Personality Tests: An Exercise in Characterization

Want to test how well you know your character?

Russ’s comment on Deathwalker 3.6 made me think of a great characterization exercise: Take a personality test from your character’s perspective. Answer the questions the way your character would and see whether the results agree with how you think of your character (or at least, if they agree as much as you think your own results reflect your personality).

When Russ asked if Seph was an ENTP (a personality of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test), I didn’t know the answer, but since it sounded like a great way to explore the character, I decided to try it out online. I didn’t find the Myers-Briggs Test free online, but I found some variations based off of it.

I do not foresee Seph dancing around with flowers and butterflies. Yet part of my brain is trying to think of how to tie that in...

I do not foresee Seph dancing around with flowers and butterflies. Yet part of my brain is trying to think of how to tie that in…

The first one I took from Sephtis’ perspective was from 16 Personalities. According to them, Seph is INFP-T, an idealist guided by principles who is highly intuitive and diplomatic.

That may or may not be true – the book is in the early stages. Taking the test, however, definitely pointed out some areas of characterization I hadn’t fleshed out yet. For example, who Seph’s friends are (if he has any), how they interact, and what he likes to do with his free time. It also brought up different situations, forcing me to judge how Seph would respond, which I think is a pretty good exercise for writing in a character’s perspective.

The second test I found is labeled as a Jung Typology Test, and it says that Seph is ESFJ (Extravert Sensing Feeling Judging…hmmm). Since the Sensing was 1%, it also mentioned that he could be more intuitive (ENFJ). Even most of the characteristics on the first test were fairly close to the center, and though the questions on this test were similar, the different wordings and situations clearly brought about slightly different responses. I’m most curious about the ones that the tests say are the same, how greatly the percentages vary, and how the results now compare to the results after the book is completed (I have a theory that they will vary less, but I won’t know until then.).

The third test results (at Truity) are my personal favorite because Seph tested dead center – so much so that the results say that he could be __ or__ for each characteristic. Then, they listed his possible personality types. Which was all of them. I’m almost 100% sure that’s because the questions are mostly laid out as personal judgments about the character rather than how the person would react from situation to situation.

On a whim, I also decided to try a Buzzfeed quiz. What better one to start with than finding out which Harry Potter character Seph would be? Can you guess? Seph is… (drumroll, please) Neville Longbottom! (Go, Seph!)

Ok, so the results may not be too helpful characterization-wise. On the other hand, actually going through the quizzes was very interesting and forced me to think about the character (and how he would respond to the different questions), and that is always useful.

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