3 Fun and Interesting Ways to Create Fictional Character Personalities
Fictional characters, especially ones in novels or an ongoing series, need to have plenty of depth. They need good traits, downfalls, a saving grace and a few quirks, with the balance of good/bad depending on their role in the story. Molding a believable, lovable or despicable character takes time, but there are some methods you can use to make the process more interesting.
You can use personality typing, the same kinds used to help real people gain a better understanding of themselves, to help you with character creation. Use all of these techniques in combination, or choose one or two to breathe life into the players in your writing.
Pick an astrology sign for your character. Decide on the basic personality of your characters first. Are they more outgoing or adventurous, or do they like to stay home? Are they cheery and perky or more brooding and mysterious? Look through the descriptions of the signs and choose the one that would work best for your character. Assigning a zodiac sign to your character will give you even more traits and behavioral patterns to work with, giving them a deeper personality. You could even go as far as to give them a “moon sign” and a “rising sign”. The moon rules the emotional/subconscious nature of your personality and the rising sign gives people your first impression. Sometimes all you need is an understanding of their sun sign, which influences your personality the most.
Numerology. The numbers 1 through 9 have their own meaning in numerology besides their number values. There are different ways to use numerology, but the “life path” number is the most important one, just like the sun sign in astrology. This number is found by adding all of the numbers in your birth date and reducing the sum to a single digit — 1-13-1990 would be 1+1+3+1+9+9+0 = 24 2+4 = 6.
Life path number basic meanings:
1 – Inventive, pioneering, leadership qualities, can become bossy or demanding.
2 – Peaceful, fair, visionary, can be pessimistic or passive-aggressive.
3 – Creative, friendly, sociable, can be superficial or flighty.
4 – Hard-working, down-to-earth, dedicated, can be narrow-minded or tactless.
5 – Curious, adventurous, compassionate, can be irresponsible or impulsive.
6 – Family-oriented, domestic, idealistic, can be too self-sacrificial or overly-critical.
7 – Charming, independent, intuitive, can be selfish or argumentative.
8 – Ambitious, workaholic, honest, can be cold or obsessive.
9 – Sensitive, trustworthy, open-minded, can be easily confused or dissatisfied.
Look into the Myers-Briggs personality types. If you’re new to this kind of personality typing, you might want to try taking a free test first. Reading about and learning about your own type first will help give you a better understanding. There are 16 combinations made up of either introvert (I) or extrovert (E), sensing (S) or intuition (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). I’m an INFP for example, which means I’m predominantly introverted (I gain strength from being alone), I’m more intuitive, I’m ruled more by how I feel about things and I perceive things according to my values. This mode of typing will give you a better view of how a character will react to certain situations.