October 23, 2019

Who is my Antagonist?

The next set of challenge questions from #findingthegraypreptober are about the antagonist.

October 8: Describe the antagonist. What do they care most about?

It's a fairly straightforward question... except I haven't identified my antagonist yet. So, I ask, "Who is my antagonist?" First, a quick overview of my protagonist.

Alina Lehrer

  • psychic fairy
  • cares about her family
  • pressured to restore her family's heritage
  • certified life coach
  • business owner
  • INFJ
  • recently rejected by a love interest
  • recently found proof of her family's claims to the crown
  • recently suffered a trauma that resulted in PTSD
  • wants to take action to restore her family's heritage
Who would oppose this character? Regaining the crown would certainly be a sensitive topic for those currently in power. Namely, the other sect of fairies. In A Wizard's Choice, the book preceding this one, I eliminated one major threat from that group of fairies and imprisoned another. Antagonist Option 1: threat from Book 2. Antagonist Option 2: introduce another fairy from the other sect. In Alina's story, I reveal the existence of a secret fairy court. Antagonist Option 3: someone from the fairy court. I also plan to have her meet someone on a plane trip who will be connected to her mystery. I haven't decided if this person will be friend or foe... or perhaps a friend but seen as a foe or vice versa. I like a multi-dimensional character. Antagonist Option 4: plane passenger. And, perhaps, the antagonist is someone she already knows. Antagonist Option 5: betrayed by a friend or family member.

After all that internal discussion transferred to blog post, I'm still uncertain about my antagonist. I like the idea of making them seem like a friend, but I'm not sure if Alina has already met this person or not.

For the purposes of this exercise, I'll start with Option 4. A handsome male passenger—tall, dark, and mysterious—is seated next to her on the plane to France. This is not a coincidence. He has been tailing her in Chicago for some time which will come out later in the story. He is perhaps connected to the fairy court (Option 3) and will seem like a friend at first. This character will be outgoing and engaging toward Alina. But he has the aptitude for deep duplicity and military-like strategy. He is extremely intelligent and cunning. His actions are taken to protect a family member, perhaps his sister, and conceal a wrongdoing that will be revealed if Alina's family is in power.

October 18, 2019


Using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I have identified my character Alina Lehrer as an INFJ. INFJ stands for Introverted INtuitive Feeling Judging.

Key Characteristics

INFJs use their intuition and empathy to act on their strong beliefs and help other people. They are idealistic, although they are able to view the world objectively, and want to make the world a better place. They take personal feelings into account, rather than objective facts, when making decisions.

Cognitive Functions

Dominant: Introverted intuition (Ni)
INFJs focus on their internal insights and hold fast to their initial perspectives.

Auxiliary: Extraverted feeling (Fe)
INFJs tend to be more aware of other people's feelings than their own.

Tertiary: Introverted thinking (Ti)
INFJs make decisions based on their intuition when alone and the feelings of other people when around others. Wanting to please other people influences their decision making.

Inferior: Extraverted sensing (Se)
Being aware of their surroundings helps INFJs live in the present moment.

Personal Relationships

INFJs maintain a small circle of very close friendships. They are excellent listeners and care deeply about other people.

Career Path

INFJs tend to work in jobs where they can express themselves creatively. They tend to avoid jobs that involve a high level of routine or strict adherence to rules. With their strong sense of morality, they gravitate toward careers that support their values. Although INFJs have good leadership traits, they often have difficulty exerting authority. Careers favored by INFJs include artists, actors, musicians, counsellors, psychologists, and writers.

[Cherry, Kendra. (August 30, 2019). "INFJ: The Advocate (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)." Very Well Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/infj-introverted-intuitive-feeling-judging-2795978]

October 11, 2019

What's Your Personality Type?

If you google "What's your personality type?" more than likely a Myers-Briggs personality test will show up in the search results.

In developing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs adapted the insights of Carl Jung's theory of psychological types into an accessible form.

Carl Jung's Theory of Personality

Jung identified two different attitude types: introverts and extraverts. Then he further classified those types by the functions that controlled the way introverts and extraverts viewed the world through thinking, feeling, intuition or sensing. This resulted in eight possible personality types.

There are a lot of resources to be found on this subject, and I'm not a psychologist, so I'll focus on the Myers Briggs adaption.

Myers Briggs

Expanding on Jung's theory, sixteen distinct personal types were identified based on how one views their world, takes in information, makes decisions, and deals with the outer world.

1. How do you view your world? Introvert (I) or Extrovert (E)
2. How do you take in information? Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
3. How do you make decisions? Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
4. How do you deal with the outer world? Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

Based on your selections, you will identify with a particular personality type. If you are an outgoing person (E) who absorbs information through your senses (S), makes decisions that feel right (F), and approaches the outer world with an open mind (P), your personality type is ESFP.

