by Tim Kane
We all know to use sensory details to brighten up our prose. However, few writers are aware of the eight multiple intelligences and how they can add depth to your characters.
Basically, this psychologist named Howard Gardner surmised that humans don’t simply have one type of intelligence. They have eight. Here’s a basic run down.
Folks with this type of intelligence are good with words (think writers). They like to tell stories and read.
Ever know that person who’s disgustingly good at math? That’s this intelligence. However, it’s not only math. It could be those who like to make lists and keep things organized.
People with this intelligence can “see” how things fit together. They can pack a suitcase or a trunk like no other. They often take fields in engineering or architecture.
These are the sports types. Dancers too. People who can actually get all their limbs to work right to throw the ball or learn the choreography. These are also the people who can’t sit still to save their life. They need to move and act things out. When they speak, they often gesticulate.
This one is straightforward. Music types. Band camp. Anyone who whistles or hums all the time would fit in this intelligence. They can carry a tune (or desperately want to) and keep a beat (even if they have two left feet).
These folks are constantly aware of the people around them. The gossips and flirts. The social climbers. They understand social life and and read it like a book.
Whereas interpersonal types see all the people around, an intrapersonal person looks within. Meditative, this person knows his or her own limits. He can sense his emotions. She knows what she’s capable of.
This person can easily classify living things. Farmers, botanists, and hunters all fall into this intelligence. These folk live for the natural world, like weather, animals, and geology. They enjoy hiking or strolling on the beach, gardening, or staring at clouds.
Now that you have the eight, think of which intelligences your character has. What is he/she good at. This will help you figure out how he/she will react to the world of your novel. Also consider which intelligences your character is lacking. For example, I lack in the Interpersonal department. I can’t recall people’s names to save my life. For me, everyone needs a name tag.
Keep these intelligences in mind the next time you craft your character.