Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: Psychology

On Writing: Character Interests

I have been watching lectures by Brandon Sanderson, a published Fantasy author and professor, on youtube and came across some interesting ways to keep your characters interesting.

The first thing that he said which grabbed my attention was ‘give your characters interests’. This would come the cost of some research – depending on how familiar you are with the interest you decided to give him/her – and time. However, it will reflect beautifully on your story. Once you learn to make them use terminologies of their interest or give them an appropriate mindset, you will find a far more colorful character which would entertain the readers while motivating you to write more about him/her.

He also suggested to use historical characters, something which I base most of my characters on, to start guiding your characters speech and behavior. A strong background of history also helps develop ideas and plots for a wide range of genres.

After watching these lectures, I started thinking more deeply in character creation and development. Naturally, the first step was to draw from my personal knowledge and experience. One of the many perks of studying psychology in college is the ability to dive deeper into you written characters’ personalities and making them more realistically complex. What I am experimenting with at the moment, while writing my current book, is giving my characters symptoms of a psychological disorder – all humans have symptoms of psychological abnormalities which is natural and healthy – not to a degree that they would be diagnosed as having it, but to render them more realistic and interesting.

Eventually you will find that as the story develops your characters change, a normal and welcomed occurrence, which might make the initial character personality research seem like a waste of time, yet is actually not due to the need to have a starting point.

Here is the link to the youtube channel which has Brandon Sanderson’s lectures:

I also want to inform you that my first book will be free tomorrow (Friday 21 June 2013) on kindle via these two links (US and UK):



Follow me on twitter if you want an easier way to follow up my free days @TarekCherif3


On Thinking: Types of People

If every person was to be asked how many different types of people existed, an infinite exponentially increasing number of responses would be derived. Even if this process was given to a select few, it would continue to yield different results in time due to the ever-changing nature of the human mind. Be that the case, there would never be one true way of splitting people into types which could be attributed to conclusive and specific non-physical features. In other words, one can easily differentiate between the color of skin or shape of eyes, but if you take all the slightest differences present within one specific feature, an endless spectrum of possibilities would be derived.

To simplify matters, there is no one perfect and absolute way of categorizing people down to the most basic details, due to the ever-increasing complexity of this already complex structure scientifically known as Homo-Sapien-Sapien.

Simple Reminders

I know I have been off for a while but life has been very eventful as of late.

In a moment of clarity I realized that everyday, with no exceptions, I get faced with choices of doing the right thing or the easy thing. I am trying to make it a habit to go for whats right and not whats easy and, thankfully, I have been on a good streak lately.

Try doing the right thing once, even if it takes you out of your way or if it contradicts what you want, you will not regret it. You will find yourself faced with these choices on a daily bases and doing the right think will always pay off, these simple reminders truly makes life much more enjoyable.

On Thoughs

I’ve been thinking about the sacrifices that people make in these difficult days where I am, and so far I feel that they are all in vain, people lost their lives for the improvement of others’ lives, others that don’t understand these sacrifices and shun them.

After a lot of thinking and contemplation I came up with the following conclusion, to loose ones life for an idea to improve others’ is heroic, yet to live with the purpose of doing so is greatness.

On Business: Question for the Managers

As some of you know, I’m starting a set of new businesses, yes there are more then one now, and was wondering how you choose to manage your employees, this question is not only addressed to managers, but employees as well or, basically, just anyone reading this post.

Please let me know what characteristics you think a great or good manager has, and what type of company you would like to work in.

A Message from Someone….or Something

I was walking down the street yesterday after a good morning’s exercise and I saw something that can potentially and fundamentally confuse a whole ton of us that have been affected by stereotyping, and it came to me….this was a message from a higher entity telling me that we can all get along.

You are probably wondering what the hell is it I saw, well I was a pigeon, 2 dogs and around 6 cats relaxing in an area of 2 meters squared, they seemed incredibly relaxed next to each other, there was no sense of threat among any of the animals, they were truly at peace.

So how come that 3 different species can get along peacefully and one can’t, how come different animals can have peace between them and humans can’t, we still have a lot to learn before calling ourselves civilized.

On Humans: The Animal Nature

Did you ever wounder why this world is full of hate and war? Well the hate I cannot say that I will mention, but the wars, well we make war just for the same reasons animals attack each others, conflicting needs, both on a short-term and long-term bases.

I was watching National Geographic the other day and a show about lions was on, one of the scenes had a couple of male lions fighting over territory, the victor got to keep the pride and be their dominant male (or whatever terminology applies to felines), apparently lions cannot survive for long by themselves, and the chances of survival for the outcast male was very slim.

