Hello everybody! This is the second post on my series about creating characters. If you missed the first post, click here.
In this post, I’ll be talking about types of characters; Morally Grey, Chaotic Good, etc. The term I was looking for when I wrote my previous post was Moral Alignment. Knowing how your character is aligned really helps you figure out how they behave. Plus, it’s fun. I’ll also cover Myers-Briggs personalities and the Hartman Color test.
First off, I didn’t make this chart. I just thought it explained things very simply and didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.
An example off how this chart is useful:
If your character is Chaotic Good, they’re going to try and do good things even if they have to break the rules. Such as trying to clear someones name using blackmail or breaking them out of jail.
In the same situation, Lawful Good would do some perfectly legal investigating. However, Lawful Neutral would only do some perfectly legal investigating if they knew for sure the person in prison was innocent. Chaotic Evil would probably be the reason the person was in prison in the first place. See how this works?
People put moral alignment charts together all the time, whether it’s with characters from a show or ways people cut toast. Here’s one of my personal favorites.
There’s also this gem about how you bookmark a page.
Really these last two images aren’t very useful but hey, they’re funny. There are a few tests out there you can take to find your moral alignment (or your characters) but I think it’s more effective to just do your research and pick one.
My favorite site to take this test on is the 16 Personalities. You can take the test as many times as you want for free and read about all 16 types. I’ve taken this for almost all my main characters and have found out a good deal about them from it.
For example, I discovered Jasper Stone was an introvert. I knew he was quiet, but not 96% introverted. I already knew that he had a habit of analyzing people before attempting to form any type of relationship, but reading about INTJ’s solidified my knowledge in how he would act.
(For those of you feeling confused and doubting my sanity, yes, I always talk about my characters like they’re real people, and yes, I know they aren’t actually real. It’s something I just can’t explain, but I do randomly ‘discover’ things about my characters.)
Hartman Color Test
This test can give you another view of your character. I really prefer taking the Myers-Briggs test and the Hartman test so I can compare and contrast. I’ll use Jasper s my example again. He’s primarily Blue, with Red coming closely after. Both tests agreed that he was creative, assertive, judgmental- but the Hartman test added on that he could tend to moody and insecure. (I already knew this stuff. I’m just using it as an example.) When you’re creating a character, I really think you should take both tests. Not only are you answering questions on the fly, coming up with their personality quickly, you’re going to get an in depth explanation of your answers.
In no way do I think that you should take your character’s entire personality from these tests. But you can pick and choose and assemble a realistic personality from them. Character consistency is one of the most important features of a story, and these tests really do help.