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Writers often project themselves into their stories, so characters tend to think and talk alike, with predicable actions and boring plots. If you use your personality for a character, don’t let any other character in the story be like you. Make your story more compelling by focusing on personality differences.

Conflict quickly arises when a character wants something but an associate wants something else. The Myers-Briggs Type indicator is a useful tool to identify and contrast character traits so your stories will be interesting and unpredictable.

  • Four Character Contrasts
Social:
Information:
Decision Making:
Lifestyle:
Extrovert (E) or Introvert (I)
Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N)
Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

In each of the categories above, decide which way your character leans. Use those four letters to identify one of the general categories below.

  • Sixteen Personality Categories
ISTJ Inspector
ISTP Crafter
ESTP Promoter
ESTJ Supervisor
ISFJ Protector
ISFP Composer
ESFP Performer
ESFJ Provider
INFJ Counselor
INFP Healer
ENFP Champion
ENFJ Teacher
INTJ Mastermind
INTP Architect
ENTP Inventor
ENTJ Fieldmarshal

For the most dramatic contrast, identify your hero’s personality and use the opposite core values, goals, and outlooks on the opposite side for your antagonist.

  • Extroverted Personalities
  • Introverted Personalities
ENFJ: An organized and decisive person who sees potential in everyone INFJ: A planner who recognizes where people are and can motivate them for a worthy cause.
ESTP: A tolerant, flexible person who is spontaneous, impulsive, and competitive ISTP: Someone who sees only himself as qualified to fix all the big problems
ESTJ: The realistic lover of facts rather than opinions, who seeks to enforce what is right ISTJ: The rule follower who is cold and calculating
 
ENFP: The creative and enthusiastic person who requires variety and discovery in his work
 
INFP: The idealistic one who sees the world through rose-colored glasses and pursues goals merely because of their apparent worthwhile purpose.
ENTP: The ingenious champion of change who can’t tolerate the sameness of everyday routine INTP: The geek who would rather work alone
 
ESFJ: The natural leader who loves to throw parties and encourages people toward excellence ISFJ: The responsible servant who cares most about what pleases others
ENTJ: The organizer who fixes upon a goal and enlists followers INTJ: The systematic strategist who is always building upon the old
ESFP: The effervescent person who must constantly be doing something new ISFP: The moody person who needs his space and will avoid conflict at all co