Observations of Character



When I first encountered this little spoof about a dog taking on human characteristics, I laughed. Sure, it was funny, and it was endearing.


Could it be true that animals think exactly the way we think simply by reading the universal brain waves? Because after all, thoughts are invisible but actions show much of what thoughts are about.

Although we KNOW one is alive mentally by brainwaves moving about on the scientific screen, science has yet to evolve to spirituality–and we don’t know if it ever will, since science only calibrates what it can see, not feel.

Science reads brainwaves only in the physical world; it has no connection to the spiritual world, hence, there is not a spiritual universe for those who follow science only. Thus, we cannot say whether or not animals can read the universal brainwaves just as we do. Scientifically, we do know—so far—that animals do not have the same kind of larynx and paraphernalia that would give them the ability to speak as we do. However, maybe science hasn’t figured out yet where it is, or how it works in animals.

Who is to say that animals can’t read universal brainwaves in some animal form; that they too, are capable of using and defining meaning in their own spiritual realm. Maybe they are assessing what we are thinking…just as this little dog is doing at the moment.

When we look at an animal, not all of us see anything other than some kind of living entity who lives instinctively, and on occasion seems to reveal joy by a jaunt around the outdoors with others of its kind. Some of us see much more in animals than even what we see in ourselves.

Writers—to which group I belong—take things a step further than the average person, because it is in the writer’s nature to ponder everything, andnot only ponder, but make meaning of everything.

Writers think way beyond what others might be thinking, so that they may be able to interpret to themselves and others what they believe to be universal truths; others simply don’t exercise that portion of their brains.

Perhaps science does not see the value, most likely because science does not seek a spiritual level of existence. Science is a doubting Thomas of the highest level.Science only believes what it sees, touches, hears and smells, but does not make meaning of such physical aspects of life other than that.

Whereas, most Writers do value the unseen. Those of us who value the spiritual realm and emotional apparatus—thoseuntouchablethings—are yet to be proven matter and could be likened to what is in the black hole in space: we do not know.

Writers see to find the TRUTHin existence, hence, they are constantly seeking… And seeking, makes for very astute observers.

Thus, who is to say or not to say whether or not the dog, displayed above, isn’t really thinking about his “master” cleaning up his poop, and then wondering if his master is going to serve his food not having washed his hands? Can we at least agree it is possible?

On the other hand, another dog might be looking at his master, not even considering his hands when picking up his dog’s poop. That dog may be thinking, “I’m hungry, I wish he’d hurry up!” Therefore, animals in their own universal thought process, can be just as different as humans in their thought processes.

So let me share with you a thought or two about this quality of observation from the standpoint of a Writer. Because all of the above rhetoric was only a segue into the conversation in which I am about to enter.

Every living, breathing critter (including humans), have a certain character, or certain characteristics that identify them distinctly. Much like a fingerprint, or the sphere of one’s eye, that is true of animals, too. Have you not ever noticed the difference in one pet from another? One may bite easily, another may be the kindest, docile pet you could ever have. Then, another pet could be totally observant, and another could follow anyone without knowing them, while another would run until its heart stopped, from anyone they do not know. THAT, my friends, reveals character and characteristics. Let us now turn our attention to the human.

Humans definitely have characters and characteristics that identify them as a certain person as well.

Great novelists and authors use their observation powers to assess character, in everyone, in everything! This includes people, animals, birds, bovine, equine, feline, and kind—even the weather, the ocean and all its movements at different times of the day or night. 

Writers are infinite thinkers they and their poet or novelist friends even enlist themselves into arguing with one another over how to define such observations and the events in which they exist.

I am talking about changes in scenery, depending upon whose viewpoint is being showcased. If a doctor sees someone having a heart attack, you might have a report that looks like this: the patient went into full cardiac arrest, with assorted arrhythmia at start, then complete flatline within 45 seconds… Whereas a truck driver might see it like this: the guy wacked out, I think he was seizing or somethin’ and foaming at the mouth like some dog bit e’m or somthin…Two completely different viewpoints that create different imagery.

From the truck driver’s view, the hospital may seek for dog bites, or wounds, while attending to the arrhythmia slower than should have been. But the doctor’s view will have the hospital team go directly to working on the heart.

Because of these two different reports, those who hear these reports may react to taking action differently. In one case, the report indicates a matter of life or death. In the other report, hospital staff will seek for wounds.

But what is the true point here?

It is about Writing. We are talking about the actual minutia in a Writer’s tendencies: of observation, analysis, definitions and elements of characterization. And then, comes the reporting(the writing of a story, a poem, or a novel).

I remember in college a professor stating that without the plot, there is no significance in character, hence the plot comes first.

He was dead wrong. But HE was the teacher, and I the student. I’m glad I’m not so gullible as to think simply because someone is employed with credentials that they might be more intelligent than I am.

Characterization is everything, otherwise, the world could be turning, plants could be growing, but plots could not be happening because there are no entities that move such matter by their thoughts, actions, and behaviors. Yes, through tornadoes, and so forth, we might recognize some type of a plot. But it still takes someone to interpret it, and with that someone comes a certain character.

One must admit that without conscious effort to recognize an event or “plot” of sorts, there is nothing. There is only oblivion. There is no recognition and definition of the event occurring at all. In a nutshell: if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to see/hear it, did it really fall?

So characterization in a story is of utmost importance. To take it a step further, characterization in a story of any kind, is the key to learning how to evolve into the spiritual realm of existence.

Assuming my readers here agree with me, I will begin a teaching series of characterization, come January, 2019.

Remember: the perspective of the Character is created by the Writer, who dictates the Character’s behavior and thought process, and the careful plotting of this aspect in the story (characterization) will affect the Reader as the Author desires, and as the Character presents. Do not misinterpret what is being said. The character of the story is not the character of the author, but the character of the story is a conglomerate of observations the author has made that the author has determined by the behavior of those observed is to be defined as that character.

Again, Writers make their entire life’s purpose defining actions and thoughts, and all that those two elements enclose, giving the meaning to the character’s “perspective,” and the Reader’s potential for growth toward a spiritual universe. Why would it have to entail a spiritual theme? It doesn’t. But after actions  of character, one is apt to define what it  means that the character is physically revealing, in a deeper way. This is what the reader desires to know: so what does that mean, author, why does it matter?

Writers create the world Readers read in, so that humans may evolve into larger intellects…which I believe will lead to a spiritual awakening. Well, at least Many Writers do, I cannot speak for them all. I see myself in that group.

And just to tie in the entrance regarding animals: if we are evolving, don’t you think they are evolving too? Don’t be surprised when your animals begin to talk.

May your 2017 end with joy, Merry Christmas, and on to the new coming year.

May your 2017 end with joy, Merry Christmas, and on to the new coming year.

Lydia Nolan, M.Ed., English


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An author who wants all authors to connect here with their publishers, literary agents, and editors.

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