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An update from our seventy-fifth writing workshop

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, November 19

In this workshop, the participants learned how to base characters on core temperaments. William explained the ancient Greek concept of four personality types: phlegmatic (calm and anchored; associated with earth), choleric (hot-headed and leaderlike; associated with fire), sanguine (happy and sociable; associated with air), and melancholic (thoughtful and deep; associated with water). Today, this idea has been expanded on by psychologists, and it can also be used to create characters. William used examples such as Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist by Dickens (choleric temperament), the title character in Shakespeare’s  Hamlet (melancholic temperament), and an orchestral work called The Four Temperaments by Paul Hindemith, which contains one movement to express each temperament. As a mini-writing challenge, the participants had five minutes to create a character based on one core concept—“earth,” “fire,” “air,” or “water.”

The Challenge: Create one or multiple characters around the idea of a core temperament.

The Participants: Anya, Ava, Celia, Crystal, Greta, Pearl, Rachael, Yueling

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