I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two Sides To Every Coin...Or Character

By ginger takamiya

I live in two worlds all the time. It’s like having two people inside of me. No, I don’t suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder. I’m just a combination of two personality types. Most people are.

Bubbly is Sanguine. She is effervescent, friendly and strives to put you at ease with self-deprecating humor and silly quips; the life of the party. Contemplative is Choleric. She’s more serious, a take-charge kind of gal. 

These two halves war sometimes. Bubbly can get in the way when she gets nervous. She wants to go in and have fun and sometimes talks too much, mortifying Contemplative. Contemplative wants to observe people, seek out the one person who needs something from God and help them connect. 

Of course they can also work nicely together. Contemplative needs Bubbly to break the ice before she comes out to minister and Bubbly needs Contemplative to calm her down at times.

Each of us are made up of a combination of two or more personality traits:

o   Sanguine—The Otter— (that’s Bubbly, impulsive, highly sociable)
o   Melancholy—The Beaver— (deep thinkers and feelers, usually the empathizers and introverted)
o   Choleric—The Lion— (that’s Contemplative, the take-charge girl, the leader of the pack)
o   Phlegmatic—The Golden Retriever— (Loyal, relaxed, difficult to provoke).

Think about your characters now. Do they have more than one personality trait? They should. Especially your POV (point of view) characters. Do a little inventory on them. Are they lying flat on the page or do they have two sides of themselves competing for opposite goals?

Put your characters through a personality test. There are plenty to choose from online. I like Gary Smalley’s version best and it's free.

So what personality would you rate your hero and heroine in? Do they blend at times as well as compete with each other?


  1. What an interesting post, Ginger. You've got me thinking about me, and my characters. :) Yes, my heroine and hero can use some added dimension. I like your idea of the personality test. I'm going to check Gary Smalley's out. :)

    I love that your heart is to seek out those who need something from God. I love that this is how your Contemplative thinks. :)

  2. I haven't done a personality test with the characters of my current WIP, but I did for my last one. Thank you for the reminder to do this again.

  3. Good insight, Ginger, that both we and our imaginary characters are often blends of personality types!

  4. This is a great tip for character development. None of us are just one thing, and that tension is well-displayed in fiction too as characters stretch and grow. Thanks and blessings.

  5. Great idea...on my way to Gary Smalley's website. I've seen and love both sides of you! You are so caring and generous and also the life of the party! I think I'll model my current character after you!

  6. Fun insight into you, Ginger. :-) I like Gary Smalley's take on personalities. Out of my oldest four, I've got one of each. I used to say, "No wonder our house is like a zoo." I hadn't thought of applying these types and making sure my characters are an interesting combination. Thanks for the great tip!