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Writing Characters – Portrait of an ESFP.

I’m getting Psychic Undercover (with the Undead) (SDF book 1) ready to go for publication next week and one thing I like to do with my characters, either when creating them or after they’re fully formed like here just to get an idea of little details to throw in last minute, is to do the Myers Briggs personality test as them.

I did a post on this way back when if you want to check out more of the reasoning behind doing this for your characters. – HEY BABY, WHAT’S YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE?

Here, I did this for Ariana, the main character and narrator of the SDF series. When I first wrote Ariana about ten years ago, I wanted to make a character so totally different than me to explore that personality and see what I could get out of doing somebody so not me.

And boy did it work! Ariana is literally my opposite personality type. She is an ESFP while I’m an INTJ.

What are the ESFPs? They’re the Entertainers. Yep, big surprise. My ex cheerleader, 23 year old blond psychic who has won singing competitions her whole life and doesn’t have a problem she doesn’t tell to half her work is an entertainer.

Don’t ask me why I’m surprised.

So what are the typical aspects of being an ESFP? Well, they never shut up, can’t be bothered to be on time, have no organization, flit from thing to thing with so much energy you’re checking for batteries, don’t think things through, throw themselves into new relationships, can’t take criticism, and are often overly emotional, immature and sensitive. Nope, that’s not Ariana at all.

So how does this affect my writing of her? Well, one thing I’m going to sprinkle in this week during my final read throughs are descriptions. ESFPs are huge on clothes, fashion, pretty things and looks, and while Ariana is into all those things, I’ve noticed (and so did my beta readers) that for someone who claims to love clothes so much and is by nature and by trade very observant, she doesn’t spend a lot of time describing clothes and places.

This is my mistake as an author. Since those don’t come easily to me, I don’t naturally put them in for my character, and while Ariana does talk more about clothes and setting than my other characters because those are her things, she doesn’t do it enough for the average reader to get those are more important to her than to the average person.

So, that’s become a note on my editing and I’m going to have to get working on that tonight when I go back to finish putting in my editor’s notes.

It’s going to be a busy week 🙂

Have you done the test for your characters? Has it helped you nail down what you need to do to make them more them?

To continue the January of deals, I have two novellas on sale for $0.99 this week!


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