And more importantly, how can you use this to help with characterization?

I’m an old soul.  At least that’s the one thing I can identify with.  I’ve known it since I was in grade school…since I could conceptualize what a soul was…or at least that’s what I recall.  It started small, like only being able to relate with older peers better instead ones my own age and always feeling a gap with classmates.

I liked people, but would always be slightly disappointed when they didn’t ‘get’ me.

This continued on throughout high school and still happens even now.  I’ve come to peace with the fact that most people will never ‘get’ me, but on different levels, I connect with almost every person I come in contact with on a lighter level…not a true friend level, but a kindness level that allows me to care without knowing every detail of their lives.  I do, however, feel a general responsibility for everyone in my life.  Whether we are close or not, I still care.

I’m often times asked for advice.  When that happens, I  look at the whole picture and hope that I advise them wisely.  As…”Wise beyond my years” was the term I heard the most…and that was from the elderly peers that I had contact with.

If you look up ‘old soul’ you will most definitely find a reference to reincarnation.  That somehow the souls that have passed before you affect your genetic make up even before you’re born.

Much like others are born to be great athletes or others mathematicians…some people are born to be old. And they instill traditions from the past onto others naturally throughout their actions and conversations sometimes without being environmentally conditioned to do so.  Which I guess speaks loudly of some kind of past life interference, but who knows right?

All I know is that I’m the youngest of five and have never felt like the youngest member of the family due to the sense of responsibility I’ve felt for everyone.  I am both an introvert and an extrovert.  I like being around people, yet like being alone.  I feel like I need that balance in order to naturally see the whole spectrum.  I strive to respect everything around me.

The only other tidbit I can give is that I love soul music.  Sam Cooke especially.  Not that it’s a trademark of an old soul, but I would be willing to bet that anyone who claims they are one, does in fact, like soul music.

So how can you use this information when building character sketches?  How can this manipulate how your MC thinks, feels, and reacts?  Well, for one, old souls can be any person…so no matter what their stereotype is, the old soul will win out every time, so you have some freedom to play with those characteristics.  Old souls are grounded.  They don’t look to others to influence their own self worth.  If you create an old soul, you can have a mature character who may not always act mature, but sees the bigger picture.

I would be interested in hearing anyone else’s comments on the subject.  Or if they know of anyone who fits the bill to please share.