listed also at the Amazon.com site and at the publisher's site.

 

For localized fiction, you can tap the Sacramento public libraries or state library for factual information. Check out this creativity enhancement series. This is Part I of How to Use Your Media & Culture Interest to Write Historical Fiction. Check out Part II and Part III of this fiction writer's creativity enhancement assessment and clues helper (for entertainment purposes) online. This three-part series is on Examiner.com. (I no longer write for that website.)

 

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.

 

Are you best-suited to be a historical novelist, mystery writer, short story sprinter, digital interactive story writer on ancient civilizations, a nonfiction writer, or an author of thrillers using historical settings or universal themes? Do you think like a fiction writer, investigative journalist, or an imaginative, creative nonfiction author writing biography in the style of genre or mainstream fiction?

 

Historical Fiction Imaginative Writing Assessment and Creativity Enhancement Clues: Using dénouement (revealing how your story is resolved by your characters)

 

How are you going to clarify and resolve the issues, problems, or situations in your plot by the way your characters behave to move the action forward? How do you get measurable results when writing fiction or creative nonfiction? Consider what steps you show to reveal how your story is resolved by the characters. This also is known as the dénouement.

 

Dénouement as it applies to a short story or novel is the final resolution. It's your clarification of a dramatic or narrative plot. What category of dénouement will your characters take to move the plot forward?

 

Take the writing style preference classifier and find out how you approach your favorite writing style using Toot's facts and acts. Which genre is for you--interactive, traditional, creative nonfiction, fiction, decisive or investigative?

 

Would you rather write for readers that need to interact with their own story endings or plot branches? Which style best fits you? What's your writing profile?

Enjoy this ancient echoes writing genre interest classifier and see the various ways in which way you can be more creative.

 

Do you prefer to write investigative, logical nonfiction or imaginative fiction—or a mixture of both? There are 35 questions—seven questions for each of the five pairs. There are 10 choices.

 

The 10 Choices:


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

Writer's Creativity Style Classifier

 

Creative (imaginative) writing (fiction or nonfiction) is about building and being remembered for what you build into your story, fractal by fractal and word by word. Civilizations are remembered for either what they build up or what they tear down. And your plot and story line can be the reason for their behaviors. Your characters can work for freedoms and equality for all, regardless of diversity, belief, or no belief, for unity, or for the right to remain nomadic or any other way you want them to be.

 

How do you want your story's characters and the plot (driven by characters) to be remembered by the world--by what they invent, create, or develop, or by what they implode, remove, or wipe out?

 

If a group of people are travelers or nomads, they can build stories from oral traditions out of seemingly "nothing" if the geographic areas they cover have no building materials such as trees or stone. Or art can be created on looms or from clay and minerals or from metals.

 

Creativity can be oral or artistic and can be told, recorded, or worn. You want your characters to be remembered for destroying a plague or disease or for building huge malls, enormous or useful architecture, or great centers of learning? Do you want your characters to be remembered for solving worldwide problems and getting measurable results? For providing detailed steps for others to follow? For moral and ethical revelations? Or as leaders and inventors? Or for taking humanity to newer planets? What is your goal as an imaginative writer? What are your preferences?

 

Think of yourself as a mystery writer working on an interactive audio book of stories with clues for the Web about a scribe in ancient Egypt, 1,350 B.C., who has unending adventures trying to track down the person who bashed King Toot with a golden vulture mallet and a cobra-headed hammer.

 

Your scribe is in a race against time to save Toot's teenaged widow, Ankh-Es-En-Amen, from being forced into an unwilling marriage with Toot's male nanny-Regent, Aye, who is determined to become Pharaoh by marrying the Queen. How will you write this interactive story, according to your writing style preferences?

 

Let's imagine setting your novel in ancient Egypt or surrounding places in the Bronze Age

 

Clues


The leading character is 'Mose,' the scribe, not the prophet, Moses. The name Mose or Moses in ancient Egyptian means "from the water." The name "Toot Mose" means "wise one from the water" (The name usually means gift of the Nile.) Toot means wise and is represented in hieroglyphics as an owl.

