As Paul has said in his last post, there are certain things to consider when writing Naturist Fiction. For example he mentions that a newbie to the genre typically spends too much time talking about nakedness and nudity, usually at the expense of a story. In his last post, Will talked about research that often includes works written by other authors who are not necessarily writing naturist fiction. That said, I am looking forward to the next books by both of my amigos here at Naturist Fiction who are experts when it comes to having characters with personality. And, my last post was about characters.
I want to continue with my discussion of characters with an extension to include personality. Now, as most of you know, I have an extensive background in psychology. A significant aspect of psychology is the study of personality as knowing about a client’s personality allows the therapist to probe more effectively. That kind of knowledge is more than helpful when it comes to creating characters with personality. However, there is more to it than giving one’s characters a personality, and that is where I want to go from here.
Many people have taken a personality test or more than one. The Meyers-Briggs test is one I recommend as it is based, for the most part, on Jungian psychology. The test lets you discover one of sixteen personality types. For example, I have tested as INFP many, many times over the decades. It appears that my personality remains the same. One can read about the 16 types here and here. The descriptions at these sites provide a wealth of information about personality for an author.
I want to draw your attention to opposites. Since I test as an INFP, my opposite is ESTJ. Interestingly enough, my wife has tested as ESTJ. It seems that opposites do attract, and yes at times it also serves to make for conflict and confusion. Now, I want to add another idea, that of how antagonists and protagonists in a story would contrast with each other this giving a solid foundation for character conflict. Think of it as fire mixing with water – or as many stories go about it, black versus white. But there is more, much more to consider when it comes to personality and conflict.
There are four types of character conflict in classical literature: “The opposing force created, the conflict within the story … Conflict with the self, Conflict with others, Conflict with the environment and Conflict with the supernatural. Conflict with the self, the internal battle a lead character has within, is often the most powerful.”
Imagine a protagonist that is generous with his or her money. It only goes to reason that the antagonist is more than stingy with his or her money. Another protagonist wants children and the conflict with other becomes heated when the partner doesn’t want children. The scenarios are endless. The critical thing for an author is to use conflict to have the reader discover just who the protagonist is using the antagonist, the environment, or the supernatural. Or if one looks at complex classics such as Dostoyevsky’s, Brothers Karamazov, how the internal conflict grips a reader. After all, our stories are destined for readers and we need to honour them with the best possible stories we can create.