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Personality Types


Solus Magus

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I was having a fun time reading one of the topics the other night that my reply might derail from the main subject. So I decided to make a separate thread for this particular topic. For the main question: Have you tried and categorize your characters (main/minor) into personality types?

 

For me, yes. Not just because I am a Psych major, but also because it can create potential clashing between characters and their archetypes. This can really set a story into motion. It can set a certain standard for them and for you as well. Downside is they can be quite predictable over time. But it could also help you as the author to bring them out of their comfort zones for them to grow as your characters. In case you're interested, the easiest for me is studying the Myer-Briggs Personality type which has at least 16 archetypes. (I am an INTJ btw. 3rd rarest type so I am hoping to find a fellow INTJ here.)

 

Personally, I aligned my characters via Myer-Briggs and Gallup Strengths Finder. The former will be their default standards and the latter test will bring about their true potential as characters. It sounds so very detailed and complicated but for me, I have fun while creating the character and setting up scenarios that can be very stressful in accordance to their types. Example, as an INTJ, I don't like being disturbed while working. All of the sugar, spice and everything nice will easily be spilled on the floor if you do. And that can be a scene that can cause a clash between characters.

 

Like what I have said in that other thread, the rule I made in my head will always be this: What would a whole neighborhood look like if every single person in there thinks and exactly like me? And my answer is: Everyone is noisy and would always be in a heated philosophical debate (and probably a lot of orgies). I would always think that way to individualize my characters and show their uniqueness to the world.

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I've never done personality types like this, as my knowledge of the subject is super limited. I have a general idea how my peeps will act, and just go with what feels natural to me at the time. As for the scale, I'm an INTP-T.

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Neat idea, but . . . naw. 

 

My Characters come to me as if they are people speaking into my ear. I hear voices.

I guess that makes me a schizotypical personality! :P

 

In any case, they end up being a jumble of many personality traits just like any of us. They all end up being reflections of me because I am writing them and they are coming out of me, but sometimes I feel like they are their own people.

 

I'm never lonely!

 

:o

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I love tests, hahaha. I'm a logician INTP-A. I'm with @MrM I don't give my characters personality traits they kind of emerge. I don't hear voices, lol, but those characters come out of my head - only I'm not sure if they are all inside my head or just passing through from somewhere else!

 

Hey, do you think all writers are INT introverted thinkers?

Edited by William King
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I'm an INTJ-A (Architect)

https://www.16personalities.com/

 

Quote

It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, Architects know this all too well. Architects form just two percent of the population

Isn't that just oddly coincidental..  these personality tests might work.

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Most of my characters are variations of people that I knew growing up, or people that I know now. So they are the ones that really fuel the personality types in my stories. A big example of this would be 'Sam', who has been a close friend since the 7th grade. Super cute, blond, crazy laugh, VERY energetic. He was a year younger than the me and the rest of my friends, but we adopted him. Hehehe! And a lot of 'Sam' works itself into a bunch of my characters when I'm writing. (Sam in Billy Chase, or Gyro in GFD, or Milo in Agenda 21, or Artie in Jesse-101, or 'Sam' in My Only Escape) There's a lovable, but bratty, little brother vibe that I remember about him that becomes the archetype of that kind of character in my stories.

 

Anyway, I draw a lot from past experiences when I write. So...if they fit a certain psychological profile, it wasn't intentional. Still cool though. Hehehe! Hindsight and all! 

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10 hours ago, Comicality said:

 

Most of my characters are variations of people that I knew growing up, or people that I know now. So they are the ones that really fuel the personality types in my stories. A big example of this would be 'Sam', who has been a close friend since the 7th grade. Super cute, blond, crazy laugh, VERY energetic. He was a year younger than the me and the rest of my friends, but we adopted him. Hehehe! And a lot of 'Sam' works itself into a bunch of my characters when I'm writing. (Sam in Billy Chase, or Gyro in GFD, or Milo in Agenda 21, or Artie in Jesse-101, or 'Sam' in My Only Escape) There's a lovable, but bratty, little brother vibe that I remember about him that becomes the archetype of that kind of character in my stories.

