Writing Hijinks-Characterization Using Myer Briggs Types

Writing Hijinks-Characterization Using Myer Briggs Types
February 2, 2016 11 Comments For Authors, Writing J.K. Allen

Characters bring our stories to life. The best plot will fall flat on its face if it’s peopled by weak characters. So how do we write well-rounded and fully dimensional characters? Let’s start with what characters need.

First and foremost all characters, even minor characters, need a goal. Even if it’s just to be left alone. All humans have desires, motivations, and goals, and so should your characters. This helps bring them to life and to further the plot as each character acts upon their goals.

Peggy_Marco / Pixabay

Peggy_Marco / Pixabay

Equally important to having goals is that each character should have flaws. Especially your protagonist and antagonist. Flaws cause conflict (which a story needs to be a story) and make your characters relatable. No one likes someone who seems perfect and it makes for a boring plot. Give your character struggles.

Protagonists and antagonists should have comparable strengths and weaknesses to build tension and suspense. If one has insurmountable powers, how can they ever be defeated?

An easy way to develop your characters is by using the Myer Briggs personality types (seen here). These personality types explain the core aspects of each type. To further deepen your characters, add a goal and a flaw to each type based on each type’s strengths and core values.

For practice choose one of the Myer Briggs types, a goal from this list, and a flaw from this. What does your character value most? What are they afraid of? How do they interact with others? What makes them tick? Answer these questions and watch your character come to life.

These are a quicker way to rounding out your characters in your current WiP. What’s your favorite Myer Briggs type? Which type makes the best baddie? Comment below and happy writing hijinks!



For more on characterization, click here.

J.K. Allen Julia Allen received her BA in Creative Writing and English from Michigan State University. She did her senior thesis in poetry under the tutelage of Diane Wakoski, but has been focused primarily on fiction as of late. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. Julia is currently working on a Young Adult fantasy novel and can be found at local cafes in her hometown when writing, and painting, drawing, or reading when not.

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