Personality Archetype & Character Development

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One of the main ‘tasks’ in writing Emmett’s story is figuring out who he was. What made him tick.

The Writer’s Circle featured an interesting tool for writers to use in character analysis: The 49 Personality Archetypes.

The 49 Personality Archetypes. Created by Sally Hogshead at howtofascinate.com. Go to the link here to read the research behind the chart development and to launch the matrix.

The 49 Personality Archetypes. Created by Sally Hogshead at howtofascinate.com. Go to the link here to read the research behind the chart development and to launch the matrix.

I tend to think Emmett’s personality triggers were a combination of prestige and trust; i.e., Emmett spent most of his life seeking prestige and cultivating a successful, powerful image. Also, in seeking a powerful image, he had to deal often with naysayers claiming he was too young, too inexperienced to rise so high up the political food chain as he did. Building up trust among constituents, and the people who could put him in power, were real concerns for him as he built his career in Pensacola.

When you launch the matrix, you can hover over the intersecting boxes, and the personality description pops up as follows:

  • Prestige (first) – Trust (second) = “The Blue Chip” – Classic, established, ‘best in class.’
  • Trust (first) – Prestige (second) = “The Diplomat” – Levelheaded, subtle, capable.

I think the second bullet is a more likely descriptive of Emmett as far as personality triggers go, but I go back and forth. You see, Emmett was really into promoting the ‘right’ image so the state Democratic party leaders would even consider him as a serious candidate for Congress; he had to present as ‘best in class’ to make the candidate cut.


This personality trigger chart reminds me of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator inventory. Most of the time, these personality inventories are a ‘snapshot’ of where a person is at the moment of the test in terms of personality and so forth. Neither inventory is meant to serve as a definitive, permanent description of that person for the rest of their lives. Indeed, if you take the test (here) at different times (I’ve taken it several years apart as a requirement at different jobs), the MBTI reading can change. For myself, it has been fairly consistent; I usually wind up an INFJ (the counselor).

I’m curious about Emmett’s MBTI reading. I’ve thought about ‘charting’ the characters of this book, similar to what was done with the Game of Thrones’ personalities of Westeros. Just for fun, you know.

An interesting look at the personality types of Westeros. Source: Humanmetrics. Click here to read the expanded chart.

An interesting look at the personality types of Westeros. Source: Humanmetrics. Click here to read the expanded chart.

Interesting. I share the same personality inventory reading as the “Mother of Dragons.” Didn’t expect that; just glad I don’t share one with Joffrey or Cersei.


Applying either of these inventories to Emmett would still result in only speculative information. I’d love to do a writing analysis of his letters and other documents; the problem is that I still haven’t uncovered many documents where Emmett is actually ‘speaking.’

More to come.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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