I'll admit it: I love personality tests. No, not the "What Disney princess are you?" type of thing. Those never work, anyways. I always end up choosing the answers that will give me either Jasmine or Mulan, so it ends up more like a "What Disney princess is your favorite?" And that's just pointless. Or like the Sorting Hat quizzes, which just put the good people in Gryffindor, the smart ones in Ravenclaw, the evil ones in Slytherin, and everyone else in Hufflepuff.
No, I'm talking real personality tests. In-depth ones. The ones that actually give you some insight into your personal character. The ones where you read the description, nodding all the while, thinking "Okay, who's been stalking me?"
Like the Meyer-Briggs test. I love that one. It's so detailed and in-depth. It's so simple, yet so complex. Basically, it has 16 possible types that it could sort you into. At the end of the test you get a four letter code that will look something like ISTJ or ENFP or something like that. I'm an INTJ.
You can take the test here. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes. In the next few paragraphs I explain what the letters mean. If your own personal type doesn't interest you one bit, look down a ways and I'll show you how this can help you in your writing.
The first letter is either I or E. I is for introverted, meaning that you are energized by your time alone. The E is for extroverted, meaning you are energized by time with other people.
The second letter is N or S. N stands for intuitive, meaning you go with your gut instinct and look at the big picture. S is for sensing, meaning you stick to facts and focus on specific details.
The third letter is either F or T. The F is for feeling, which means that emotions control much of how your run your life. T is for thinking, meaning you base your decisions largely on logic and reason.
Finally, the fourth letter is either J or P. The P is for perception, which means you are a go-with-the-flow sort of person. The J is for judging, not because Js are judgemental, but because they like to plan things out in advance and stick to a routine.
So, Annie, how can this help with my writing? Well, it's fairly easy. Instead of taking this test for yourself, put yourself in your character's shoes for a few minutes. Take the test as if they were taking the test, and see what results come up. It'll give you some fantastic insight into your character, stuff you may not have known even existed! I use it all the time on my characters, and I actually keep a Word document where I list the types of each one. It really comes in handy, and it's a lot quicker than character forms (though I love those too).
And if nothing else, by taking the test, you might learn interesting facts about yourself. Like that you have the same personality type as Gandalf or somebody. (And I actually do. Haha.)
What type are you? Your characters? What do you think of this amazing, awesome, wonderful, fantabulous test? (Can you see I like it a little?)