I have been having fun shaping my characters this time around for a variety of reasons. For one I have given myself permission to take it easy and not rush the writing like I did with my first full length novel.
One of the biggest differences is that I have spent days (months!) getting to know my characters before writing them and I have used several methods to flesh them out. One of the methods used can be found here where I worked through each question and waited for the answers. Some answers came days after I asked the questions. So if you choose to do this give yourself and your characters time. Go for long walks 🙂
I had a light bulb moment while walking. I realized I should define my characters by personality type. I am sure other writers have tried this method too but I have yet to come across it anywhere (maybe because our characters are imaginary and they can’t sit down for the test?) 🙂 Having a working background in training and coaching I decided to get my characters tested anyway and the personality test I trust the most is Myers Briggs.
There are 16 Personality types.
*click on the image above for a brief outline on each type.
If you don’t know your personality type you should and here’s (a few reasons) why:
- You will get to know your strengths and anyone who focuses on their strengths works better.
- You will get to know your weaknesses and when you’re aware of your shortcomings or blind spots you become more self-aware; more conscious of your behavior.
- You will learn that other people are not crazy just different. This is especially helpful in building and maintaining relationships.
- You will make better decisions.
Before I got tested I knew I was ‘eccentric’. Afterwards I realized I was special 🙂
I am an INFJ and let me assure that sharing this fact with you isn’t easy for me as INFJs are notoriously secretive but not in a bad way – of course – we’re just choosy about what and who we open ourselves up to. I am an introvert a fact that always draws audible gasps of disbelief when people meet me for the first time or when I’m training groups. But it’s true. I don’t ‘do’ parties where I’m expected to dance into the wee hours of the morning. I don’t do Big Social Events. What I do ‘do’ is create meaning from random events and I put a lot of faith in God and in my feelings. My gut speaks to me. As does my heart and I tend to follow those in everything. It doesn’t always work out for me. But mostly it does because my first impression of someone or something is rarely wrong. INFJs also place a lot of value on learning and self-growth. On the negative side we are opinionated. Yup. And we are perhaps a little overly concerned about what others think of us because we are always thinking about how we make other people feel. It’s important for me to make people feel good about themselves or at least learn to like themselves.
What is important to you? Do you know your personality type? Do you think it matters? I would love to hear from you.