The Myers Briggs Temperament For Character Development

Jun 29, 2014 by

The Myers Briggs Temperament For Character Development

Sometime in 2013, I began reading and rereading Robert McKee‘s tome, STORY, to better understand what I was doing in helping authors get published, but now, I’m all into writing my own work.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon two books that have gone beyond, well beyond, what I learned from McKee and they’re both books by author Jeff Gerke. The first book was entitled The First 50 Pages. The second was Plot Versus Character.

Reading these two books was like getting hit by lightning.  Flashes of ideas exploded in my head. Why?

The Myers Briggs Temperament

I’d heard of Myers Briggs before, but I’d never taken one of the tests. As I noted last week, I’ve taken several of them now and hadn’t been able to land on anything consistent. Then with several talks with Dr. Harold Duncan of Preston Place Counseling in Dallas, and a review of my MB score sheet, it became apparent that I was having alternating scores because on all but the I (introvert or extravert) I’m pretty much mid-line for each of the three remaining categories. (I’m an INTJ).

But what Gerke says in Plot V. Character is that an author should start with deciding what the MB temperament of his/her characters are going to be and then adding layers onto them. What Love Language do they use? What tragic events happened in their lives that affected who they became as an adult? Those all are important to Gerke in his character development.

So for about three weeks now, I’ve been engrossed in my “spare” time learning about Myers Briggs, figuring out who I am in it, but also, figuring out what my protagonists needed to be. And if one was an ENTP and the other and INTJ, then my bad guy antagonist needs to be an ISFJ. Two other prominent characters that help get the story going are an INFJ and an INTP.  And then there are opposing characters for them to play off of. IMG_7360

It is taking a lot of time to figure all this out, but that’s okay. When I began to tell people I was doing this in late March or early April, mentor and friend, Ron Rose cautioned me, “This is a LONG process,” he said.

In 2010, I drove from Dallas to Houston to pick up fellow dad blogger Ron Mattocks and we drove to Atlanta for a conference.  Along the way we talked about the importance of the first book. He said then that the first book defines you.

I continue to keep that in mind. I want this to be a solid and positive experience as I go thru it. It has become mentally exhausting at times, but the more of this I do, the more I can see how my characters are shaping into “real” people. They’re going to do “real-ish” type things in the work. When they react to situations the way they do, they will be doing it true to the temperament of an ENTP, and INTJ, and ISFJ and more.

Gerke pointed me to the book by David Keirsey called Please Understand Me II.  I’ve gone forward and backward in this book and continue to do so by the hour as I work.

Yesterday I printed out a notebook I’ve constructed through this process and included the Myers-Briggs Temperament characteristics for each of the characters in it. I started with a 1-inch binder. Today I increased it to a 1.5-inch binder, there’s that much information.

Myers Briggs classifications for my main characters, plus helpful info on who gets along with whom, and not so much.

Myers Briggs classifications for my main characters, plus helpful info on who gets along with whom, and not so much.

Last night I used the binder to make a spreadsheet that includes each character, their MB type, and who they’re likely to get along with and who their not. This has made starting the next step, doing a 15-page character interview, easier to begin because I can flip thru the pages of my notebook, find a particular point about a character and then jump back into the questionnaire.

I’ll let you know in a few days how that’s going, but this has been a big organizational step for me and I wanted to share.

 

 

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My Myers Briggs is an ISFP, IXFJ, ESFJ and an INTJ

Jun 23, 2014 by

My Myers Briggs is an ISFP, IXFJ, ESFJ and an INTJ DC Personality 1

In my quest to write my first novel, not as a plot-first venture, but with a balanced character-first/plot-first approach, I came to read Jeff Gerke’s book Plot Versus Character. In the opening sections of his book, he says he stumbled upon David Keirsey’s book, Please Understand Me ii, and it has made all the difference to him in the creation of his novel characters. Gerke says he works from the four common temperaments of human beings, and then adds layers to each to make for real-life characters in his works.  So for the past few days, in my spare time between work projects, I’ve been reading Keirsey and taking Myers Briggs personality tests.