 

Anyway, I draw a lot from past experiences when I write. So...if they fit a certain psychological profile, it wasn't intentional. Still cool though. Hehehe! Hindsight and all! 

 

I hope you don't beat me too hard, Mawther!

 

I had to 'borrow' Sam a little for my latest Brandon chapter. It was the only way I could think of making Brandon's behavior make sense at the part of the story I am. I tried to keep him as your best 'Brat' from the examples you gave in Billy. Sam is adorable. I would have totally fallen for him if he had been in my school. He is just my type (except for his blasted straightness). I did not have the good fortune to know a Sam growing up.

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I used to look for my own Sam because my former Sam died. And then eventually, I found a ton of Sams in our church. Now, some of them would easily get jealous if I spend a little too much time with one of the Sams. For some reason, our church culture turned them into a bunch of clingy teenagers! Most were cute, crazy laugh, and highly energetic. Except for the blond though, we're a bunch of Asians. We can't go blond even if we wanted to. :(

 

On topic: Looks like with all the replies, I am one heck of an overthinker.

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Fellow INTP-T here.  

 

But as for the question at hand, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about personality types for my characters.  I usually have a general idea if they are extroverted or introverted, thinkers or doers, etc but I mostly just shove them into a situation and just see how they react, lol.  I find the idea very interesting though.  I might have to try that for some of my characters sometimes, especially when setting up conflicts.  This is a cool idea!    

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On 10/17/2017 at 3:39 AM, William King said:

 

Hey, do you think all writers are INT introverted thinkers?

 

Actually, I'm an INFJ... maybe that Feeling part is why I torture so many of my characters...

Edited by craftingmom
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16 hours ago, craftingmom said:

Actually, I'm and INFJ... maybe that Feeling part is why I torture so many of my characters...

I envy you for being an INFJ. They're the perfect psychologists. But they're also the best people who can bring out the madness inside of other people.

On 10/21/2017 at 11:33 PM, CassieQ said:

Fellow INTP-T here.  

 

But as for the question at hand, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about personality types for my characters.  I usually have a general idea if they are extroverted or introverted, thinkers or doers, etc but I mostly just shove them into a situation and just see how they react, lol.  I find the idea very interesting though.  I might have to try that for some of my characters sometimes, especially when setting up conflicts.  This is a cool idea!    

Thank you! :D

 

There was a program for Mac called Persona. It specialized on creating a personality profile and there are certain archetypes on it for you to follow so you won't be lost. Since it's a simulator, it also creates the possibilities of how each characters would mix whether they are perfect for each other. Or they would just eat each other out. (pun intended)

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22 hours ago, craftingmom said:

 

Actually, I'm an INFJ... maybe that Feeling part is why I torture so many of my characters...

I’m INFJ too, CM... the feeling part is probably why I weep and mourn when you torture.. :/:P 

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9 hours ago, Dmrman said:

there are several new/ updated programs out there...!:yes: Some give you prompts/ others have templates that come with, or you can add...! I have installed a new one myself..., Now if I can get "myself, and I" on board..., and all the "other influences" :rofl: ..., I might find out just how well it Works...!!!:gikkle::unsure2::rofl:

Really? As of now, I just use scrivener for word processing.

 

5 hours ago, Defiance19 said:

I’m INFJ too, CM... the feeling part is probably why I weep and mourn when you torture.. :/:P 

Yes, INFJs are highly empathic people. Of which I am the least. I can be a very insensitive brat. :gikkle: 

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To respond to the original post - no, I’ve never tried to categorise my characters, nor do I plan them in terms of personality types or traits.  I usually have a starting point in mind for who they are, but they generally form themselves throughout the story, and so their actions and interactions are based on the person they are at the time.

