Recently I read a post from an author I got to know through Story Empire, Mae Clair, who writes about personality types and writers. Even if you are not a writer, this post is really interesting and the test it proposes is incrediby accurate.
As Mae explains in her post, there are four factors taken into account to determine which one of the sixteen personalities you belong to: Extrovertion/Introvertion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perceiving-Prospecting. And then there is an additional factor: Assertive/Turbulent.
I took the test and my result was Advocate personality (INFJ-T). Some traits I know to be true, others I hope are true because the description of this personality… oh it makes me proud to be an advocate.
This is a summary of my results. Do you think it accurate?
But what happens when you make one of your characters take the test?
I was curious to give it a try and who do you think I choose? A simple minor character or clearly defined hero? No, no, no. I picked up the most difficult, the hardest, the most demanding character in the lot: Jason Hike, main male character in Undercover.
He is a rebel. He grew up in a world upturned by a terrible War for Energy. Belonging to a race created in laboratory to make humankind stronger, he lived most of his life surrounded by people afraid of him an those of his kind, to the point of imprisoning them and try to make the world forget about them. He lead a revolution ended in blood and, when the story begins, he has been in jail for fifty years.
The personality test marks Jason Hike as a Commander. Extroverted (E), intuitive (N), thinking (T) and judging (J).
Commanders are natural born leaders. People with this personality type embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in away that draws crowds together behind a common goal. Commanders are also characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality […]. If there’s anything Commanders love, it’s a good challenge, big or small, […]. (read the complete profile here).
All in all, it seems I have made Jason Hike justice even without knowing his personality type in advance. He is a leader because, don’t fear, even if he is in jail he is still planning and keeping in touch with old friends outside. His ruthless level of rationality was a bit of a problem for him. Had he been less rational and less ruthless, maybe… but it’s useless to dwell on what could have been. And for what concerns challenges, he is going to find plenty on his path.
No surprises, you’d say. He is a rebel who lead a revolution, it’s only natural he is a commander.
And yet what surprises me is that, even if I tried to create Jason as different as possible from me, we still share two out of four traits. If we trust the test we are both intuitive and judging.
So the question is… can we, writers, really create completely original characters or would they always have a part of us in them? It is for posterity to judge. In the meantime we, writers, will try to hide our personality bits into our characters best as we can.