Personalities

by Anabyss
(Trinidad)

Question: Can you make a list of character personalities that I can use in my writing? Because I'm sure there are interesting ones I haven't seen or heard of.


Answer: I discuss the eight archetypal characters on this site (http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/archetypal-characters.html), but these only address one aspect of character personalities - dramatic functions.

Apart from these, I would actually advise you to not rely too heavily on cliched personality types as sources of characters. It's true that there are many systems of psychology that have attempted to categorize personality (Carl Jung's four personality types, tarot, the medieval notion of humours, etc). And there are some types that appear in various stories. But good characters are always original. They are based on amalgamations of traits from people you know, coupled with your own imagination.

Even if you decide you want a particular type of character for a story, the "type" is only a superficial description. You still have to work out the particulars of the character that make him/her the way they are. Characters are a product of their culture, their family, their physical bodies, their upbringing, their circle of friends, their talents and weaknesses, their unique experiences, etc. In other words, try to make your characters real, not just cardboard copies of other characters.

That said, if you just want to browse through some of the character cliches, you might check out this page on the TV Tropes website...

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Characters

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