Hello, wonderful SEers! Mae here with one of my favorite topics—personalities.
Some months ago I shared a post about using the Myers Brigg Type Indicator to determine your personality type. That post generated great discussion and seemed to be fun for everyone.
I’m currently in the process of starting the second book in my newest series, and that involves devoting serious insight to my two main characters. Both played a smaller role in the first novel, Cusp of Night (shameless plug: coming June 12, 2018). 🙂
I know a bit about each character thanks to that introduction, but because they had minor roles, I hadn’t thoroughly examined what makes them tick. I know some background information on each, even detailed family genealogy, but the shift from B-players to A-players has me wanting to know more. Sure, I know what roles they’re going to play in the new novel, End of Day, but I want to delve into their heads.
I decided to run both through the MBTI test. If you’re unfamiliar with Myers Brigg, you may want to read my original post here. Should you wish to take the official instrument, you can do that for a fee at the MBTI site (no affiliation to me or Story Empire) and garner extremely detailed feedback.
For this post, however, I’m going to use the same site I used before. It gives you the opportunity to take a free personality test, and uses the same sixteen personality types as Myers Brigg. Because it also gives extensive information, I found it informative and fun for my two lead characters.
Jillian turned out to be an INFJ-T THE ADVOCATE. That didn’t surprise me, given what I know about her. Some key descriptions for this personality type are: quietly intense, sensitive, persevering, insightful.
Jillian’s personality breaks down like this:
As her author, I already know the reasons behind this breakdown, especially for her results under introverted, intuitive, and judging. Some of the questions posed by the test, however, gave me pause. As an example, this one made me rethink Jillian’s answer:
“You enjoy going to social events that involve dress-up or role play activities.”
The normal answer for an introvert would be no, but there is a reason Jillian is so introverted, and in many ways I see her enjoying masquerade or costume parties. That anonymity would allow her to become someone else, empowering her to behave differently. Much like hiding behind a mask. That was something I hadn’t even considered, but am now planning to spin into a plot thread.
Moving onto Dante, his results pegged him as ENTP-A THE DEBATOR, also not too shocking given the role he plays in book one, Cusp of Night. Some key descriptions for this personality type are: quick thinking, charismatic, complex, energetic, inventive.
Dante’s personality breaks down like this:
Some of these results surprised me. I expected Dante to rate higher on the assertive meter and less on the intuitive scale. Interesting that they’re almost in balance. Even more surprising, he ranks higher than Jillian on the intuitive meter. As Dante’s author, I understand the reason, but seeing the results presented this way gives me a better understanding of how I want to write him. There’s a lot I can do with that intuitive result, not only as Dante sees himself but as others see him.
I’m not suggesting you run all your characters through a personality test, but it can be an enlightening experience for your primary characters. It forces you to think like them in a variety of situations.
Use the free personality test here. When you get your results, be sure to look at the right hand column under Explore Your Type and click on each of the links. The main screen gives you an overview of the personality type, but the links will lead you to information on strengths and weakness for that type, how they approach friendships, romantic relationships, career paths, and more.
You might also want to examine a one paragraph breakdown of MBTI personality types here. For quick reference, you can also hover over the personality type here. Scroll to the middle of the page for a pop-up providing one-word descriptions. I used all three links for a strong grasp of Jillian and Dante.
If you’ve never taken the test yourself, by all means, give it a try. It’s highly accurate and extremely insightful. As for characters, I’m going to match an INFJ Advocate with an ENTP Debator in End of Day. It should be interesting.
I’d love to hear what some of your character personality types are, or even your thoughts on types in general, and if you’ve ever consciously used them in your fiction. Do you think this would be something you’d try? Would you find it helpful? Let’s chat!