Developing a character is a complicated process - and it should be! Of course, it would never be simple to recreate realistic human beings and slap them into text. And that's what a writer should always aspire to do. It doesn't always work out, but it should remain the goal of character development: giving birth to a consistent, complex, detailed, and understandable person.
Now, this little pregnancy writers go through when creating a character can be helped along by many things. Observation of real people. Introspection into oneself. Studying other fictional characters. Another useful tool that I find very fascinating is MBTI - the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
If you're not familiar with it, MBTI contains 16 personality types. Each is represented by four letters that pertain to particular cognitive tendencies. The first letter can be an I or an E for Extroverted or Introverted. Second is N or S for Intuitive or Sensing. Third - F or T for Feeling or Thinking. Lastly, the fourth letter can be a J or a P for Judging and Perceiving. MBTI is mainly used for psychological reasons, personal interest, and personal development. Personally, I've found MBTI to be extraordinarily enlightening and intriguing.
But you might be wondering what it has to do with fictional characters. Sure, it's meant for real people, but it can also be useful for writers trying to get a better understanding of their characters. Knowing how a character thinks, works, and interacts is crucial to creating a consistent and solid person.
Determining a character's type is extremely easy, too. If you're interested in doing it, just click this link and take the quick test: 16personalities.com. I've taken a few tests on the web for myself and my characters, but I've found that 16personalities.com is the best and most accurate.
Before you take the test, you might be wondering how to answer personal questions for a fake person. Don't worry about it. It's easier to get your head inside theirs than you might think. Take the test as if you were your character and see what they get! Read up on the type, and you're likely to walk away with a better understanding of your character and maybe a few new ideas about them.
I've done this with most of my characters from The Breacher and other planned books on my horizon. If you wanna know which Breacher characters tested as which type, head on over to my other post "The Breacher and MBTI!"
Thanks for reading,