So far, I’ve taken four tests–one done with about 10 questions on my iPhone–I was an ISFP–The Artisan-Composer on that one. The second was done using the 70-question assessment in Keirsey’s book–that one came out with my being an IXFJ-A Guardian-Protector or an Idealist-Counselor, and I say X because I had a 10/10 score for S/N. The third test was via 16personalitytypes.com–I turned being an ESFJ-The Guardian/Provider there. And then I took an extensive 248-question assessment at MyPersonality.info–where I came out as an INTJ-The Strategist/Mastermind.

So basically, after four tests, I honestly don’t know what I am, but I’m going to use some of my logical talents suggested in the INTJ to deduce first and foremost, that I am not so much an E (Expressive) as in the ESFJ.  What is equally disturbing was that not until the MyPersonality.info test did I have an N (Introspective) anywhere, as in INJT.  Up until that time, F (Friendly)  and S (Observant) had been common, and J (Scheduling), too.

What I’ve been able to accomplish in all four tests is wind up in each of the temperament camps, which I would say makes sense to a degree, but we’re trying to firmly categorize people here, not leave wiggle room. (See, the INTJ is coming thru?)

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO ME? 

You may think, who cares?

In many ways, I do. And not just because I’m writing a book. At 48 years of age, I’ve been doing a lot of introspection over the past few months. My counselor says that by writing this book I appear to be “unstuck” finally from the mess I’ve endured the past four years. This is cathartic.

But it is also important to me as I begin the process of constructing an intelligent story/novel, that I’m not writing just a plot-first peace where the plot drives the whole story with just explosions and very little substance to get through. My story demands some strong and intelligent characters to make it more compelling reading.

I’ve made my counselor laugh when I have told him recently that I understand now why God had to rest on the seventh day of creation.

Creating your own universe, characters and the like is DRAINING. It’s exhaustive. And it’s a very involved process. I can sit and seek to develop the characters, plot points, scenes, themes and more for where this story is going to go, but I can only do it for hours at a time before I’m virtually brain dead. But it has been exciting as I can now move my hands and almost shape these entities that are becoming characters in my mind almost as though there was imaginary clay in my hands and I was shaping them into figurines. (More INTJ there with a dose of ISFP….)

Myers Briggs

I’m fascinated by this subject and the study of the topic and will post more in the days and weeks to come as I continue through the process of penning my first book. It’s been almost four months now that I’ve been working on this (almost daily) and I have yet to seriously begin writing the first of anything in the book. I’d begun to play around with the opening sentence and opening paragraph. Then as I read another of Gerke’s books and discovered his book on Plot Versus Character, I came to fully realize, I’m just not to that point yet. There’s still so very much more I need to learn about myself before I can begin to develop the people who are going to bring my story to life.

Myers Briggs is going to provide my characters with their core personalities. But there’s a ton more that has to come with each of them beyond that. I recommend the Gerke books on writing and Please Understand Me ii, whether you’re writing a novel or not. You’re going to be amazed with how much you can learn about yourself.

My INTJ report from MyPersonality.info is available for you to read here.  It’s pretty interesting stuff…. Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 8.06.28 PM

 

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Red Lion Hotels-A Great Brand Experience

Jun 9, 2014 by

Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Red Lion Hotels Corporation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Red Lion Hotels-A Great Brand Experience

We operate out of Dallas and don’t get over to the “Left Coast” as often as we’d like, but yesterday we learned about a hotel chain that clearly has it going on when it comes to social media. The hotel chain—Red Lion Hotels—interacted with us in some very positive ways certainly worth mentioning here.

To set this up, on DaddyClaxton.com, we did a post yesterday about how a front desk clerk, Courtney, went beyond the call of duty to ensure that a guest, there on her 67th birthday, got breakfast delivered to her room via a special request. In fact, we called the hotel from Dallas and made this happen, but HOW we made it happen is as much a part of the story as what happened.