 

I guess my general reluctance to use labels to describe people feeds into my writing approach, but in the spirit of sharing, I generally come out INFJ.  The test re-test reliability for Myers-Briggs is frequently low (meaning that many people will come out with a different result only a few weeks later), so my repeated similar outcomes might infer something, or not.  Sorry, not the place to rant about such things, I just think people are way more complicated than this, and (most?) good characters are too.

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On 10/24/2017 at 3:08 PM, Solus Magus said:

I envy you for being an INFJ. They're the perfect psychologists. But they're also the best people who can bring out the madness inside of other people.

Thank you! :D

 

 

My husband would definitely agree with the 'bringing out the madness in people"  :)

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When I'm thinking about my characters I always try to connect their personality ti the enneagram system, anyone ever heard of it? It's quite cool: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions/ . It divides personalities in 9 types, and there are a few of stages to each type of personality in therms of growth. Also on each type relates to two others in terms of stress and relief situations and there's an interesting diagram of it. As stories are all about who characters evolve, this system helps me a lot to set personal challenges to each of them. And I've read so much about it that I kind of use this system to figure out people around me too :P

I've never tried to the Myer-Briggs system. The last time I took a test I've found I'm an ENFJ, but I keep forgetting what it means :huh: . I think I might try to look this up a little better.

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1 hour ago, ghanbrews said:

When I'm thinking about my characters I always try to connect their personality ti the enneagram system, anyone ever heard of it? It's quite cool: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions/ . It divides personalities in 9 types, and there are a few of stages to each type of personality in therms of growth. Also on each type relates to two others in terms of stress and relief situations and there's an interesting diagram of it. As stories are all about who characters evolve, this system helps me a lot to set personal challenges to each of them. And I've read so much about it that I kind of use this system to figure out people around me too :P

I've never tried to the Myer-Briggs system. The last time I took a test I've found I'm an ENFJ, but I keep forgetting what it means :huh: . I think I might try to look this up a little better.

I am a mix of Type 3 and Type 5 for the enneagram. :)

 

ENFJ means Extrovert-Intuitive-Feeler-Judger aka The Giver. You are people oriented and your drive is always to help people. :)

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2 hours ago, Solus Magus said:

I am a mix of Type 3 and Type 5 for the enneagram. :)

 

ENFJ means Extrovert-Intuitive-Feeler-Judger aka The Giver. You are people oriented and your drive is always to help people. :)

So you're always changing to adapt to people around you and you are observant but not much of a talker?

 

Hahaha a bit of a simplistic take on these types, of course.

 

I'm a Type 1 with a little bit of 9 :P

 

 

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19 hours ago, ghanbrews said:

So you're always changing to adapt to people around you and you are observant but not much of a talker?

 

Hahaha a bit of a simplistic take on these types, of course.

 

I'm a Type 1 with a little bit of 9 :P

I invest so much in improvements via keen observation skills. I always brood like Batman. Achieve something great and be an inspiration for others. That's how it works. I think Type 5 is often tied with INTJ. And I swung to Type 3 because of my acquaintance with certain insecurities. I had my social skills improved that people would have often mistaken me as an extrovert. But sometimes, when my energy gets drained, I would have to pull back for half an hour at least to recharge. :P 

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Omigod! I was SO into the enneagram thing about five years ago! And I'm definitely a 2! "The Helper", flaws and all! Been trying to work on that! LOL! So shocked that someone else brought this up! :P

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21 hours ago, Comicality said:

Omigod! I was SO into the enneagram thing about five years ago! And I'm definitely a 2! "The Helper", flaws and all! Been trying to work on that! LOL! So shocked that someone else brought this up! :P

It was something of an obsession for me and my friends about 7 years ago. My husband (boyfriend then) even did his final undergraduate project about it. We'd spend hours talking about enneagram personality types over beer haha. It was kind of fun. All this suff kind of stuck and I can't keep from thinking about it when I'm writing (or meeting new people :P ).

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that heard of it here haha

Edited by ghanbrews
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