Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mental Image

As Phill and I discussed a fictional situation in the novel I'm writing, he brought up a subject of a personal image. Specifically, he was saying that my character would see himself as a Captain Jack Sparrow. I nixed that. We agreed that the character's mental image of himself would be more along the lines of Stephen Maturin of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series.

In the midst of our lunchtime conversation, he said casually, "You have a mental image of yourself."

"I do?"


"And what is that?"

"A basketball playing . . ."

"No. No. That won't work. You are talking about a person's archetype, not what they were at one time. What is my archetype?"

Clearly, Phill could not answer the question, so I moved the conversation to its origins, discussing what my character would do in a certain situation. Would he shake off the fact that he wasn't chosen as the Viking warlord for his girlfriend's novel agreeing that it didn't fit his personal image? Or would he sulk because he secretly would like to be the hulking man who no one can ignore?

I couldn't tell you my archetype. I do not know what it would be.

What about you? Do you have a mental image of who you are? Is that why so many people take those quizzes to see which Harry Potter character fits them or which Middle Earth race they are? Shouldn't we already know?


dragon knitter said...

it's a valid question. there are so many descriptors for one person. i'm a mother. i'm a semi-writer (i've only had one small article published). i'm a knitter.(fiberista?). but what AM i? good question

Sarabeth said...

I wish I could be original enough to make a list of archetypes for everyone to choose. I could borrow from Dungeons and Dragongs, which is great for figuring out which attributes you either already have or those that you desire.

While some may scoff, D&D is really great for that because you can choose a race (human, elf, half elf, dwarf, etc.), a profession (cleric, magician, fighter, thief, assassin), and an alignment (neutral good, chaotic good, true neutral, the goody good, the evil one).

Kell said...

I'm going through pre-marital counseling right now - we just took a personality test that the counselor assures me is waaaaay accurate. It says I can handle a lot of disorder in my life... I disagree with that totally. I mean, I make a big mess - but I hate that I do... I hate piles. I hate when I don't have time to clean...

I'll blog about it after the wedding is over. I'm just so nutsy cuckoo right now. I don't want to say that the personality test is poppycock, but I am exploring the idea that I'm a lousy one to try and decide things like, "I'm more of a mountain than a river..." pshaw!

Kell said...

I'm a mountain... I'm a river. Whatever.

I'd be much more competent answering the age old "which Winnie the Pooh Character do you most relate to." (Rabbit, with shades of Eeore, a pinch of owl, and the skittishness of a Piglet.)

Sarabeth said...

Just for the record, I always chose a human, neutral good, that was a cleric/fighter. I didn't want to fight, but if pushed I would bludgeon you to death with a cudgel. Well, not me--my alter ego.