First of all, all we had to go on were the keywords “lion, hotel, portland, airport.” From there, a Google search led us to Red Lion Hotels.  On their very lively and colorful website, is an option for “live chat.”  Clicking that box immediately put us in discussion with an operator. We asked about how to reach the hotel and the Pacific Grille. The operator on the chat said to call the hotel and dial 0 for the front desk.

That led to a conversation with a young lady who was getting off for the day who said that they hotel restaurant doesn’t “normally do room service, but I’m about to get off work and would be happy to take it to your mom’s room for you.”

After exchanging credit card info, Courtney was on her way.

Later on, once Mom was surprised, came the blog post and tweet on Twitter and a post on Facebook.

A few hours later in the day came a reply from @RedLionHotels on Twitter. The messages were all positive and supportive, including word  that they are going to seek out the young lady who went beyond the call of duty and present her with a reward for her efforts. (The CEO of the company is going to present her with a nice thank you.)

The whole process has been an example of systems that work, and an example of proactive and responsive social media.  It was refreshing and very professional, not to mention personal.

After alerting Mom about what the hotel had said, she replied that the most surprising point of all had been that the front desk clerk had even given her a hug for her 67th birthday upon delivery of the BIG pancake breakfast. (Another point not mentioned—for $9.95 the pancakes were almost as large as the plate. A rarity in hotel food both in price and amount.)

We’ve never stayed, nor honestly, had heard of Red Lion Hotels before Sunday a.m. But one thing is for sure, next time we are out west, there is going to be an effort made to find one of their hotels and see if the stay matches the brand experience online. The entire virtual and personal experience, what brand managers hope and pray for, but seldom realize, is in full effect with this chain and it is truly rewarding and refreshing.

 

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Red Lion Hotels — Thank You!

Jun 8, 2014 by

Red Lion Hotels, thank you.

Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Red Lion Hotels Corporation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For today is my Mom’s 67th birthday and she’s in Portland staying at your airport hotel. That’s basically all the info I had–“red…. something hotel by the airport,” she mentioned as I drove her to DFW yesterday.

So this morning, I got on Google and searched “red hotel airport Portland,” and there you were. I logged on to your website’s chat after checking out the Pacific Grille’s menu. The chat service said to call the hotel. I did.

A wonderful young lady answered at the front desk. I said, “Today is my mom’s 67th birthday, and I believe she’s staying there, and I’d like to have breakfast in bed sent to her room. Can you help me?”

She put me on hold and came back a few seconds later saying that no one was answering the phone in the restaurant, but worse, they normally don’t do room service.

BUT, and this is a big one, “But, I am about to get off work and if you’d like, I’d be happy to take care of this for you.”

What?!

“Sure, I’ll place the order and then take the food to your mom’s room.”

I missed the young lady’s name. When she wanted to know about beverages, I instinctively said, “iced tea.” I didn’t realize that in Portland, OR, that’s not even on the menu. “Hey, I’m from Houston,” she said. “I’d drink iced tea for breakfast on Christmas morning! If I can’t swing tea, what other drink, some OJ maybe?”

We agreed.

So about 15 minutes passed and then in came the texts from my daughter. With photos.

Pancake breakfast from the Pacific Grille, Portland's Red Lion Hotel restaurant.

Pancake breakfast from the Pacific Grille, Portland’s Red Lion Hotel restaurant.

IMG_8317

Pancake breakfast from the Pacific Grille, Portland’s Red Lion Hotel restaurant.

Those have to be the biggest hotel restaurant pancakes I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean, they’re TEXAS BIG pancakes all the way from Oregon.

Nice. So in summary, Red Lion Hotels, the front desk attendant who got off about 7:30 or 8 a.m. your time PST today, Sunday, June 8, 2014, she needs a pat on the back. She went beyond what was called upon in her duties as a front desk clerk to ensure that my mom has a memory from her 67th birthday, she hopefully won’t soon forget. I’d never even heard of Red Lion Hotels, but next time I’m on the Left Coast, well, I’ll find a way to spend the night.

