I am a visionary.
No, don’t expect me to start my own psychic hotline. On a whim, I took the Myers Briggs personality test and discovered I am an oddity—an INFJ (introverted, iNtuitive, feeling judging). Only one percent of the population possesses these characteristics. I suppose my “type” is called “visionaries” because we INFJ people are supposedly gentle, caring, and highly complex, intuitive individuals.
I feel special.
Here are a few more details pertaining to the INFJ:
- Artistic, creative
Derives satisfaction from helping others
Devoted to personal beliefs
Lives in a world of hidden meanings
Possesses uncanny insight into people and situations
Protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they want to share it
Dislikes conflict or stress
Best suited for the career of English teacher, photo journalist, musician, novelist, freelance writer
Spooky, isn’t it? That’s me! (Okay, I should have written “That is I.” Silly perfectionist.)
According to MyPersonality.info, other people who fall into the INFJ category include Adam Sandler, Shirley Temple, Oprah Winfrey, Mel Gibson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Weird! I really don’t consider myself having
anything in common with any of these, except Hawthorne, maybe. Fictional characters include Luke Skywalker and the Tin Man.
I did a little Googling and found a website by Paula L. Fleming that offers some great information for writers about building characters based on personality types. Check out Writing-World.com’s section called “What ‘Type’ Is Your Character?” You’ll find some nifty hints that will help will character motivation.
Writers, you might ask your characters to take a shortened version of the test to determine if their actions match their motivations. You might also discover a little bit about yourself as you analyze your characters. What personality types intrigue you the most?
Just for fun, I “asked one of my characters” to take the shortened version of the test on the Personality Pathways website and found he is an ISTP (introverted, sensing, thinking, perceiving). His characteristics include the following:
- Intensely analytical, a trouble-shooter
Needs personal space
Often responds to stress with angry outbursts
Would perform well in the computer or engineering fields
Skillful with physical things
Lives one day at a time
Easy going, fun to be around
Stubborn or disobedient
Interesting. Some of my character’s traits overlap with mine. Some do not. If I were to write his story based on what I would do in a situation I would clearly be off track when it comes to character motivation.
Famous ISTPs include Bruce Lee, Clint Eastwood, Keith Richards, Tiger Woods, Mick Jagger, Burt Reynolds, and Amelia Earhart. Famous fictional ISTPs include James Bond and Wolverine.
Do these characters, real or fictional, have anything in common with my character? Maybe. I suppose if I were in doubt about how to write a scene, I could always imagine what Mick Jagger or James Bond might do.
I also checked out the Not Your Typical Personality Types parody site. Oh, this one is fun.! It inspired me to infuse a little humor into my character creation.
This site pegs the INFJ as a conspiracy theorist and the ISTP as a psycho vigilante.
Hmmm. Imagine putting those two into a book. What fun! (Insert evil laugh.) Let’s get to writing.
BTW: One of my favorite blogs, Divine Detours, is featuring Jeannie Campbell, the “Character Therapist” today. How cool! Perfect timing. Please check it out. You could win one of her character therapy guides.