Free Today on Amazon
If you write fiction, especially novels, you’ve probably grappled with character sheets. For those who don’t know, a character sheet contains a list of appearance and personality questions to help writers get in-depth with their characters. Here’s one example a generous person has made available. You may find it very helpful. Or not.
My experience with these sheets is mixed. When I start a book, I want to get to know my characters as I write them. Filling out a list feels stifling. I don’t know what a character’s favorite color/book/band/movie/etc. is until it comes up in conversation with another character. Even when it comes to appearance, aside from obvious features like black hair and brown eyes, I want to learn as the characters interact and notice each other’s traits and quirks. I find it much easier to fill out a character sheet after I’ve finished a first draft.
Still, having a basic grasp of your main characters’ personalities is important before you begin to write. If your characters are too nebulous, you’ll wander right along with them and wonder why they (and you) can’t find motivation.
Something that I’ve found very useful is to take personality tests as my characters. The questions make me think about how they would react in a given situation. The results help me understand what kind of a person a character is and focuses their motivation.
For example, Paul from my novel, “Fake,” is an INFP personality according to the Myers-Briggs/Jungian tests. He’s an idealist. He doesn’t care what people think about him. He prefers to avoid conflict, but will fight tooth and nail for what’s important to him. Understanding these things about him help me figure out how he’ll act and react as the story progresses.
You can find a bunch of personality tests at Similar Minds. This one is my favorite.
Want to go deeper? Me, too! What sparked this blog post was the following freebie on Amazon. Its usual price is $25.99, so it probably won’t last long. Grab it now!
Making Sense of People: Decoding the Mysteries of Personality by Samuel Barondes
Every day, we evaluate the people around us: It’s one of the most important things we ever do. Making Sense of People provides the scientific frameworks and tools we need to improve our intuition, and assess people more consciously, systematically, and effectively. Leading neuroscientist Samuel H. Barondes explains the research behind each standard personality category: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. He shows readers how to use these traits and assessments to do a better job of deciding who they’ll enjoy spending time with, whom to trust, and whom to keep at a distance.
Descriptions provided by Amazon
Disclaimers and Disclosures
I found this book via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.
This freebie is a limited time offer and there is no guarantee it will still be free when you click on the link. Grab it sooner rather than later.