PersonalityPage, Character Traits for Writers

I frequently use PersonalityPage.com to assemble personality traits for characterization. The site is not organized for writers. In fact, the site navigation is poorly designed and pretty difficult to figure out. I had to poke around the site a bit to find the best pages there for characterization and how to use them. But having done so, I discovered that the content on those pages is perfect for writers trying to create characters.

The Personality Page revolves around Myers-Briggs typology, which numerous professionals have criticized as unscientific. The Myers-Briggs personality test, it is said, basically just asks people what kind of personality they think they have and then regurgitates it back to them in a handy, scientific-sounding summary. But this weakness is one of its strengths for the storyteller. Because we are not interested in psychoanalyzing real people. And we are not interested in compiling accurate statistics, or with scientific authenticity. We only want to create convincing, fictional characters out of our imaginations. So we merely need to understand personality traits that are out there, and Myers-Briggs does help us do that.

A Writer’s Site-map to PersonalityPage.com

Overview Information

The following overview pages can help you understand the theory behind Myers-Briggs and determine which personality types would be most appropriate for your character.

Personality Profile Source Material

Once you have one or more personality types in mind, use the following pages to construct a character profile. Your character profile should not just include verbatim everything associated with that personality type. Rather, you should pick and choose characteristics (from multiple overlapping profiles) that reflect the personality of your character.

What Next?

A personality profile will not get you a deep character. My current process starts with a personality profile, then I flesh out the character with his history, his relationships, his challenges, his ambitions, his fears, his beliefs, and so forth. Of course, then I have to actually tell this character’s story, which is for me the hardest part of the process.

-TimK

About J. Timothy King
J. Timothy King

I'm the eldest of three siblings, a stay-at-home father of two daughters, the husband of a wonderful wife, and an indie author of life-expanding character fiction. When not writing, I read, watch old TV and movies, play bass guitar, and tend to my family in our Boston-area apartment.

Catch me on:  my web site Facebook Twitter 

Comments

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wk buckley, editor

Thank you for the work you did putting this together. I have tried to make a paypal donation (small), but don’t know if it worked as it was followed by an error message.

J. Timothy King

Thanks so much, Carole. Yes, it worked. I’ll check into the error, as the process has been tested before.

-TimK

When I first learned about personality types, early on I thought about how great it could be for dramatists. I wonder how many great character writers actually know the types vs. just have an intuitive feel for it. I think anyone who writes for characters could benefit greatly from learning the various personality type systems out there.

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