Numerology for Fictional Characters: Add Extra Personality

What are your characters’ numbers? We don’t mean their phone numbers, but what numbers are spiritually significant to them. Numerology for fictional characters gives you a fun way to think about what drives heroes, heroines, villains, and sidekicks in your stories.

In this article, you’ll learn how Numerology ascribes people qualities according to their names and dates of birth. We’ll explore how you can use this concept to create layered, hidden meaning in characters’ names and birth dates. Don’t worry — there’s not much math involved in the process.

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What is Numerology and How Does it Apply to Character Building?

Believe it or not, math can help you develop memorable characters. How? By using the ancient art of Numerology.

Previously called arithmancy, numerology studies the divine or mystical relationship between a number and an event.

Numerology’s origins go way back to the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher, Pythagoras (one of the founders of geometry). Pythagoras suggested there was a relationship between energy and mind by matching personality traits to people’s birth dates.

Modern numerologists give numerical values to the letters of names or words. For fiction writing, you use your characters’ names and birthdates to calculate their numbers. Doing Numerology for your characters will help you imagine who they were destined to be all along.

How Can Writers Use Numerology to Create Characters?

Numerology is a fun way to define your characters’ personalities. It will help you think about destiny-like elements in their lives.

The Numerology template in Plottr helps you identify each of your characters’ five core numbers to reveal their personality traits.

The five core numbers in Numerology are:

  1. Life Path numbers, which reveal how people work with others and their core traits. This helps you imagine how characters interact (or butt heads) with others.
  2. Expression numbers, which symbolize opportunities while revealing inner goals and talents (plus shortcomings). This can help you plan character arcs.
  3. Personality numbers, which filter a person’s true self, like a mask they might present to the world. This is particularly helpful for thinking about how your narrator’s voice on the page could differ from their true self.
  4. Heart’s Desire/Soul Urge numbers, which give a bigger picture of who they are and their underlying motivations. It will help you think about what your characters really want.
  5. Birthday numbers, which reveal unique and powerful abilities your characters naturally possess. Use this to define what makes each character unique, and how those differences could drive your story forward.

Romance, fantasy, and science fiction authors may benefit especially from Numerology for fictional characters, because the mystical aspect of Numerology goes well with notions of “predestined” love and duty — common tropes in these genres.

Introducing the Numerology Character Template in Plottr

Grab your calculator and let’s dive into how to use Numerology for fictional characters with Plottr. The Numerology Character Template will help you capture many insights as you build your cast.

If you don’t want to do the math yourself, we’ve included shortcuts for online tools to help you — just click on the website under each section to enter your character’s name (or birthdate). You will need each character’s full name and birthdate before you get started.

Many of the Numerology formulas work by assigning numbers to letters of the alphabet like this:

Numerology for Fictional Characters Basic Chart

Life Path Number

The Life Path number relates to the main lesson your character will learn over the course of your story.

To calculate your character’s Life Path number, add the month to the birthdate to the year of birth (or use this website). The numbers are then added together again until you have a single digit.

Here’s a quick overview of Life Path numbers’ meanings:

  1. Confident, creative, self-motivated.
  2. Balanced, cooperative, peacemaker.
  3. Expressive, optimistic, sensitive.
  4. Hardworking, practical, stable.
  5. Adventurous, disciplined, values freedom.
  6. Accepting, compassionate, nurturing.
  7. Intuitive, pessimistic, trusting.
  8. Ambitious, blunt, goal-oriented.
  9. Compassionate, generous, cares for others.

Destiny/Expression Number

The Expression number unveils your character’s talents and abilities, also suggesting the general direction their life will take.

Add the value of each consonant (using the chart above) in their full birth name, and keep adding double digits until you have a single number (or enter your info in this destiny number calculator).

Let’s see what each Expression Number means:

  1. Good planners but want to be first and best.
  2. Sensitive, patient, loving.
  3. Seeks the glamorous lifestyle, popularity.
  4. Dependable, down-to-earth.
  5. Risk-taker, experience-seeker.
  6. Homebody, playful.
  7. Spiritual, good speaker.
  8. Appreciates the finer things, business tycoon.
  9. Magnetic personality, aggressive.

Personality Number

This number shows how people view the character or what the character projects into the world.

To get your character’s Personality number, add the numerical values of the consonants of the first, middle (if applicable), and last names (or use this Numerology website to get the number for you). Note: Y can be a vowel or consonant depending on the letters next to it.

Here’s what the Personality numbers mean:

  1. Suggests determination and ambition, but the character could be perceived as egotistical.
  2. Shows the character tends to be trustworthy, reliable, warm, and friendly, but could be indecisive, moody or shy.
  3. Indicates a person is witty, extroverted, and charming, but could come across as superficial.
  4. Suggests someone consistent and organized, but they could appear too predictable.
  5. Shows someone is adventurous and passionate but might not be too grounded.
  6. Says the character has a warm, self-sacrificing manner but could be taken advantage of.
  7. Suggests a person tends to be secretive and mysterious, but could come across as arrogant.
  8. Someone who projects a strong, competent, and confident aura, but could be perceived as greedy.
  9. A person who is charismatic and in control, but could seem to consider themselves superior.

Heart’s Desire/Soul Urge Number

The Heart’s Desire or Soul Urge number is calculated by reducing the sum totals of the vowels in each name to single digits (input names in this calculator for the number).

