Writing Tools: 16Personalities

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I’m always on the hunt for new ways to develop characters. I have a slew of books in my home library on the subject, and a number of web resources bookmarked. The reason is that I love character-driven fiction, and my characters are really at the heart of the fiction I write. That’s not to say I don’t also enjoy plot-driven fiction because I do. But it’s the characters with whom I connect as a reader, and so I try to create the same experience when I write.

To that end, I’ve always liked personality tests for characters. One of my favorites is 16Personalities. I like it because:

  • It’s fast (takes about 12 minutes to complete)
  • It talks about personality in terms of strengths, weaknesses, and interactions with others
  • It’s free

Today, I took it for myself. I’ve never actually done that. I learned I’m not quite as introverted as I thought I was. I always thought I fit in more with the INTJ crowd, but as it turns out–and maybe this is because I’m about 17 years older than the last time I took one of these in high school psych class–I’m an ENFJ, or what 16Personalities calls “the Protagonist.”

I think, for a fiction writer, that’s rather fitting. Unsurprisingly, Elizabeth Bennet also fits into this personality type…and I’ve always connected with her on many levels.

Have fun discovering your characters’ personalities!