 

Mose inherited wealth from an ancestral line of architects. He's an Egyptian male scribe, age 20, living in the royal palace. He grew up as Toot's friend. Called "Mu" for short, this character is your alter ego and takes on your own personality as he solves problems or crimes.

 

1. To write your story, would you prefer to
a. go to the Hittite archives in order to have translated two letters sent by Toot's teenage widow to the Hittite king asking to send her a new husband (down-to-earth) or
b. dig deeper and find out the connections between the two documents, reading fear between the lines and noting the reluctance Toot's widow expresses in being forced to marry her servant, the Regent Aye? (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 Hittites and the Egyptians in 1,350 BCE (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. Toot's queen wrote all her letters in a Hittite dialect, not in Egyptian (down-to-earth) or

b. King Toot's father, Akhenaten, was so hated after his death because he worshipped one deity, that his face was scratched off all his monuments and wall friezes? (verve)

a. □
b. □

4. Would you rather write about
a. Toot being adopted, sent as a gift from Hatti during his Egyptian step father's "durbar" festival of his 12th year of reign (enthusiastic) or
b. the mystery of why Toot was buried with both the Hittite vulture on his head and an Egyptian cobra on his crown? (rational)?

a. □
b. □

5. You are Toot's Queen. Would you rather
a. exercise your right as a widow to claim Toot's unmarried Hittite brother, Prince Zennanza (enthusiastic) or
b. marry Toot's male nanny because it's only right and fair to restore an Egyptian to Egypt's throne? (rational)

a. □
b. □

6. Toot's widow wrote 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 Babylonian
astrologers? (verve)

a. □
b. □

7. Are you more interested in ending your story with
a. Aye marrying Toot's young widow, then taking Toot's adoptive grandmother, Queen Tiye 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 Toot's widow is never heard from again after Aye marries her and then marries Queen Tiye, since the fate of Toot's widow after marrying Aye is not recorded in history? (investigative)

a. □
b. □

8. If you were prince Zennanza, would you prefer to
a. decide immediately to obey the Hittite King and leave your own country to marry the widowed Queen of Egypt because duty required it, knowing you'll probably be killed when you arrive by the same person who killed Toot, (decisive) or
b. stall for time as long as possible, waiting for validated information to arrive regarding the diplomatic climate between Hittites and Egyptians? (investigative).

a. □
b. □

9. You are King Toot, Pharaoh of Egypt, a Hittite prince adopted in infancy as a gift from the Hittite king because the Egyptian queen had six daughters. If you were King Toot, would you
a. speak in the Indo-European Hittite language in front of your Hamitic-speaking Egyptian 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 (in what is now called central Turkey) rather than from Egypt in which you were raised?
(decisive)
a. □
b. □

10. Would you rather write about
a. terms of the treaty between Hatti and Kemet (Egypt) based on the facts provided by records (down-to-earth) or
b. the theories set in motion when Aye marries Toot's widow and soon after, the widow disappears, and Aye marries Queen Tiye? (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 no other Egyptian royalty or deities after Toot's life span ever again were depicted with a vulture being friendly with a cobra? (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 Queen Ankh-Es-En-Amen, would you prefer to
a. receive warnings well in advance and without surprises that Aye is planning to get rid of you and marry Queen Tiye (adoptive grandmother of Toot); so you could conveniently disappear (decisive) or
b. adapt to last-moment changes by never getting down to your last man or your last beer? (investigative)

a. □
b. □

16. As a scribe, artist, and poet in ancient Egypt would you
a. feel constrained by King Toot's time schedules and deadlines (due dates) (investigative) or
b. set realistic timetables and juggle priorities? (decisive)

a. □
b. □

17. As Toot'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, make no commitments or assumptions about what's the right thing to do because time changes plans? (investigative)

a. □
b. □

18. You're the Hittite King, Shup-Pilu-Liu-Mas reading Toot's widow's desperate letter in your own country. Is your reply to the Egyptian 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 King Toot contemplating who most wants to replace you with an Egyptian 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. You're the scribe trying to solve Toot's murder in ancient Egypt. Would you rather investigate
a. the tried and true facts about Aye (down-to-earth) or
b. want to see what's in the overall picture before you fill in the clues? (verve)
a. □
b. □

