Creating a Character
This month’s topic: How do you develop secondary characters? Do you
even have a favorite secondary character?
I don’t develop secondary characters any differently than I develop the major ones: I imagine them moving and talking, and I write little scenes about them. I know that many authors fill out lists of characteristics about their characters, but I usually can’t answer those questions until after I’ve written most of the first draft.
I do sometimes give my characters personality tests. Myers-Briggs is a favorite of mine, not because I take it as gospel in any way, but because it is pretty quick and easy to use. Enneagrams, which I believe gives a much fuller picture of a character, is, for me, both more difficult to “administer” and more difficult to understand.
This test was once a popular method of typing your boss and co-workers. Your Myers-Briggs type is a four-letter code that spells out your place on each of the four axes:
E or I: Introverted or extraverted
N or S: Intuition (N) or sensing(S) N’s start with the big picture and S’s start with the details.
F or T: Feeling (F) or Thinking (T). Feelers make decisions with their hearts (think Captain Kirk) and T’s with their heads (Mr. Spock).
J or P: Judging(J) or Perceiving(P): J’s enjoy routine and P’s like surprises.
Here is a writeup of the eight preferences: https://www.knowyourtype.com/8_preferences.html
and here’s one about the sixteen types: www.khttps://www.knowyourtype.com/16_types.html
Multiple-choice Myers-Briggs test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
A much simpler one where you just have to pick one in each of the four categories (includes descriptions): http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html
Another simple test: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/questionnaire/
An Enneagram is pictured as a circle with intersecting lines, and a type consists of one of the nine types, a wing type, and a variant. In spite of having taken an online course and doing some reading on Enneagrams, I still don’t have much of a ‘feel’ for the types.
Chakras and enneagram information, easier (IMO) to understand http://www.eclecticenergies.com/
About the nine types: http://www.9types.com/
Free enneagram test http://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/test.php
Another one http://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php
Character Creation Software
Typing Chimp has a free version available for download. It’s loads of fun, but some features are disabled: http://www.typingchimp.com/
Writers cafe http://www.writerscafe.com/
Here is a link to my publisher’s website, where you will find all four of the novels mentioned above: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/our-authors/56-our-authors/authors-f/149-author-4764
Do check out the posts of the other participants
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1tC
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://rhobinsrambles.blogspot.com/
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com