Character And Personality Theories

If you get stuck as you’re creating your characters, try checking out some of the theories of personality and/or personality quizzes on line.

One I’ve found especially helpful is the personality type theory of C.G. Jung as used in the work of Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine C. Briggs.

The four aspects of personality Myers and Briggs talk about are:

• Extraverted/Introverted (E or I)

• Intuiton/Sensing (N or S)

• Thinking/Feeling (I or F)

• Perceiving/Judging (P or J)

Check out these descriptions of the different traits and combinations of traits. Creating characters who fall at opposite ends of the scales for them is a good way to ensure enough conflict in your stories.

Some other personality theories and inventories you may want to check out include:

  • The Big Five Personality Domains, which covers Extroversion; Agreeableness; Conscientiousness; Neuroticism/Emotional Stability; Openness to Experience
  • The Hexaco Personality Inventory, which focuses on Honesty-Humility; Emotionality; Extroversion; Agreeableness/Anger; Conscientiousness; and Openness to Experience.
  • Enneagrams, which divide people into 9 personality types such as Adaptive Peacemaker and Quiet Specialist.

Regardless whether you think these approaches are accurate for people in real life, they can help you figure out your characters.

Until Sunday–

L.M. Lilly

P.S. For more on character development, you can check out my new release Creating Compelling Characters From The Inside Out.

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