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Personality Quiz

There are those who believe that there is a science to personality. Out of this belief developed some popular personality tests that are designed to help people learn more about their strengths and weaknesses. The biggest ones include: Myers Briggs, The Big Five, and the Enneagram Test.Try taking each of the above tests, but here's the twist: take them as if you were your character. Does it match up to what you had in mind? Do the results reveal anything new or surprising about your character's traits?

Go The Other Way

Choose a random occupation, a random personality trait, and the trait's opposite. Now, outline a train of events that explains how a person of your chosen occupation changes from having the random trait to having its opposite. Let's take, for example: "martial arts teacher," "shy," and "confident." What would make a shy martial arts teacher change into a confident one?Care for a double challenge? Try plotting the opposite path, too: a confident martial arts teacher turns into a shy person. What would cause that? Experiment with unusual occupations and traits to challenge yourself. Find a collection of traits for download at the end of this article.

Undisclosed Desires

What does your character want most? Now consider what he needs most. Is what he wants preventing him from gaining what he needs? Or will he have to find what he wants before he can achieve what he needs?

But Why?

Keep asking your characters why. Here's an example:

  • Why are you grumpy? I have a hangover.
  • Why do you have a hangover? My friend was in a bad accident and I thought he might die?
  • Why did you think he might die? His girlfriend lied to me about how serious the accident was.
  • Why did she lie about that? She's jealous of our relationship.
  • Why? I think she's insecure and has trust issues.
Do you see how much that question will dig into a character?

In Case of Fire

Moments of crises force characters to act without thinking, revealing things that might not have been previously obvious. Now imagine that there has been a blazing fire in your protagonist's house. What are the three things that your protagonist would unthinkingly grab as he or she breaks for the door? In 500-1,000 words, put this scene and its aftermath down on paper.