history images

Happy Juneteenth! This holiday marks the end of the official institution of slavery in the United States, and was historically widely celebrated by black Americans. The photo above is of a 1905 celebration in Richmond, Virginia.

On this day in 1865, enslaved people in Texas were informed of their freedom, two years following the Emancipation Proclamation. Also on this day, the Civil Rights Act of 1963 was passed, after an 83 day filibuster in the US Senate. This is the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, meaning that official chattel slavery ended in the United States only six generations ago. 

This is an important day to remember and honor all those who struggled against this titanic evil- those whose names we know, and the countless others whose resistance was not recorded and lost to history. 

the nazis succeeded so well in erasing trans history that the iconic image of book burnings is specifically the burning of the institut für sexualwissenschaft library and it goes generally uncaptioned to this day

Your Character’s Personality

Personality is the most important thing about your character.

So, whenever I see character sheets, most people just put a little paragraph for that section. If you’re struggling and don’t know what your character should say or do, what decisions they should make, I guarantee you that this is the problem.

You know your character’s name, age, race, sexuality, height, weight, eye color, hair color, their parents’ and siblings’ names. But these are not the things that truly matter about them.

Traits: 

  • pick traits that don’t necessarily go together. For example, someone who is controlling, aggressive and vain can also be generous, sensitive and soft-spoken. Characters need to have at least one flaw that really impacts how they interact with others. Positive traits can work as flaws, too. It is advised that you pick at least ten traits
  • people are complex, full of contradictions, and please forgive me if this makes anyone uncomfortable, but even bullies can be “nice” people. Anyone can be a “bad” person, even someone who is polite, kind, helpful or timid can also be narcissistic, annoying, inconsiderate and a liar. People are not just “evil” or “good”

Beliefs:

  • ideas or thoughts that your character has or thinks about the world, society, others or themselves, even without proof or evidence, or which may or may not be true. Beliefs can contradict their values, motives, self-image, etc. For example, the belief that they are an awesome and responsible person when their traits are lazy, irresponsible and shallow. Their self-image and any beliefs they have about themselves may or may not be similar/the same. They might have a poor self-image, but still believe they’re better than everybody else

Values:

  • what your character thinks is important. Usually influenced by beliefs, their self-image, their history, etc. Some values may contradict their beliefs, wants, traits, or even other values. For example, your character may value being respect, but one of their traits is disrespectful. It is advised you list at least two values, and know which one they value more. For example, your character values justice and family. Their sister tells them she just stole $200 from her teacher’s wallet. Do they tell on her, or do they let her keep the money: justice, or family? Either way, your character probably has some negative feelings, guilt, anger, etc., over betraying their other value

Motives:

  • what your character wants. It can be abstract or something tangible. For example, wanting to be adored or wanting that job to pay for their father’s medication. Motives can contradict their beliefs, traits, values, behavior, or even other motives. For example, your character may want to be a good person, but their traits are selfish, manipulative, and narcissistic. Motives can be long term or short term. Everyone has wants, whether they realize it or not. You can write “they don’t know what they want,” but you should know. It is advised that you list at least one abstract want

Recurring Feelings:

  • feelings that they have throughout most of their life. If you put them down as a trait, it is likely they are also recurring feelings. For example, depressed, lonely, happy, etc.

Self Image:

  • what the character thinks of themselves: their self-esteem. Some character are proud of themselves, others are ashamed of themselves, etc. They may think they are not good enough, or think they are the smartest person in the world. Their self-image can contradict their beliefs, traits, values, behavior, motives, etc. For example, if their self-image is poor, they can still be a cheerful or optimistic person. If they have a positive self-image, they can still be a depressed or negative person. How they picture themselves may or may not be true: maybe they think they’re a horrible person, when they are, in fact, very considerate, helpful, kind, generous, patient, etc. They still have flaws, but flaws don’t necessarily make you a terrible person

Behavior:

  • how the character’s traits, values, beliefs, self-image, etc., are outwardly displayed: how they act. For example, two characters may have the trait “angry” but they all probably express it differently. One character may be quiet and want to be left alone when they are angry, the other could become verbally aggressive. If your character is a liar, do they pause before lying, or do they suddenly speak very carefully when they normally don’t? Someone who is inconsiderate may have issues with boundaries or eat the last piece of pizza in the fridge when they knew it wasn’t theirs. Behavior is extremely important and it is advised you think long and hard about your character’s actions and what exactly it shows about them

Demeanor:

  • their general mood and disposition. Maybe they’re usually quiet, cheerful, moody, or irritable, etc.

Posture:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality: not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Posture is how the character carries themselves. For example, perhaps they swing their arms and keep their shoulders back while they walk, which seems to be the posture of a confident person, so when they sit, their legs are probably open. Another character may slump and have their arms folded when they’re sitting, and when they’re walking, perhaps they drag their feet and look at the ground

Speech Pattern:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality: not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Speech patterns can be words that your character uses frequently, if they speak clearly, what sort of grammar they use, if they have a wide vocabulary, a small vocabulary, if it’s sophisticated, crude, stammering, repeating themselves, etc. I personally don’t have a very wide vocabulary, if you could tell

Hobbies:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality: not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Hobbies can include things like drawing, writing, playing an instrument, collecting rocks, collecting tea cups, etc.

