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For Aspiring Writers

Using Personality Types to Flesh Out Characters


The personality type can provide very useful for a writer. It can provide pages on information, or simply a paragraph to help flesh out your character to a well rounded human being. There is one test in particular, perhaps the most well used of our time, called the Myers Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI). It categorises humans in sixteen personality types based on four temperaments:

  • Extroverted or Introverted – an extroverted character may talk quickly, is likely to raise their hand in class  before the teacher finishes the answer, whereas an introverted person may plan out what words to use before speaking, and answers a question only when the teacher asks. An extrovert is energised by large social gatherings, whereas an introvert is drained out by such experiences and is energised by private time alone.
  • Intuitive or Sensing – this shows how a person gathers data. Intuitive people think about the future and ‘what-if’s’ and prefer abstract thinking, whereas a sensing person, is focused on the present and uses facts and details.
  • Thinking or Feeling – this shows a person makes decisions. Whereas a thinking person bases their decisions on logic and fairness, detaches themselves from emotions to provide justice and may even engage in conflict to prove a point, feeling people are more concerned with everyone being happy at the conclusion of the decision.
  • Judging or Perceiving – be aware that these terms are largely misconceiving. Judging people are scheduled, organised, don’t like change, are responsible and dependable. Perceiving people are spontaneous, flexible and adaptable.

To find out what type of character you have, the best personality test I have found is here on similarminds. It’s free,  accurate, and provides information concisely and effectively.

Things to remember

  • Every person is different, even if they can be categorised in sixteen types. Not everything will match your character, so ensure not to try and bend your character to fit the description.
  • You don’t need to use this for all your characters – not at all. I would suggest your protagonist, antagonist and perhaps one or two other main characters.
  • Don’t try to make all your characters different for the sake of variety. Characters of the same personality type can still add interest to the story.

After you have found out your characters personality type, use the following link for more information: Personality Page

P.S. Woohoo! 50th post 😀 Thanks to everyone who has visited, enjoyed and followed this blog. This has probably been my third attempt and blogging, and this feels like a lovely achievement 🙂 Thank you.

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8 thoughts on “Using Personality Types to Flesh Out Characters

  1. Really not sure I believe in personality tests but they’re the best tool we have so far and in any case can help with creating a character. Great post!!

  2. What a wonderful idea–using the personality types to flesh out characters. I shall try this. The personality test that I am most familiar with is the DISC personality test, but I will follow your links and take a look. Thanks!

  3. I’m glad you both may find this helpful. I use it because I find it much more efficient to get both qualities, flaws, hobbies etc 🙂

  4. Congrats on your 50th post! And an awesome one at that.

    I have to admit, I’ve always been a little fascinated by the Myers Brigg personality type. Have to agree, it’s very useful for creating believable character types.

  5. I think it is very important to take as many tests as possible and to answer the questions honestly. My life has completely changed ever since I started to study about personality types and also my own type. I think when you know your own strength and weaknesses very well, interactions with people-whether it be for interviews, or relationships etc- becomes much easier. Great post! Also the personality test was a pretty nice touch as well!

    -TeamYoungLifeP

    • Definitely, a lot of sites stress that taking test more than once makes the results more accurate. I love personality tests too – in fact, I’m addicted! But it’s also great to know that it’s more than just a ‘fun’ thing to do – it does help you as a person, and as the subject of this post, a writer!

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the post 😀

      ~ JLT

  6. Love this! Very insightful! Will definitely be using this for character development going forward. Thanks!

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