Here’s a brief summary of what the Heart’s Desire/Soul Urge numbers mean:

  1. Indicates a character’s desire to have total control over their own life.
  2. Shows the character desires security, comfort, and peace.
  3. Means the character has a sunny, outgoing disposition.
  4. Indicates the character craves stability, routine, and order.
  5. Means the character is imaginative, resourceful, and enthusiastic.
  6. Shows the character’s compassion, patience, and caring.
  7. Indicates the character seeks introspection and loves knowledge.
  8. Means the character’s ambition leans toward money, power, and influence.
  9. Shows the character has an idealistic and philanthropic heart.

Birthday Number

The Birthday number is the easiest to calculate because it’s simply the day of the month your character was born. For example, if Joe Smith was born on May 13, 2000, then his birthday number would be 13.

Let’s take a look at what these dates mean. If your character is born on the:

  • 1st: Unafraid to try something new; self-starter
  • 2nd: Intuitive, great at solving problems
  • 3rd: Skilled communicator
  • 4th: Stable, rational
  • 5th: Flexible, easily adaptable
  • 6th: Nurturer, self-sacrificing
  • 7th: Mystery solver, information gatherer
  • 8th: Self-sufficient, successful
  • 9th: Compassionate, do-gooder
  • 10th: Leader, sharp mind
  • 11th: Insightful, supportive
  • 12th: Creative, imaginative
  • 13th: Conscientious, optimistic
  • 14th: Open-minded, pragmatic
  • 15th: Love for others, curious
  • 16th: Inquisitive, wise
  • 17th: Independent, ambitious
  • 18th: Open-hearted, servant
  • 19th: Capable, risk-taker
  • 20th: Cooperative, sensitive
  • 21st: Social, connector
  • 22nd: Determined, hard-working
  • 23rd: Zest for life, easygoing
  • 24th: Heart of gold, balanced
  • 25th: Information processor, endless curiosity
  • 26th: Successful, innovative
  • 27th: Tolerant, insightful
  • 28th: Values others, team player
  • 29th: Clear vision, collaborator
  • 30th: Original, communicator
  • 31st: Practical, organized


This is the place in your Plottr character template where you’ll take all the numbers and their meanings, then apply them to refining your character.

Example Using the Numerology Character Template in Plottr

Want to see an example of using Numerology to brainstorm fictional characters in Plottr? Let’s fill out Plottr’s Numerology Character Template for the real-life figure of Robert Graysmith.

Graysmith is a true crime author who investigated the unsolved 1969-1978 murders by the Zodiac Killer in California, after the killer started writing in to the San Francisco Chronicle where Graysmith worked as a political cartoonist. He was portrayed in the 2007 movie Zodiac by actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

Keep your calculator handy and let’s get started!

Life Path Number

To come up with Graysmith’s Life Path number, we take his birthday — September 17, 1942 — and reduce the month (0+9) to get “9”. Next, we reduce the date (1+7) to get “8”. Next, we reduce the year (1+9+4+2=16), which we reduce further (1+6) to get “7” .

Next, we add the three numbers together (9+8+7=24), and reduce once more (2+4=6). Graysmith’s Life Path Number is 6, which implies he’s accepting, compassionate, and nurturing.

Destiny/Expression Number

For Graysmith’s Expression number, you use the chart to assign numbers to the consonants of his first and last names:


Further reduce it (6+0=6) and you have his Expression number of 6, which translates to him being a homebody and playful.

Personality Number

This can be the same as the Expression number, and in Graysmith’s case it is (the Y in his last name is a consonant). His 6 personality number suggests his character is warm, with a self-sacrificing manner (but that he could easily be taken advantage of by others).

Heart’s Desire/Soul Urge Number

To get Graysmith’s Heart’s Desire number, you add up the value of the vowels in his name (remember, the Y is a consonant in this name): 6+5+1+9=21. Next, reduce that further to 2+1=3. Graysmith is likely witty, extroverted, and charming, but could come across as superficial.

Birthday Number

This is the easiest number to calculate! Graysmith was born on September 17, 1942, so his birthday number is 17, which means he’s independent and ambitious.


Some of these insights might feel unexpected. A political cartoonist would certainly need to be witty, and the way Graysmith applied his focus to the Zodiac case  (writing multiple investigative books on the subject) certainly suggests independence and ambition.

Whether or not the numbers match Graysmith’s true character, using Numerology could help us flesh out ideas for a fictionalized version of Graysmith, down to specific details of his traits and disposition.

How to Use the Numerology Character Template in Plottr

Pull out your calculator and let’s get cracking on the Numerology Character Template in Plottr. First, you’ll need to purchase Plottr or sign up for the free trial.

Once you have Plottr set up on your computer, follow these simple steps to add the Numerology template to your character:

  • Step 1: Open Plottr and create a new project or open an existing one

Use Numerology Character Template with Plottr Step 1

  • Step 2: In the new or existing project, add the Numerology template to your character, found under the Characters tab. Click +Add Template in the character editing pane and select Numerology from the template menu

Use Numerology Character Template with Plottr Step 2

  • Step 3: Click the green Choose button at the bottom of the screen

Numerology Character Template in Plottr Example

  • Step 4: Begin filling out the numbers for your character

And now you know how to use Numerology for fictional characters’ development. Now your characters’ qualities will really add up to something engrossing.

If you want to add more templates to help you round out your cast, the Numerology Character Template works well with these others in Plottr:

Keep exploring Numerology for fictional characters

Can mystical math help you write a more rounded hero or heroine? Get a free Plottr trial now to start using the template (and many others that will spark fresh ideas).

Do the meanings behind your calculations reflect what you already knew about your character? Are any revelations surprising? Let us know in the comments, and happy writing!

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