Thursday, August 02, 2012

Books & Writing -- Creating Characters

I've taken several weeks hiatus from our subject of creating characters and it's time to get back to work on the people who live through the joys and heartaches we throw at them in our stories. We've got work to do. 

I encourage you to take lots of time when you're creating your characters. Remember, if they aren't real to you they won't be real to your readers. If readers don't care about the people in your story you'll lose them. They'll set your book down and not pick it up again.

I really liked this from Myers-Briggs. "All I have to do is ask the four key questions (intro or extro? Intuiter or Sensor? Thinker or Feeler? Piler or Filer?) Immediately personalities jump into my head.As we work through the creative process keep these basic traits in mind.

Because I've been away for a while how about a reminder of what we've talked about so far. You can refer to earlier blogs for more details.
  •       Create real characters.
  •      The Basics -- What do they look like?
  •      Beyond Basics -- Who are they?
  •      Creed -- What is their system of belief?  
The next step is . . .

Personality Type

It definitely helps to consider  personality types. Myers-Briggs have a great start with their questions, but I need to find out more and so when I'm developing the people who tell my stories the questions continue. Characters grow and become more complex.

It's important to be thorough in your development and then record what you find or it's possible a character could become someone they weren't meant to be. It can be a challenge to remain true to a personality type. That's why I create detailed character outlines. Frequently ask yourself, “Would this character react this way? Or would they do this or say that?  Why or why not?"

Personality examples: 

  • Withdrawn 
  • Gregarious 
  • Mystical 
  • Powerful 
  • Fragile 
  • A complainer 
  • Argumentative 
  • Dreamer 
  • Practical-Get down to business type 
  • Creative
  • Impulsive

     These are just a few ideas to get you started. I bet you can come up with a lot more. If you think of something add it to the comments at the bottom of the page. Let's see how many we dream up. Remember, for today, we're focusing on personalities. We'll get into some of the other details in the weeks to come.

Grace and peace to you from God. And happy writing!



  1. Oh Bonnie, how fortuitous!!!! I'm catching up on blogs that got left by the wayside in my crazy life and I come here and find you doing this little series on creating characters. Just what I need! I'm a writer-in-training and have been wrestling with a hero who I've discovered I don't really know. I didn't do any ground work on him, other than in my mind and he definitely needs work.

    I've checked back with the rest of the series and I'm going to work on this today. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Here's some more personality types I thought of:


  2. I love God's timing!

    And what great additions to our list!
    I'm adding them to my file.

    Bless you.

  3. loved your new book!

    kind of sad to see it end!

  4. Hi Jel. So glad to hear that! Thanks for letting me know. Now . . . tell others. :-)