21. You're a scribe painting Toot's tomb shortly after his demise and you
a. seldom make errors of detail when looking for clues such as taking notice of Aye's wedding present to the young, healthy Queen--her freshly inscribed coffin. (down-to-earth) or
b. prefer more innovative work like writing secret love poems to the Queen disguised as prayers and watching for Toot's ghost to escape through the eight-inch square hole cut in the rock of his tomb. (verve)

a. □
b. □

22. As a scribe in ancient Egypt, you become
a. tired when you work alone all day in a dimly torchlit tomb (outgoing) or
b. tired when King Toot interrupts your concentration on your work to demand that you greet and entertain his guests all evening at banquets. (loner).

a. □
b. □

23. When the Queen asks you as a scribe to write love poems for her that she can
hand to Toot, 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 Ka and Ba (soul entities) tell you as the only resource for writing metaphors. (loner)

a. □
b. □

24. You are in ancient Egypt investigating the death of Toot 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 inscriptions on a stellae (stone tablet or obelisk) for the culprit. (loner)

a. □
b. □

25. King Toot, at age nine 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 Toot's playmates on what makes Toot laugh. (outgoing)

a. □
b. □
26. As a scribe 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 scribe to governor of Egypt, if only the pharaoh would ask your advice. (loner)

a. □
b. □

27. You are a sculptor in ancient Egypt when the pharaoh asks you to carve a name for yourself on a marble column that's a special representation of its owner. Would you

a. inscribe the hieroglyph that means 'remote' (loner) or
b. choose a special name for yourself that means, "He who shares time easily with many foreigners?" (outgoing)

a. □
b. □
28. As an ancient scribe, do you work better when you
a. spend your day off where no one can see you asking the Sphinx why its claws are so sharp and made of reef-formed limestone (loner) or
b. spend your free time training teams of apprentice scribes to sculpt their own faces? (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 your king's victories on a stone column exactly as

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

b. the pharaoh wants people to see? (traditional)

a.□
b.□

31. If you're self-motivated, would you avoid learning from your overseer 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 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 the future than about current chores (change-driven) or

b. invaders replace your forefathers' familiar foods with unfamiliar cuisine? (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 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 are made up of five opposite pairs.

Down-to-earth Verve
Rational Enthusiastic
Decisive Investigative
Loner Outgoing
Traditional Change-Driven

Then put the numbers for each answer next to the categories. See the same self-scored test and results below.

1. Total 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. See the sample self-scored test below. 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.

Here's a Sample Scored Test

Take the "King Toot" Creative Writing Aptitude Classifier Quiz
Are you best-suited to be a digital interactive story writer on ancient Egypt, a nonfiction writer, or a mystery writer using ancient Egyptian themes or related ancient themes? Do you think like a fiction writer? Take the writing style preference classifier and find out how you approach your favorite writing style using Toot's facts and acts.

Which genre is for you--interactive, traditional, creative nonfiction, fiction, decisive or investigative? Would you rather write for readers that need to interact with their own story endings or plot branches? Which style best fits you? What's your writing profile?

Take this ancient echoes writing genre interest classifier and see the various ways in which way you can be more creative. Do you prefer to write investigative, logical nonfiction or imaginative fiction—or a mixture of both?

The 10 Choices:

Grounded Verve
Rational Enthusiastic
Decisive Investigative
Loner Outgoing
Traditional Change-Driven

Writer's Creativity Style Classifier

You are a mystery writer working on an interactive audio book for the Web about a scribe in ancient Egypt, 1,350 B.C., who has unending adventures trying to track down the person who bashed King Toot with a golden vulture mallet and a cobra-headed hammer.