Thank you. Please ensure this post makes its rounds through marketing and upward in the company, to the manager of the Portland Airport hotel, and most especially, the young lady from Houston who made my mom’s 67th birthday breakfast one she won’t forget.

UPDATE: Sunday, PM:  I received a Tweet back from Red Lion Hotels tonight. They’re going to track down the young lady who helped out this morning and give her a reward.

When I sent a text to Mom letting her know of the RLH tweet she sent the following back:

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 9.43.23 PM

 

 

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Traffic Fatality Near Certain at 500 Cartwright Rd in Mesquite

Jun 7, 2014 by

Traffic Fatality Near Certain at 500 Cartwright Rd in Mesquite

I have been writing in this space for more than a year now that a traffic fatality is going to happen at 500 W. Cartwright Road on the borders of Mesquite and Balch Springs. Thankfully, I’ve not been proven correct yet, but the past 48 hours have produced multiple opportunities for that to be true.

June 6 2014 accident B

June 6 2014 accident, 11:30 p.m.

In the past 48 hours now, there have been two serious accidents with west-bound drivers who, when they have stopped spinning, have been facing back toward the east in the middle of this very dangerous intersection. The second one happened tonight, Friday, June 6, 2014 about 11:30 p.m.  (See night photo)

At about 1 p.m. today, I video taped Mesquite ISD school bus 205 not only violate district policy by making a turn into this intersection during a red light (I don’t blame this driver for doing this, the light holds a ridiculous amount of time and people coming out of the complex probably honk. Problem is, this is a very dangerous intersection), the driver also basically ran the light. ( I had decided earlier in the day not to make an issue out of this, but, given there have been two significant accidents in this very intersection in the past 48 hours, it appears to me that showing how even an MISD bus driver disregarding the law in this intersection shows the other side of the  problem.)

Two days ago, a car going toward 635 crashed all over the intersection about 7 .m. 

Last year, and over the past four years, there have been multiple accidents of drivers running into the phone poles and AT&T equipment in the southeast corner of the intersection. And the fencing along the road in the curve has been taken down because it kept getting plowed thru.

On at least three occasions this school year after dropping off my daughter at Mesquite High School, I’ve noted drivers going east on Cartwright have also disregarded the flashing red lights on the school bus as it has stopped to pick local kids up for school. They stopped at the complex just west of here, but then one day I saw at least five cars drive right past the bus while its red lights were flashing like crazy.

What is very likely to happen in this intersection, however, is that a resident(s) of Stoneleigh Apartments is/are going to be killed while waiting for the light to change and a vehicle that’s just gotten off Interstate 635 at the Bruton/Cartwright Rd exit flies into them at high speed heading east. 

THE SOLUTION

The timing of stop lights of many of the intersecting roads in Mesquite is ridiculous. If you’re not on a main road, good luck in not sitting at a light for an inordinate amount of time. The ones along Beltline between Galloway/Beltline and Mesquite High School for as long as three minutes.

The scene of a wreck on Cartwright on June 4, 2014.

The scene of a wreck on Cartwright on June 4, 2014.

But what happens either east-to-west, or west-to-east on Cartwright Road is that those coming off 635 headed east, or those going toward 635 from Cartwright and Beltline, often exceed the 40 mph posted speed limit and around the curve right at Stoneleigh they go. Those going east don’t realize the road curves to the northeast and they go flying into the AT&T cable and phone boxes and telephone polls,

Another crazy-assed Mesquite driver took out the AT&T phone box on June 22, 2013. A month and five days, it's not been fixed. Now there's a blue tent over it.

Another crazy-assed Mesquite driver took out the AT&T phone box on June 22, 2013. A month and five days, it’s not been fixed. Now there’s a blue tent over it.

or they come from the east going west and don’t realize the road curves and they go flying into the light poles in the median.

