Creating a Character — Part IV

In an earlier post, I suggested using the Luscher color test as a means of profiling a character. To see if it would work, I had Chip, the hero of my work in progress, take the test at

I know enough about Chip and about colors to figure out what his choices might be. Green signifies a stable and balanced character, so that was Chip’s first choice. Blue, signifying tranquility, was his second. Brown, signifying a down-to-earth character was his third. Gray, signifying a preference for a safe, secure and balanced existence was next. Magenta, orange, and yellow were a toss-up since he didn’t particularly care for any of them, and black, signifying negativity, was his last choice.

This was the result of the test:

His Existing Situation: Uneasy and insecure in the existing situation. Needs greater security and a more affectionate environment, or a situation imposing less physical strain.

His Stress Sources: Wishes to be independent, unhampered, and free from any limitation or restriction, other than those which he imposes of himself or by his own choice and decision.

His Restrained Characteristics: Egocentric (self-conscious) and therefore quick to take offense. Wants to broaden his fields of activity and insists that his hopes and ideas are realistic. Distressed by the fear that he may be prevented from doing what he wants; needs both peaceful conditions and quiet reassurance to restore his confidence.

His Desired Objective: Needs a peaceful environment. Wants release from stress, and freedom from conflicts or disagreement. Takes pains to control the situation and its problems by proceeding cautiously. Has sensitivity of feeling and a fine eye for detail.

His Actual Problem: Does not wish to be involved in differences of opinion, contention or argument, preferring to be left in peace.

If you have been following Chip’s development, you can see that this is an interesting and accurate profile. I might have all of my characters take it, especially the minor characters who don’t need a full character sketch. Feel free to do the same.

5 Responses to “Creating a Character — Part IV”

  1. inkslinger91 Says:

    hey thats an awesome idea! 🙂 nice thinking! i’ll have to try that some time…

  2. nomananisland Says:

    How interesting. I remember you talking about the test before, and used it just to see what it was like. Today I ran all my major characters through the process, trying to “think like them.” I would really be interested in how this test works, because it pretty much hit the nail on the head when it came to all of them, even for things that aren’t explicitly on the page but are just in my head.


  3. Bertram Says:

    It works because color has a profound effect on the human psyche. After studying color for my book Light Bringer, I became impressed with all its applications, from helping overcome depression to ameliorating diseases to changing one’s personality by changing one’s color preferences.

    I have to admit, though, I really was surprised to find out how accurate the test was for my character. Next I want to experiment with picking any colors in any order, and basing a character on what shows up. Cheating, perhaps, but interesting.

  4. nomananisland Says:

    Colour’s affect on the human psyche isn’t what surprises me, colours have natural moods.

    What surprises me is how the test can ascertain what selecting a set of colours means for a personality. Some things about colour preference are individualized and arbitrary. For instance, there are people who like black because they’re morbid. Other people think it’s mysterious. In religious circles it’s austere and humble. It’s symbolized as death in the West. But in Japan, I think it’s white. Some people find red an angry colour, other people associate it with love or passion.

  5. Bertram Says:

    According to Luscher, each of the colors in the test was carefully chosen because of its particular physchological and physiological meaning — its structure. He says this meaning is of universal significance and is the same the world over. Regardless of why a person chose a specific color, it has the same meaning for purposes of the test. He goes on to explain why he chose the particular variation of a color — his gray, for example, is a neutral gray, completely free from any stimulus or psychological tendency. The relationship of the colors is what determines the test’s resolution. Red in the first position means something completely different than red in the second.

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