Your characters will need to have unique traits that define them. You need to know what they are - or have a feeling for them - in order to know how they will behave. These are not physical features, such as looks, height, weight, eye color and hair. They are what makes up your character's personality; their underlying behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. Does your character have a strong sense of duty. Are they timely? Do they trust others easily? Are they smart, easy going, quirky, brave or lazy?
Our character profile article helps you get at some of your character's main characteristics. We have listed some resources below where you can find many more character traits. Some of the resources we have listed provide long lists of adjectives which describe a person. We have also rounded up some great psychological resources that can help a writer get deeper into the makeup of a character, such as personality tests and personality type resources.
- The Four Temperaments: Kiersey describes the four temperaments (artisan, guardian, idealist and rational) and shows how it divides into 16 character types or personality types.
- 16 Personalities describes 16 personality types as the name of the site suggests. The types include virtuoso, adventurer, defender, executive, campaigner, advocate and more. A free test on the site tells you which category you (or your character) belongs in.
- Mystes & Briggs 16 MBTI Types - the 16 different personality types according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument.
- Big Five Personality Traits - this is sometimes described by the OCEAN acronym. The five factors are openness to experience, conscientiouisness, extraversion, agreeablenesss and neuroticism.
- Psychology Today Self Tests - Psychology Today offers a collection of dozens of personality tests. There are even tests about paranormal beliefs and a shopaholic test.
- The HEXACO Personality Inventory - HEXACO includes a sixth major dimension of personality, Honesty-Humility
- Evil Versions of Every Myers-Briggs Personality Type - Personality Junkie describes the worst and most evil versions of every Myers-Briggs Personality Type.
- 10 Common Traits of Career Criminals - Author and criminologist Jennifer Chase describes ten common traits that you will find in career criminals, such as entitlement, impulsive nature and family dysfunction. A Police One article describes six of them.
- How Dark is Your Personality? - A BBC quiz (inspired by psychological research) attempts to determine how dark your personality is. You could also use to determine how dark your character's personality is.
Character Trait Adjective Lists
- Character Trait Examples - a lit of good and bag character traits from Your Dictionary.
- Mary Sue Character Traits - Is your character a Mary Sue?
- 638 Primary Personality Traits - a big list of personality trait words organized alphabetically by positive traits, neutral traits and negative traits.
- 600 Personality Traits - another big list of personality trait words.
- Character Traits Synonyms - Teaching Made Practical has a list of character traits synonyms and a list of 84 positive character traits.
- 500 Character Quirks and Traits - This list provides some more unusual traits and traits that are longer than just a single word.
- 500 Character Traits - another big alphabetical list of character traits.
- Classic Villain Attributes - evil villains often share attributes and this article from the Classic Villain Wiki lists several of them.
- 15 Types of Villains Screenwriters Need to Know - This interesting page is geared at screenwriters. It explains 15 different types of villains and gives examples of multiple villains and the films where we have seen them wreck havoc and threaten innocents.