Wendalyne is not a boring character; she is living the dream. Her dream, that is. More of a game than a dream, actually. The Morphophonemic Wheedlometrist lives for the experience of her craft....

This character pesters me lately. She wants to be defined and illustrated, even if she has no immediate role in a developing story. I found her in a rabbit hole on a daydream adventure last week, but I can't sort out what she is all about. Is she a drag to interact with or is she a masterful benevolent manipulator you want to chat with? Does she have a condescending demeanor or maybe she tends to go unnoticed for the most part?

Is there a known strategy for discovering and developing a character based on a simple name or absurd professional title?

1 Answer 1


Certain professions or areas of interest have been found to correlate with certain personality traits. An example are the "dark triad" of traits often found in the upper management. I cannot list all the known correlations in this answer, but you may have observed yourself how people choose professions that fit their character and then in turn people working in a certain profession have certain character traits in common.

So if you want to derive a personality from a profession, you must first know what that profession is, what it takes to be good in it, which interests someone must have to enjoy it, and so on, and that will be your answer. There is no way to deduce a professional's character from the name of the profession alone.

But even if you know all the above about your job, you may still want to have your character differ from the typical person working that job. A good protagonist might be someone who doesn't perfectly fit their job. The disillusioned detective (Philip Marlowe) or the unhappy scullery maid (Cinderella) are typical examples of protagonists that are interesting because they don't fit their job.

The question for you is, which combination of fit or misfit will give you an idea for a story. And that is something you'll have to play with. Vary job and person and see where an idea springs forth.

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