Another show had a scene where a panther and an anaconda met, they seemed to just stumble upon each other. In most cases where animal just cross paths nothing interesting really happens, however, this wasn’t on of those ‘most cases’, the panther and the anaconda had a fight, and eventually the panther managed to kill the giant snake and left its carcass to rot (not taking a single bite).

Finally, when bears and wolves come across one another, they try to kill each other, unless the pack or bear decides to flee or that the risk of injury is too great and the fight is not worth potentially sustaining such injuries.

By now you probably are wondering what the hell am I ranting about, the truth is that all these scenarios are caused by the exact same reason, need. Most animals have one or two basic needs, food and shelter, humans, on the other hand, have other needs that seem less necessary, but are equally important.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs classify human needs into seven needs, basic, security, social, esteem,  and self-actualization. In this pyramid, the first need must be satisfied for the second to exist and so on, notice that, in essence, no need is more important that the other once its satisfied.

Unlike animals, our needs range far more then food, water and territory, some of us want wealth, power or any other abstract and seemingly irrelevant wants (although they are needs). Basically, this supports my belief that regardless of all our cognitive development, we are still animals and have a lot to learn about being civil.

Do not forget that we are only humans and are prone to mistakes, the true shameful and unforgivable act is to forget our nature and stop thinking of ways to improve ourselves while embracing our nature.

On Life: Meaning!

A question that often comes up to people in different stages of life is ‘why?’, it first starts as a specific question about a certain concrete action, then slowly moves to more abstract topics, and eventually it matures to be the mother of all questions, ‘whats the purpose of life?’.

Personally I spent a great deal of time reading philosophy and science, usually for answers to more direct questions, but it always leads to the same question.

Most religions address this issue as a test, life is a test for our destiny after death, we are trialed and judged for our actions in life once we die, and that purpose is the easiest to accept, for most people.

It is difficult to imagine something we cannot relate to, death is truly a mystery to any living person, due to our entire though process being based on physical existence and material gains/losses.

But faith never stops us from thinking, although the religious explanation seems tempting to accept and believe in, it is not enough to make me stop thinking about this deceivingly simple question.

I prefer to think that there is a very clear purpose for our existence, and this purpose is unknown, it is the ‘x’ for an incredibly complex mathematical equation with a multitude of unknown variables, the undetermined gender of a growing pair of cells, the ‘secret’ ingredient in a miraculous stew.

There is a purpose for life, and it’s probably a rather silly purpose that we are unlikely to know, but maybe later generations will figure it out, all we have to do is make sure that the road for them is paved, and that the world is preserved to enable them to go on and thrive.

In short, my purpose in life is to contribute to the betterment of the world as much as I can, so that coming generations can do as such and have enough time to spend on gaining more knowledge.

On Excuses: The Best Excuse

I thought about the best excuse to being late while driving home and had to share it.

Show in while breathing deeply as if you were running, bow down to catch your breath and say “sorry for being late, I was being chased all the way from my car, which I didn’t get a chance to use to get here, by an albino mammoth, I though they were extinct but apparently they are experts at hiding, can you believe that?)

Can’t wait to get a chance to use it and see how people will react, psychologically they should initially respond the same way as to any excuse, but after thinking about it, there is no way to predict their reactions.

On Nothing: A Random Text Conversation

I was bored at work and decided to send text messages to one of my friends, this is how it went.

(Sent a missed call)

Recipient: I’m in a meeting, what’s up?

Me: Immigration and ‘uif needhbd bdhkhmi’ (I thought it would be funny to send a text while pressing the letter button one less time on those old phones ‘ABC on 1 and so on’, this translates to be ‘the office ceiling’ )

Recipient: ?

Me: I’m in love

Recipient: With?

Me: An Idea

Recipient: Which is?

Me: I can’t type cause its so funny, I’m actually just sending you saved templates

Recipient: Send it as a voice message

Me: Don’t have them saved, takes too much memory (My phone is one of those primitive ones that only has the ‘phone options’ and doesn’t try to be your friend of pet or account manager)

Recipient: You’re fucked in the head

Me: That’s what she said

Recipient: That doesn’t even make any sense

Me: Tq ecd enrmv ocd rdmrd (you’r face doesn’t make any sense)

And that was the end of the conversation, I like feeling like a 3 year old child whenever possible, you regress to better days.

PS: All this took place when ‘Recipient’ was in an important work-related meeting, hope he didn’t burst with laughter during our entertaining exchange of messages.