How does a personality test relate to writing?

A writer can use the Myers Briggs personality types in developing characters. In creating a character, a writer already answers many of the questions that arise in a personality type test.

For #preptober challenge questions, I recently analyzed one of the characters in my work-in-progress. The questions for October 2 and 3 related to identifying the character's dominant (1st) and inferior (4th) functions; and presenting possibilities for the middle functions (auxiliary and tertiary). I was familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality test, but I had no idea that each preference (noted by two letters) was classified as a specific function (dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior) and assigned according to the level of its development. For instance, your dominant function is the mental function (thinking, feeling, intuition or sensing) that is the most developed within yourself, coupled with whether you are Introverted or Extroverted.

If your head is spinning right now, then maybe the following tables will help. As I mentioned earlier, these function concepts were new to me so I organized the information in the way most logical to me.

The Functions:

Extraverted sensing (Se)
Introverted sensing (Si)
Extraverted thinking (Te)
Introverted thinking (Ti)
Extraverted intuition (Ne)
Introverted intuition (Ni)
Extraverted feeling (Fe)
Introverted feeling (Fi)

T or FF or TN
S or NN or SF
T or FF or TS
S or NN or ST

Inferior is opposite of the Dominant.
Tertiary is opposite of the Auxiliary.

Plus Introverted or Extraverted.

If Dominant
or Auxiliary is
Then thetype is

See the The Myers & Briggs Foundation website at https://www.myersbriggs.org for more information.

A Practical Application

Last week, I described my character Alina Lehrer. I identified her dominant function, based on her psychic abilities, as Introverted intuition (Ni) and her inferior function (opposite to the dominant) as Extraverted sensory (Se). As a Ni, the auxiliary function could be either thinking or feeling. I identified her as requiring Extraverted feeling (Fe) to balance her decision making. Her tertiary function, opposite of the auxiliary, would be Introverted thinking (Ti).

Since her dominant function is Ni, then her type is NJ. Since her auxiliary function is Fe, then her type is FJ. I concluded Alina's personality type is INFJ.

Stay tuned... More on Alina's personality type INFJ next week.

October 8, 2019


A Wizard's Choice

Four stars for A Wizard’s Choice. Megan, Goodreads says: “I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging and entertaining story… Not your ordinary vampire, wizard and fairy pulp this book dares to explore some modern ideas of the self and age old struggles with do the sins of the past dictate your future…”

Buy Now:

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October 4, 2019

Character Description

Okay, it's October. Time to start preparing for NaNoWriMo. Am I doing it again? Yes! Yes, I am. Definitely, yes. I recently found #findingthegraypreptober and thought these daily challenges might make fun blog posts...

October 1: Describe a preptober focus character. What do they care about most?

Meet Alina Lehrer. I first introduced the fairy Alina in A Wizard's Choice, The Magicals Series Book 2. She uses her special gifts, including extrasensory perception (ESP), aura readings, enhanced awareness, and clairvoyance, in her work as a life coach at Vibrant Life Incorporated.

I designed a logo for Alina's company using Canva. I had originally planned to make Alina the love interest for my main character Kurtis Warde, but Kurtis had other ideas. Alina did develop feelings for Kurtis and, for a while, it seemed like he had feelings for her as well. We—Alina, Kurtis, and me—were all terribly surprised when Kurtis ended up pursuing a different love interest. I had been so certain Alina and Kurtis were meant for each other. I even included Alina on Kurtis' family tree.

[I made the family tree in Word so the conversion to jpg came out a little fuzzy.]

In A Wizard's Choice, Alina wants her independence, which includes breaking the contract for an arranged marriage, to start her own company. Later, as her company is more established, she envisions finding love. When she meets Kurtis, he becomes a very viable candidate. He's handsome, intelligent, and connected. Kurtis is a wizard with important familial connections that have the necessary influence to end a long-time fairy-wizard feud. Alina has a vested interest in ending the feud. She wants to reclaim the crown her family lost when the feud first began.

Which leads me to what my character Alina Lehrer cares about most. She wants to restore her family to their rightful place in the fairy monarchy.

October 1, 2019


"...Readers will be thrilled to escape into the magical world Maya Tyler has created... With its beautiful cast of characters, ancient folklore, tales of family dysfunction and betrayal, combined with paranormal happenings, this story flows easily and is vividly brought to life..." -- Alison Ellis for InD'Tale Magazine

Buy now on Amazon. Read for free on Kindle Unlimited until October 3rd.