Based on Pamela’s book,Inner Drives: Create Characters Using the 8 Centers of Motivation (chakras) published by Michael Wiese Prods and available at The Writers Store.
Learn to use the same character-building tools used by myth-makers and story-tellers throughout the ages.
Want your characters to be understood around the world?
Use the global system of character analysis and creation that’s based on how we really are – physically, psychologically, and philosophically. Since every person has the same system, everyone will intuitively recognize your characters if you align them with this system.
One of your biggest challenges is to create characters that sound, look, and act differently one from the other. Learn to use the Inner Drives to create unique, dynamic, believable characters.
The Inner Drives chakra system is a rich resource for character development, character arcs, and building ensembles. Chakras are actual bundles of nerves in our spinal column that control the endocrine glands which release hormones, which affect our feelings and actions – and sometimes vice versa.
Learn to use these Inner Drives and you too can tap into the power of myth for characters in any genre or style. My article in The Writers Store ezine gives an overview of the chakra system and its relevance to media.
In this column we explore the Heart and Crown Chakras. Not considered chakras of the personality, they are said to be our connections with our higher selves, with the spiritual realm, with the One Life that permeates the entire cosmos. They are saintly, godly, and rare. People who believe they are operating from the Heart Chakra should be directed to the article about the Aspirational Solar Plexus, which is where most seemingly heart actions originate.
Why does William Wallace sacrifice his very life for freedom in Braveheart? Because that’s what real heroes do. “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” or her country, or his species, or her planet, we might add to Jesus’ words in John 15:13.
Why has the Dalai Lama never spoken out in anger against the invading Chinese who forced him into exile and destroyed so much of his homeland? Your Crown Center character takes direction from a higher source than humanity and will not be swayed by normal human emotions or concerns.
- Impersonal brotherhood/sisterhood/humanhood
- Unconditional love
- Selfless sacrifice for the good of all humanity
- Connection with higher energies, spirit, deities, cosmos, etc.
- Highest, abstract thought
- Long term, grand view
Heart – At the physical heart.
Crown – About three inches above the head.
ENDOCRINE GLANDS & HORMONES
Heart – Thymus gland and the immune system
Crown – Pineal gland
Heart – Esoterically the Heart Center is not considered a Center of the personality but rather a Center of the soul. It, like the Crown Center, is of a higher frequency than the other Centers and is considered a gateway to the higher energies of life, consciousness, and creativity.
Needless to say, most of us don’t spend much time up in the Heart Center but we do occasionally have moments up there. Having seen the need and agreed to pay the cost for their actions, your story character could rise to the Heart Center and do some great act of beauty, chivalry, and sacrifice with no thought for personal reward or safety.
Crown – The pineal gland is said to be the place where spiritual and physical meet, where thought enters the physical realm. Science still doesn’t know exactly what the pineal does and why. The Mystery traditions say that it anchors the threads of consciousness and forms one end of some of those rainbow bridges from humanity to the heavens.
- Saint / Martyr
- Saviour deity
- Psychopomp – guide to other worlds
- Two-faced gods
Heart – Lion, the sun
Crown – Halo, winged dragon Recall that the dragon is a symbol for the Root Centre so the winged dragon implies the energy raised to this highest chakra.
PLANETS & ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS
Heart & Crown – Sun
- Simple, pure
- Humble, like Gandhi’s home-spun white cotton dhoti
- crowns and scepters
- Plain white or sky blue diaphanous robes
- Gliding; seeming not to have feet
- Arms outstretched to embrace all humanity
- Eyes turned up to the heavens
- Ethereal, floaty, immaterial
- Disconnected, spacey
- Graceful, barely touching physical things
PHOBIAS, FOIBLES, FOODS
- Immune system problems
- Compassion fatigue
- Manna, ambrosia, or some other divine food
- Perceives other realities
- Crisis of faith — the dark night of the soul, dropping to lower chakras
- Pineapples, pomegranates [same appearance as the pineal gland]
STYLES OF SPEECH
- Very ethereal, wispy
- Not concerned with individual or earthly events
- Calm. Very calm. Very…very…very…calm….
Heart & Crown
- Handel’s “Messiah”, Mozart’s music.
- Gregorian chant
- Harp and organ music, Tibetan long horns and two-tone throat chants
- Joan of Arc
- Captain John Sheridan in Babylon 5
- William Wallace in Braveheart
- The Dalai Lama
- The Pope (ideally, and the new Pope Francis is doing it well so far)
- Clarence Oddbody, the angel in It’s A Wonderful Life
- Lost Horizon
- Mahabharata, The
- Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas
- Wings of Desire – the Angels, until they become human
A Heart Centered character is a rare occurrence. It is more of a temporary position that will have a huge effect on the environment around that character. It will also have a huge effect — usually detrimental, often fatal — to the character herself.
The tone of expression of a Crown Center focus will almost always be supernally calm and benevolent. They can have a calming and uplifting affect on the more normal, human characters, and can be very inspiring to your audience.
I hope you have enjoyed exploring these rather rare, elevated Centers and will use the information to great effect in creating those unusual instances when your characters who are focused on other Centers, experience that bolt from the blue, the touch of an angel, or find themselves in an unearthly realm.
Now that we’ve looked at the eight Centers of Motivation, let’s see how you can combine them, create ensembles, and use them for character arcs. The next column will look at the Pairs of Chakras and how to use them to create conflict and drama within and individual and between different characters.
Heart – Name two mythic, fictional, or real characters who sacrificed everything for the good of an entire people, planet, or dimension.
Crown – Name your favourite deity who operates from the highest energy.
Heart – Write a scene where a character is persuaded by someone else to perform the dangerous, deadly, valiant act that will save millions.
Crown – Write a scene with a Crown-focused person/deity and a person on the Lower Solar Plexus. The LSP person tries to get the Crown person to get involved in a human squabble. How does the Crown person deflect it and even draw the LSP person into a higher focus?
Inner Drives / The Power of the Dark Side / Symbols.Images.Codes / Beyond the Hero’s Journey / Show Me the Love! / Alpha Babes / ArchePaths / Warrior Way for Filmmakers
© 2014 Pamela Jaye Smith www.mythworks.net
- More Inner Drives by Pamela Jaye Smith
- Balls of Steel: Finding Character Motivation, Conflict and Compassion
- Specs & The City: Establishing Characters and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’
- Storytelling Strategies: Monster University‘s Scary Character Arcs
Tools to Help:
- Inner Drives: How to Write and Create Characters Using the Eight Classic Centers of Motivation
- Creating Unforgettable Characters
- Creating Dynamic Characters On Demand Webinar
- Breathing Life Into Your Characters