How well do you know your characters?
- Do you know the personalities of these people who live in your head?
- Have you spent enough time with them to know how they’d feel about what’s going on in their story?
- Would their reactions to certain events or a flippant statement lead to a fight scene?
- If they saw a mouse in the kitchen would they scream and jump up on the couch?
How to get to know your characters
Knowing your characters well enough to be able to use their personality traits to your advantage as you write your novel will make the writing flow easier and create logical and organic story arcs.
- For example, who is your protagonist likely to befriend?
- Who may hate your protagonist?
- What drives your protagonist’s passion?
- What may drive a particular character crazy?
- How would your antagonist behave in an argument?
As I study the next steps in writing my novel, I realize I can’t answer some of the questions I need to ask to plot my story. The reason being, I don’t know what my character would do in any given situation. So, I need to take the time to get to know who these people are and what their responses would be to the events I want in my story. I need to be able to walk through this story with my characters and see, hear, touch, smell and taste what they experience and how they respond to the circumstances I set before them.
We need to take time to get to know everyone in our story. It’s fascinating and fruitful. Once we know our main characters well we’ll be better able to write an accurate and believable story. It may come in handy with a few of those friends who’re giving us a hard time. If we understand people better we may just be able to get along better.
What’s Your Personality?
How about you? If you’d like to dig a little deeper or find your own personality type, you can check out a blog post I wrote for my mini-course, Your Write Voice For His Kingdom.
Once we know our characters’ personalities we can go on to discovering their backstories and why they responded to events in their past based on those personality traits.
Have fun discovering the ways we were all made so differently by our Heavenly Father.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who made you in His image.
Resources for digging deeper:
There are several personality tests online but, in my opinion, these three are the best. Each one brings a different perspective to a developing character.
- Myers-Briggs 16 Personality Types Probably the most used. You can find a helpful sheet on my Pinterest board Writing Personality Types
- Enneagram of Personality lists Type, Ideal, Fear, Desire and Vice for 9 categories
- The Four Temperaments Choleric, Melancholic, Sanguine and Phlegmatic