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Clarifying your characters utilizing the Meyers Briggs personality types.

Posted: Nov 10, 2016 9:43 pm
by adambein
Anyone ever clarify yer characters utilizing the Meyers Briggs temperment scanner?

My 'Zombies on the Queen Mary' story hit a bit of a wall. I had character trait issues! Ugh! Hey-no big deal when everyone's swinging away with baseball bats at zombies or running like h-e double hockey sticks to avoid being dinner, but when they're regrouping and have downtime, I had issues. Which character would be the... natural administrator? Practicing their butt off with a sword? Is the natural stockpiler? What are the philosophies OF each of those characters, the predictable manifestations, direction of growth, each person's 'theme', responses, reactions, outlook, social...somethings <shrug>, probable & logical choices, etc? Which'd balance & which'd unbalance?

Who'd help who grow? Which personality would be more likely to feel guilty about letting loved ones die & which character'd console them? Which character would climb up to the top of the radio antenna to 'get some breathing room-and thus see the never-before-noticed Chinese submarine lurker nearby'?! Which character invents something practical-like the electrical fence?

I think a great way to explore logical manifestations is to know what personality types you've got in your story. When you'e got those, you can explore.

Waddya think?

Re: Clarifying your characters utilizing the Meyers Briggs personality types.

Posted: Nov 11, 2016 4:57 pm
by Chris Huntley
I think it is applicable. In fact, there is a book called "Reel People" by Dr. Howard Gluss where he identifies characters by how they fit into the Meyers Briggs personality types. You can find an online version of it here:

Reel People book/Only personality disorders?

Posted: Dec 05, 2016 9:54 pm
by adambein
Here's a review of the book from someone in 2009.

"If you've ever had to deal with someone afflicted with one of the major personality disorders, you know how dis-orienting it can be. But in fact, as this book shows, those very disorders are what makes the best movies so engaging and, well, entertaining! When you watch a film, you can't help but try to put yourself in a character's mind, attempting to understand what motivates them to act as they do. But when that character has a personality disorder, he or she does things that defy understanding - at least without a deeper understanding of the psychosis itself. This book takes you through the gamut of the classic personality disorders, and shows how they affect many of our best-loved characters from the silver screen, making them even more fascinating as a result."

IS the focus of this book personality disorders? I'm not looking for that but it'd be interesting.

I'm looking to fill and match character roles based on occupation & then have the logical range of outcomes come into play. Basically, I need dock workers who respond to a zombie invasion on the Queen Mary like THEY would, not like a Repiratory Therapist Supervisor would. I need the personality type of the evil City Council ppl/Mayor to generate their logical choices for action, attitudes, outlook, philosophy, relationships, activity, etc.

Because when there's a zombie invasion and ppl are stuck on the Queen Mary, some ppl are going to go to the bar & gamble & drink, but other ppl are going to regroup, assess their supplies, put an instant limit on use of the supplies, and begin to form a plan.

I don't need psych disorders, I need real peeps. Ya' think that books got normal healthy ppl's traits in it?

I already have a website I made that lists personality disorders. Here THAT is:

If anyone wants it. I plan to use it in my nursing career when working on Psych Floors.

Example #1. The 'SJ' type.

Posted: Dec 15, 2016 7:55 pm
by adambein
40% of the U.S. population (but 50% of all Teachers!) fall into the Meyer's Briggs personality type of 'Sensing Judging'. Chances are one of your characters in your story will fall into this category. As such, that character will act, react, behave, & respond in a predictable # of ways unique to their personality type. You almost don't need to write/create, you just need to put them in a situation & wait for them to respond in their own natural manner.

Part of my notes from 'Please Understand Me':
If they go to a party they help serve clean up afterwards.
May have a serious, forbidding mien/look (stern face, scowl, ill-tempered, fierce) even tho' they have a warm heart.
Steadfast, dependability, stability, reliability, salt of the earth, backbone of society, pillar of strength.
Exhausted, worried, sad, ill, depression (SJs are vulnerable to this).
They have a hunger for membership-larger than others. To belong to a social unit is central to their style.
Caring for others (the young, the old, & those in positions of authority) is a special concern.

If one of my characters in my 'Zombies on the Queen Mary' story is a SJ, from just looking at their personality traits I've got a list of actions they can be doing-so I don't even have to dream up activities for my guy. I don't have to start from nothing to come up with phrases for my guy! I don't have to figure out to what social unit they belong! I don't even have to wonder about what drama to come up with out of the blue-it's right there.

I can report the gut-wrenching feelings they have when they must leave an elderly person behind only to be consumed alive by zombies.
One can show them doing something reliable in nature. Returning with the spare battery to the walkie-talkie (he will NOT leave w/o it!). Cleaning up after everyone has fallen asleep & tucking a blanket around their shoulders. Spending 6 hrs restocking all the ammunition.
One could show them being torn between their requirements as a member of a military unit and the immediate need to save a group of children from a fire bomb.
The conflict that arises between the SJ 'saving' character and the flip 'spend it now cuz tomorrow we'll all be dead' character (the ant vs the grasshopper).

Perhaps one's Writer's block can be gone due to simply knowing the logical range of options the character'd make due to their personality type.