So I’m reading Stephen King’s book “On Writing” and thinking about what he has to say about characters, about being honest to the kind of people you know in real life and capturing that on paper. I’ve always been fascinated by different personalities and psychology. I took the Myers-Briggs Personality test and I come up as an INTP, which is Introverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiver. My exact opposite would be an Extroverted Sensing Feeling Judge, which is rather ironic because other than the Extroverted part, I think that’s my life partner. And on that Extroverted part, I’m half and half, depending on the day.
That perceiving part I have found is crucial, even more than the whole introvert/extrovert or sensing vs. intuitive thing. Perceiving people watch others. They see different viewpoints, different perspectives. They don’t judge, but can see both sides of an argument. In fact, they sometimes have a hard time making decisions because of this, balancing the merits of this vs. that. Judges, on the other hand, see something and immediately label is as good/bad, beneficial/harmful. This can lead to being close-minded. Lately I’ve been running into a lot of strife in my personal life because of this difference–twice now I’ve found myself with partners who like things done precisely a certain way, and look at others with immediate judgement. (especially while driving!)
Oh, and opposites do attract, by the way. For me, anyway.
I think in general writers tend to be more introverted, and also more perceiving. They look at other people who may be vastly different, and then they put themselves in that perspective. The best villain is one that you can identify with, one who doesn’t see himself/herself as evil. If you can find the humanity in them (even if it’s a sick and twisted humanity), they become more real. They become true.
See why personality is fascinating?