Either way, the city of Mesquite is poised for a good suing when someone finally winds up dead in this intersection. They have had ample time to realize this is a problem and Stoneleigh Apartments has pleaded with the city to do something about the timing of the traffic light in front of the apartments.

1) Strict enforcement needs to happen on Cartwright Road for those going over 40 mph in either direction. 

2) The timing on the light at Stoneleigh needs to be further adjusted so that it is ABSOLUTELY impossible to go from Beltline to Stoneleigh, or from the two lights at 635 to Stoneleigh and make it thru that traffic light without having to stop.  PERIOD.

3) There probably need to be some warning treads placed on Cartwright as one proceeds from west-to-east toward Stoneleigh at the apartment complexes just beforehand to alert drivers that something different is ahead. It’s going to one day become Deadman’s Curve if action isn’t taken. The same thing needs to happen in the curve after one has come across the bridge over the Butterfly Park Trail.

4) The portable “You’re Going This Fast” radar sign has not ever been located in this area of Cartwright Road. I’m not sure it will help, but it’d be one more step to help regular drivers realize there is an issue here. 

5) When school starts up, Mesquite Police need to sit in the Stoneleigh Apartment parking lot a few mornings and wait for those to come by who are too important/busy/or dumb to stop when the bus is there picking up the kids and the red lights are flashing. 

Even with these provisions, there’s still likely to be a problem.  For the 11 years I’ve lived in the Mesquite/Balch Springs area, MPD has been running radar out on 635, operating one of the most active speed enforcement zones in North Texas, and on any given day, you an see them with multiple cars stopped or those who they miss just flying thru.

This is a major issue in the Balch Springs/Mesquite area. Someone, regrettably, is going to lose their life because of a driver going too fast in either direction of Cartwright. Mark it down. I dearly wish the city of Mesquite would take some serious immediate actions before it’s too late.

 

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City of Mesquite, we continue to have a traffic issue

Jun 5, 2014 by

City of Mesquite, we continue to have a traffic issue in front of Stoneleigh Apartments

It was March 8 2014, that I last wrote about the dangerous traffic condition on Cartwright Road in Mesquite, Texas in front of the Stoneleigh apartments. 

I noted then that there continues to be a very serious and dangerous issue with the timing of the traffic lights and the speed of Mesquite drivers. I had mainly been writing about west to east traffic.

Last year, there were multiple issues, also noted on the site. 

This morning, I left to go gas up at 7 a.m. and to get a bite for breakfast before heading off to appointments. When I pulled into a local restaurant, a MPD cruiser went west on Cartwright running code and clearly kicking it. Behind him was an ambulance, then Engine 1, and then the Mesquite Fire Department ladder truck. When I got my food, I made my way west down Cartwright to come home, but after crossing over the Butterfly Trail bridge, I soon saw that everything had stopped in the middle of the intersection entrance of Stoneleigh apartments and Cartwright Road.

I did a U-Turn, went all the way back to Belt Line, turned right, went out to 635, back to the Bruton/Cartwright exit and then right again to try to get to the other side of the entrance. That took a good 15 minutes to go around and get back to the entrance.

The June 5, 2014 Accident

This morning there was a blue car all over the intersection in the west-bound lanes of Cartwright. From what I could tell, it was somehow a one-car accident. That or a wrecker already had gotten one of the cars out.  There were car parts all over the intersection. The ambulance pulled off once I finally got to the entrance of the apartment complex.

Cartwright June 5 B Cartwright june 5

The problem here is that this continues to be a dangerous situation. The timing on the lights in Mesquite onto main streets is bad enough, but sitting, waiting to come out of Stoneleigh onto Cartwright to go toward 635 is a safety hazard with these foke coming down either way like there’s no tomorrow and wide open on the throttle.

This is only going to get fixed if Mesquite begins to do more to fix

 

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