Your scribe is in a race against time to save Toot's teenaged widow, Ankh-Es-En-Amen, from being forced into an unwilling marriage with Toot's male nanny-Regent, Aye, who is determined to become Pharaoh by marrying the Queen. How will you write this interactive story, according to your writing style preferences?

Clues

The leading character is 'Mose,' the scribe, not the prophet, Moses. The name Mose or Moses in ancient Egyptian means "from the water." The name "Toot Mose" means "wise one from the water" (The name usually means gift of the Nile.) Toot means wise and is represented in hieroglyphics as an owl.

Mose inherited wealth from an ancestral line of architects. He's an Egyptian male scribe, age 20, living in the royal palace. He grew up as Toot's friend. Called "Mu" for short, this character is your alter ego and takes on your own personality as he solves problems or crimes.

1. To write your story, would you prefer to
a. go to the Hittite archives in order to have translated two letters sent by Toot's teenage widow to the Hittite king asking to send her a new husband (down-to-earth) or
b. dig deeper and find out the connections between the two documents, reading fear between the lines and noting the reluctance Toot's widow expresses in being forced to marry her servant, the Regent Aye? (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 Hittites and the Egyptians in 1,350 BCE (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. Toot's queen wrote all her letters in a Hittite dialect, not in Egyptian (down-to-earth) or
b. King Toot's father, Akhenaten, was so hated after his death because he worshipped one deity, that his face was scratched off all his monuments and wall friezes? (verve)

a. □
b. ■
4. Would you rather write about
a. Toot being adopted, sent as a gift from Hatti during his Egyptian step father's "durbar" festival of his 12th year of reign (enthusiastic) or
b. the mystery of why Toot was buried with both the Hittite vulture on his head and an Egyptian cobra on his crown? (rational)?

a. ■
b. □

5. You are Toot's Queen. Would you rather
a. exercise your right as a widow to claim Toot's unmarried Hittite brother, Prince Zennanza (enthusiastic) or
b. marry Toot's male nanny because it's only right and fair to restore an Egyptian to Egypt's throne? (rational)

a. ■
b. □

6. Toot's widow wrote 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 Babylonian
astrologers? (verve)

a. □
b. ■

7. Are you more interested in ending your story with
a. Aye marrying Toot's young widow, then taking Toot's adoptive grand mother, Queen Tiye 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 Toot's widow is never heard from again after Aye marries her and then marries Queen Tiye, since the fate of Toot's widow after marrying Aye is not recorded in history? (investigative)

a. □
b. ■

8. If you were prince Zennanza, would you prefer to
a. decide immediately to obey the Hittite King and leave your own country to marry the widowed Queen of Egypt because duty required it, knowing you'll probably be killed when you arrive by the same person who killed Toot, (decisive) or
b. stall for time as long as possible, waiting for validated information to arrive regarding the diplomatic climate between Hittites and Egyptians? (investigative).

a. □
b. ■

9. You are King Toot, Pharaoh of Egypt, a Hittite prince adopted in infancy as a gift from the Hittite king because the Egyptian queen had six daughters. If you were King Toot, would you
a. speak in the Indo-European Hittite language in front of your Hamitic-speaking Egyptian 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 (in what is now called central Turkey) rather than from Egypt in which you were raised?
(decisive)

a. ■
b. □

10. Would you rather write about
a. terms of the treaty between Hatti and Kemet (Egypt) based on the facts provided by records (down-to-earth) or
b. the theories set in motion when Aye marries Toot's widow and soon after, the widow disappears, and Aye marries Queen Tiye? (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 no other Egyptian royalty or deities after Toot's life span ever again were depicted with a vulture being friendly with a cobra? (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 Queen Ankh-Es-En-Amen, would you prefer to
a. receive warnings well in advance and without surprises that Aye is planning to get rid of you and marry Queen Tiye (adoptive grandmother of Toot); so you could conveniently disappear (decisive) or
b. adapt to last-moment changes by never getting down to your last man or your last beer? (investigative)

