Character Personalities

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myers-briggs

So on Sunday my friend Sara and I spent the morning at the local Starbucks. She was working on grad school stuff (so glad I’m done with that!) and I was set out to edit. Well, my editing got a bit sidetracked when I decided I needed to assign my characters Myers-Briggs personality types to help me with my edits. It’s going to be good, and I like it for mapping my characters a bit more since I need to make them a bit deeper, and I am changing some of them on this first go through of Recovery. Now, for those of you who don’t know, there are 16 personality types under the Myers-Briggs test. After taking a test you get assigned letters from the four main categories: Introverted/Extroverted, Intuitive/Sensing, Feeling/Thinking, and Judging/Perceiving.

I took the test my senior year of high school, and was classified as an ESTJ: The Supervisor. The general summary says that I am hardworking, eager to take charge in organizing people and projects. I’m systematic and methodical, am confident, tough minded, and like to be in command of situations. Ya, that all sounds about right. Obviously there are traits I don’t agree with, or see myself stuck to, but we are all individuals and these are 16 classifications.

Anyway, I like the idea because if I assign my characters a set of core values, reflected by a Myers-Briggs personality type, I will know them in the most stripped down, bare way you can know a person. After I summarized each type, I went and found characters from some of my favorite books/show and put them under the type they were. So now I have the core beliefs, and an idea of how those can be translated in different ways. Well, I think it’s going to be a great aide in my editing, and in getting to know my characters better!

Since you guys meet Bridgid and Milo, I figured I’d tell you what personality types I gave them:

Bridgid: INFP – The Healer. Imaginative idealist guided by core values and beliefs. Pursues the truth and meaning with individualistic flair. Sensitive, caring, compassionate, and deeply concerned with personal growth of themselves and others. Bridgid is literally the complete opposite of myself, and honestly, that’s kind of why I chose this for her. I established that her main goal in Recovery is for answers, the discovery of truth. She always believes she can make herself a better person, and she pushes others to do so as well. That’s something I wish I did, honestly, I think my ego gets in the way sometimes. And I really wanted her to be an introvert. She is friendly, once she decides to open up to you, but she’s extremely guarded – something I think could be really interesting with her need to seek the truth and to push herself out of her comfort zone for it. Also, other characters with this type: Luna Lovegood, Matthew Crawley, and Nico Di Angelo.

Milo: INTJ – The Mastermind (this is my dad’s type!). Analytical problem solver, eager to improve process with their ideas and able to see possibilities for improvement. Logical reasoning and focused inward on their own study of the world. See the world as a chessboard to be navigated. This is often a type assigned to the villain, but I think it could be really interesting to see it in a positive light (I mean, I don’t think my dad is a bad guy). Really, I want to make Milo much more fanatic about the rebels in this first edit. He completely buys into their message and takes it upon himself to improve upon it and spread it. He’s also much more pragmatic than Bridgid, so cannot understand her curiosity/belief in the unknown. I think this type is really going to help me focus him a bit more. Other characters who have his type: Draco Malfoy, O’Brien (from Downton Abbey), and Annabeth Chase.

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3 thoughts on “Character Personalities

  1. Sounds neat! I’ve often thought about this when creating new characters, but they often develop their own personalities before I can take the step. Mostly, I think about this in relation to other people. When someone gets upset by some little thing or reacts to a situation in a way I find strange, I almost always wonder 1. what their zodiac sign is (just out of curiosity :P) and 2. what their personality types are. Then what their life was like growing up that could’ve caused them to react that way to that particular situation. Then if things had been different. Then if they had been different for me. And then oh God another character/story idea…

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    • Haha, I understand that thought process. I came up with the types after they had kind of established themselves as characters already. I don’t think it would have worked the other way around, because like you said, they basically deveope on their own.

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