A Time Wasting Protagonist

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Although I cannot speak for all writers, I suspect many, like me, can find creative ways to waste time and avoid the actual writing part of our work. I’ve listed some of the avoidance techniques in an old post, but today it wasn’t me wasting my time. It was my lead character.

It started when J, my character, took an online personality test based on C. Jung and Isabel Briggs’ Meyer typographical approach to personality. She came out as INFJ, with only slight preferences for Introversion over Extroversion, Intuition over Sensing, Feeling over Thinking, Judging over Perceiving. I wasn’t sure she answered truthfully and suspected she was answering more like me than her. I took the test myself. I also came out as INFJ, but with even a smaller preference for Introversion and a moderate preference for Intuition. Although the scores were somewhat different, they are similar enough to make me wonder if J is fully formed yet as an entity separate from me.

After that, J spent ages on Pinterest, finding clothes she liked, selecting a flattering haircut, and decorating her house. Although she is short, she sticks to flat shoes. She likes scarves and unusual jewelry. Her decor choices can be described as a mix of arts and crafts and contemporary. She leans toward monochromatic colour schemes.

Later J filled out, not one but two, character prompt sheets. I think she was still holding back on some things.

Lastly, J searched the Internet to remind herself of significant events at key points in her life, toys she used to play with, and movies, television shows, and books she enjoyed.

Theoretically, this supposed time-wasting should help me gain a better understanding of J, leading to a more authentic story. Perhaps it will, but at the moment she still feels contrived. Maybe she will reveal herself in a truer way as I write more of her story. Maybe I will learn she isn’t an INFJ after all.

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  1. jacquiegum said:

    Ha! Well, I guess we all share the same INFJ traits, except I really do not procrastinate much. But what a great tool to use for a character!

    January 21, 2016
  2. Donna Janke said:

    Jacquie, it’s an interesting tool. I’m not sure how much it helps an author understand a character, but some of the questions may get you thinking about the character is likely to react in certain types of situations.

    January 24, 2016

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