a. □
b. ■

16. As a scribe, artist, and poet in ancient Egypt would you
a. feel constrained by King Toot's time schedules and deadlines (due dates) (investigative) or
b. set realistic timetables and juggle priorities? (decisive)

a. ■
b. □

17. As Toot'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, make no commitments or assumptions about what's the right thing to do because time changes plans? (investigative)

a. □
b. ■

18. You're the Hittite King, Shup-Pilu-Liu-Mas reading Toot's widow's
desperate letter in your own country. Is your reply to the Egyptian 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 King Toot contemplating who most wants to replace you with an
Egyptian 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. You're the scribe trying to solve Toot's murder in ancient Egypt. Would you rather investigate
a. the tried and true facts about Aye (down-to-earth) or
b. want to see what falls under the all-inclusive umbrella before you fill in the clues? (verve)
a. □
b. ■

21. You're a scribe painting Toot's tomb shortly after his demise and you
a. seldom make errors of detail when looking for clues such as taking notice of Aye's wedding present to the young, healthy Queen--her freshly inscribed coffin. (down-to-earth) or
b. prefer more innovative work like writing secret love poems to the Queen disguised as
prayers and watching for Toot's ghost to escape through the eight-inch square hole cut
in the rock of his tomb. (verve)

a. □
b. ■

22. As a scribe in ancient Egypt, you become
a. tired when you work alone all day in a dimly torchlit tomb (outgoing) or
b. tired when King Toot interrupts your concentration on your work to demand that you greet and entertain his guests all evening at banquets. (loner).

a. □
b. ■

23. When the Queen asks you as a scribe to write love poems for her that she can
hand to Toot, 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 Ka and Ba (soul entities) tell you as the only resource for writing metaphors. (loner)

a. □
b. ■

24. You are in ancient Egypt investigating the death of Toot 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 inscriptions on a stellae for the culprit. (loner)

a. □
b. ■

25. King Toot, at age nine 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 Toot's playmates on what makes Toot laugh. (outgoing)

a. □
b. ■

26. As a scribe 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 scribe to governor of Egypt, if only the pharaoh would ask your advice. (loner)

a. ■

b. □

27. You are a sculptor in ancient Egypt when the pharaoh asks you to carve a name for yourself on a marble column that's a special representation of its owner. Would you
a. inscribe the hieroglyph that means 'remote' (loner) or
b. choose a special name for yourself that means, "He who shares time easily with
many foreigners?" (outgoing)

a. □
b. ■

28. As an ancient scribe, do you work better when you
a. spend your day off where no one can see you asking the Sphinx why its claws are so sharp and made of reef-formed limestone (loner) or
b. spend your free time training teams of apprentice scribes to sculpt their own faces? (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 your king's victories on a stone column exactly as

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

b. the pharaoh wants people to see? (traditional)

a.□
b.■

31. If you're self-motivated, would you avoid learning from your overseer 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 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 the future than about current chores (change-driven) or

b. invaders replace your forefathers' familiar foods with unfamiliar cuisine? (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 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. ■

 

***

 

Scores

 

Total Down-to-earth 0 Total Verve 5

Total Rational 0 Total Enthusiastic 7

Total Decisive 0 Total Investigative 7

Total Loner 4 Total Outgoing 3

Total Traditional 2 Total Change-Driven 5

 

The four highest numbers of answers are enthusiastic, investigative, imaginative loner. Choose the highest numbers first as having the most importance (or weight) in your writing style preference. Therefore, your own creative writing style and the way you plot your character's actions, interests, and goals (for fiction writing and specifically mystery writing) is 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.)

 

Note that 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 novel's main character traits with readers. It's all about connecting more easily with readers similar to your preferences .

 

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.