Trying Too Hard

Saturday, December 18

So many great ideas strike you when you're just sitting and thinking.
I was thinking, as I usually do, about writing.
I've been struggling, unsure what to write, how to write it, and finding no enjoyment in bringing characters to life.
Then I realized the answer to writing.

Don't try too hard.

What seperates a good artist and a bad one? The good artist donesn't try too hard, doesn't let the lines get too stiff, or the color too vibrant.

Write the book you most want to read. That's all there is to it. The stories I most enjoy writing are the freewrites, the ones that "don't matter".

Cyril Connolly said it's "better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
I think that's true.

So here goes, I'm writing the post I want to write. And tonight, I'll work on my neglected story. I pull up a chair, switch on the computer, and let go.

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Naming Your Character: Numerology

Friday, December 3

I stumbled on something called Arithmacy (more commonly referred to as numerology) while reading The Sorcerer's Companion. Yes, I'm a major nerd.

Anyway, according to this numerology, your name can reveal great secrets about you and your personality. naturally, being the writer I am, after figured out my arithmancy, I immediately did my characters.
Like I said. I'm a nerd.

So here's a lovely diversion for writers; Does your character's name match up with their personality?
What the heck, it's Friday. Do something spontaneous.


The first step in analyzing a name is to convert it to a set of numbers. Each letter of the alphabet is assigned a numerical value between 1 and 9, according to the following chart:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M NO P QR
S T U V WX Y Z

As should be clear, the letters A, J, and S have the value of "1," B, K, and so forth. To analyze any name, write it down, and beneath each letter enter the corresponding numerical value. As an example, we'll analyze the name Nicholas Flamel:

N I C H O L A S F L A M E L
5 9 3 8 6 3 1 1 6 3 1 4 5 3

When you have all the numbers written down, add them up. In this case, the result if 58. According to the procedures of arithmancy, when a total exceeds 9--which it usually does-- it must be "reduced" to a single digit by adding the component numbers together, more than once, if necessary. Thus, 58 reduces to 13 (5+8=13), which reduces to 4 (1+3=4). The final result is known as the Character Number. This number indicates the general personality type of the individual.

The next number to be derived is the Heart Number, which refers to the individual's inner life and is said to indicate desires and fears hidden from others. The Heart Number is the total of all the vowels in the name, reduced to a single digit.

The third number to be derived is the Social Number, which refers to the outer personality. The social number is determined by adding up the value of the consonants in the name.


One: This is the number of the individual. Ones are independent, focused, single-minded, and determined. They set a goal and stick to it. They are leaders and inventors. Ones find it difficult to work with others and don't like to take orders. They can be self-centered, egotistical, and domineering. They are often loners.

Two: Two represents interaction, two-way communication, cooperation, and balance. Twos are imaginative, creative, and sweet natured. Peace, harmony, commitment, loyalty and fairness are characteristic. But two also introduces the idea of conflict, opposing forces, and the contrasting sides of things: night and day, good and evil. Twos can be withdrawn, moody, self-conscious, and indecisive.

Three: Three represents the idea of completeness or wholeness, as in the trios "past-present-future" and "mind-body-spirit". The Pythagoreans considered three to be the first "complete" number because, like three pebbles laid out in a row, it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Three indicates talent, energy, an artistic nature, humor, and social ease. Threes are often lucky, easygoing ,rich, and highly successful, but they can also be unfocused, easily offended, and superficial.

Four: Like a table that rests solidly on four legs, four indicates stability and firmness. Fours enjoy hard work. They are practical, reliable, and down to earth; they prefer logic and reason to flights of fancy. They are good at organization and getting things done. Like the cycle of the four seasons, they are also predictable. They can be stubborn, suspicious, overly practical, and prone to angry outbursts. The conflicts possible with "two" are doubled in four.

Five: Five is the number of instability and imbalance, indicating change and uncertainty. Fives are drawn to many things at once but commit to none. They are adventurous, energetic, and wiling to take risks. They enjoy travel and meeting new people but may not stay in one place very long. Fives can be conceited, irresponsible, quick-tempered, and impatient.

Six: Six represents harmony, friendship, and family life. Sixes are loyal, reliable, and loving. They adapt easily. They do well in teaching and the arts, but are often unsuccessful in business. They are sometimes prone to gossip and complacency. The Pythagorean regarded six as the perfect number because it was divisible by both two and three, and was the sum as well as the product of the first three digits (1+2+3=6, 1x2x3=6).

Seven: Perceptive, understanding, and bright, sevens enjoy hard work and challenges. They are often serious, scholarly, and interested in all things mysterious. Originality and imagination are more important than money and material possessions. Sevens can also be pessimistic, sarcastic, and insecure. Seven is sometimes considered a mystical or magical number because of its associations with the biblical seven days of creation, and the seven heavenly bodies of ancient astronomy (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter).

Eight: Eight indicates the possibility of great success in business, finance, and politics. Eights are practical, ambitious, committed, and hardworking. They can also be jealous, greedy, domineering, and power hungry. Eight is said to be the most unpredictable of numbers and can indicate the pinnacle of success or the depths of failure; the potential to go either way is presently from the beginning.

Nine: Represents completion and achievement to the fullest degree, as is the "complete" number, three, expressed three times (3x3=9). Nines dedicate themselves to the service of others, often as teachers, scientists, and humanitarians. Strongly determined, they work tirelessly and are an inspiration to others. However, they can also be arrogant and conceited when things don't go their way.

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