Quirks:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality, not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Quirks are behaviors that are unique to your character. For example, I personally always put my socks on inside out and check the ceiling for spiders a few times a day

Likes:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality, not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Likes and dislikes are usually connected to the rest of their personality, but not necessarily. For example, if your character likes to do other people’s homework, maybe it’s because they want to be appreciated

Dislikes:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality, not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Likes and dislikes can also contradict the rest of their personality. For example, maybe one of your character’s traits is dishonest, but they dislike liars

History:

  • your character’s past that has key events that influence and shape their beliefs, values, behavior, wants, self-image, etc. Events written down should imply or explain why they are the way they are. For example, if your character is distrustful, maybe they were lied to a lot by their parents when they were a child. Maybe they were in a relationship for twenty years and found out their partner was cheating on them the whole time. If their motive/want is to have positive attention, maybe their parents just didn’t praise them enough and focused too much on the negative

On Mental and Physical Disabilities or Illnesses

  • if your character experienced a trauma, it needs to have an affect on your character. Maybe they became more angry or impatient or critical of others. Maybe their beliefs on people changed to become “even bullies can be ‘nice’ people: anyone can be a ‘bad’ person”
  • people are not their illness or disability: it should not be their defining trait. I have health anxiety, but I’m still idealistic, lazy, considerate, impatient and occasionally spiteful; I still want to become an author; I still believe that people are generally good; I still value doing what make me feel comfortable; I still have a positive self-image; I’m still a person. You should fill out your character’s personality at least half-way before you even touch on the possibility of your character having a disability or illness

Generally everything about your character should connect, but hey, even twins that grew up in the same exact household have different personalities; they value different things, have different beliefs. Maybe one of them watched a movie that had a huge impact on them.

Not everything needs to be explained. Someone can be picky or fussy ever since they were little for no reason at all. Someone can be a negative person even if they grew up in a happy home.

I believe this is a thought out layout for making well-rounded OCs, antagonists and protagonists, whether they’re being created for a roleplay or for a book. This layout is also helpful for studying Canon Characters if you’re looking to accurately roleplay as them or write them in fanfiction or whatever.

I’m really excited to post this, so hopefully I didn’t miss anything important…

If you have any questions, feel free to send a message.

- Chick

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Phineas Gage is one of the most famous patients in the history of neuroscience. He was 25 years old when he experienced a serious accident at his work place, where a tamping iron was shot through his head - entering under his eye socket at exiting through the top of his head - after an explosive charge went off. The tamping iron was over a metre long, and after exiting Gage’s head landed 25m away. 

Initially Gage collapsed and went into minor convlusions, but recovered quickly and was able to speak after a few minutes. He walked with little assistance to an ox-cart and was brought to a nearby physician. Initially the physician did not believe his story because he was in such good condition, but was convinced when: 

Mr. G. got up and vomited; the effort of vomiting pressed out about half a teacupful of the brain, which fell upon the floor.

Gage exhibited a number of dramatic behavioural changes following the accident. Harlow, the physician who initially treated Gage, described this change “He is fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not pre­vi­ous­ly his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows, impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts with his desires”. However the surgeon Henry Jacob Bigelow described his condition as improving over the course of recovery, stated he was “quite recovered in faculties of body and mind”. This may have been early evidence of neural plasticity. This recovery was also reported by a physician who knew Gage while he lived in Chile, who described his ability to hold on a full time job as a Concord coach driver, a job that required exceptional social skills.

Gage’s neurological deficits following his traumatic brain injury is thought to have been exaggerated and distorted over the course of history, to the point that he is often portrayed as a ‘psychopath’. Scientific analysis of the historical accounts of Gage’s life following his accident, namely by the psychologist Malcolm Macmillan, find that these distorted accounts are most likely untrue, and that Gage made a very good recovery.

Post-mortem analysis of the Gage case concluded that it was the left frontal lobe that was damaged in the accident, although further neurological damage may have resulted from infection. Combined examination of the Phineas Gage case with the other famous cases of Tan and H.M. have concluded that social behaviour, memory, and language are dependent on the co-ordination of a number of different brain areas rather than a single region.

Thesis: the narrow focus on public performance over substantive action in certain activist circles has less to do with cynical schemes to game the system for progressive brownie points, and more to do with the fact that many folks basically think social activism is a form of ritual magic. Popular histories give us images of Great Men making speeches and leading marches and circulating petitions, and completely erase all the ground-level infrastructure that made all that stuff work; the end result is that a lot of folks seem honestly to believe that bringing about social change is a matter of performing the appropriate symbolic actions and waiting for reality to reconfigure itself accordingly.