Cheat Your Way to a Colorful Character

The Luscher color test for gaining accurate psychological information about a person has been around for six decades, and though it is not widely used in the United States, it is prevalent in Europe.

A few years ago, I bought the book, thinking to take the test, but I never could decide which of the colors I liked best; they all looked murky to me. Even if I did manage to arrange the color cards in order of preference, I would have had to go through all the equations to figure out what that order meant, and it seemed to be a lot of trouble for nothing. I set the book aside, promising to take the test some day, and that book has been sitting on the shelf taunting me. But no longer.

I found the test on-line today at, and took it. Finally. In some respects it was surprisingly accurate. It said I felt restricted and prevented from progressing; that I was seeking a solution to remove these limitations. Which does describe my quest for publication. It also said that the fear of being prevented from achieving the things I want leads me into a relentless search for satisfaction in the pursuit of illusory or meaningless activities. Like this blog, perhaps?

The results were divided into six sections: the existing situation, stress sources, restrained characteristics, the desired objective, the actual problem, and the actual problem 2. Those sections seemed familiar, and then it occurred to me they were similar to the character profile I create when outlining a new novel.

So, here’s how to cheat your way to a colorful character: if you don’t want to go through the trouble of figuring out what your character wants, what stresses him, what his secondary problem is (the primary problem you already know; it’s the story problem) go to the color quiz website, imagine you are your character, and pick the colors your character would choose. Instant profile.

You still have to write the character, but at least you won’t have to worry about making him psychologically realistic.

I meant to be facetious by suggesting this, but now that I think about it, it’s not a bad idea. I might follow my own advice.

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