Psychology is so related to character development…. It’s something we authors need to think about. And it’s something that I imagine naturally interests us…. Fiction, after all, is all about people. It’s about exploring what it means to be human.
That’s why we write it. And it’s why we read it.
Anyways, I am interested to some extent in Myers-Briggs classifications. Reading up on it, and taking tests, I’m pretty certain I’m an INFJ: That means (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.)
INFJ’s are supposedly the rarest personality type in the general population, but what I find really crazy is this (no spoilers, I promise!):
- My favorite character in my Herewith novels has never been protagonist Kora. It’s always been her mentor Laskenay.
- I’ve recognized this since early drafts, even without understanding why I felt so strong a connection with Laskenay, who is, admittedly, a complex woman with lots of different things going on.
- I realized recently that Laskenay is also the classic INFJ. As in, she fits ALL the key descriptions I’ve ever read about an INFJ in ways more striking than I do.
So, I’m realizing I’ve felt drawn to this character because she is a reflection of things I wish I could be. On some level, she takes the potential I see in myself, given who I am and what my talents and tendencies are, and does amazing things with them.
She overcomes the weaknesses we both share: the ones I haven’t quite confronted or conquered yet. She takes the things I am good at to a level I admire. She’s far from perfect–not a flawless character by any standards. Rather, she takes what I consider important in life and demonstrates those particular qualities, or achieves those goals.
I’m only publishing this because it goes to show how WEIRD writing can get…. How complex a process creating fiction is, and how deep the human drive to art can be.
I wonder: has anyone else noticed this about their favorite characters: either characters they’ve written or read about? (I have seen Remus Lupin, from Harry Potter, also classified as an INFJ and he is one of my favorite characters ever). Are you a lot like them? If you are interested in the Myers-Briggs stuff, do you find they classify similarly to you?
That’s the meat of the post. But if you are interested, here is a brief rundown of Laskenay’s personality.
INTROVERTED: Laskenay is a thinker. She thinks before she speaks, and she would definitely prefer the company of a few close friends to large crowds. She is not an attention grabber, not a “loud” or “inspirational speaker” kind of leader. Her strength is dealing with people one and one… which works well in the novel, to the extent that she is a mentor of sorts to my protagonist.
INTUITIVE: Laskenay is intuitive in the Myers Briggs sense in that she works more with the big picture, and considers the big picture in making decisions. She assigns meaning to details, rather than consider details with hard, cold logic. She does not make fast decisions when she can avoid it, and she always considers the future implications of what she does. She is also intuitive in the sense of having gut feelings about things that turn out to be accurate. That is a classic characteristic of the INFJ.
FEELING: Laskenay (likes me) hates being around conflict and especially hates being involved in conflict. She tries to make people feel at ease, worries about how she says things, not just what it is she’s saying. She is empathetic.
JUDGING: Laskenay likes to feel in control. She focuses on work before “play,” strives to avoid procrastination, and likes decisions to be made so that she can be productively task-oriented.