Character Traits


How to Care for Introverts:  Wise WordsWhat is your favorite char­ac­ters per­son­al­i­ty type?

If you are a writer, how do you decide what your protagonist’s per­son­al­i­ty will be?

I recent­ly start­ed giv­ing this deep­er thought after watch­ing Pitch Black for the mil­lionth time.  I love that movie because of the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter, Rid­dick. My favorite char­ac­ters tend to be sim­i­lar; tac­i­turn, intro­vert­ed, cun­ning, decid­ed, and func­tion­ing by a moral com­pass of their own mak­ing. Rid­dick def­i­nite­ly pos­sess all of those traits.

I con­sid­ered Riddick’s per­son­al­i­ty traits and I tried to deter­mine what his per­son­al­i­ty would be based on the Myers-Brig­gs Type Indi­ca­tor.  The best I could come up with was ISTP (intro­ver­sion, sens­ing, think­ing, per­cep­tion) because he is not a peo­ple per­son, he uses his sens­es to gath­er infor­ma­tion and under­stand the world around him, hence the sil­ver eyes that help him see in the dark, he acts based on what he thinks is right as opposed to his feel­ings, and he keeps his options open, usu­al­ly for the swift get away.  Based on the old D&D align­ment trait sys­tem, I believe that Rid­dick is chaot­ic neu­tral.

Chaot­ic neu­tral char­ac­ters are wild, unpre­dictable and often fol­low their own per­son­al code with­out a care for oth­ers — they are often self­ish and the only thing pre­dictable about them is their unpre­dictable natures. This is the align­ment of rogues, anti-heroes, the mad (when not chaot­ic evil) as well as char­ac­ters who do not fol­low nor­mal eth­i­cal codes but do not active­ly seek to destroy the nat­ur­al order either (as a chaot­ic evil char­ac­ter would).

Yup. Sounds like Rid­dick to me.

This got me think­ing about the main char­ac­ter of my WIP, The Hin­ter­land Chron­i­cles. Dr. Bilqis Haq is a law abid­ing cit­i­zen. She wants to keep the peace, and although spir­i­tu­al­ly con­flict­ed she is will­ing to do any­thing, includ­ing stuff­ing her feel­ings and beliefs, to bring such peace to fruition. She is what I like to term a sheeple. In oth­er words, she is a fol­low­er and is nev­er a will­ing leader. By the end of my WIP, life will change dras­ti­cal­ly for my poor lit­tle pro­tag­o­nist. The calm she wish­es to main­tain will be chal­lenged. She will be forced to choose sides, nei­ther of which is opti­mal. There will be no good choic­es and she will not have the option of hang­ing back and let­ting some­one else do the choos­ing.

In the process, her per­son­al­i­ty will even­tu­al­ly change. She will cease to be law­ful good. She will become chaot­ic good or per­haps, if pushed chaot­ic neu­tral. Watch­ing Bilqis make the change will be excit­ing.

I decid­ed to take the Align­ment Test myself, just to see where I fall on the spec­trum. I was not sur­prised to learn that, like Rid­dick I am chaot­ic neu­tral. I knew I’d be chaot­ic neu­tral because of ‚my will­ing­ness to chal­lenge tra­di­tion, my unwill­ing­ness to fol­low soci­etal nor­ma­tive behav­iors with­out first ques­tion­ing their use­ful­ness, and my will­ing­ness to break the rules if they do not make sense to me.

My Myers Brig­gs per­son­al­i­ty isINTP along with Marie Curie, Jung, Ein­stein, Data and Sev­en of Nine (Star Trek), Sher­lock Holmes, and Albus Dum­b­le­dore.

What align­ment trait is your favorite char­ac­ter? What align­ment trait are you? What are your Myers-Brig­gs char­ac­ter­is­tics?