If you are unsure of “who” your characters are, have you ever thought of taking a personality test AS your characters? It turns out that personality tests, especially the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (based on Jung’s personality research) can do more than tell you about yourself. Posing as one of your characters and answering the questions for them, you can find out aspect of the character’s personality that you never realized–or even reaffirm that the qualities of your character are based on real people.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is remarkably accurate, with plenty of psychological research and subject input to back it up. Each type has been heavily refined according to user input, which in turn lends these types their accuracy, much more so than personality tests that only pretend to know what their talking about based on uninformed intuition. The Jungian types, therefore, make a lot of sense.
These personalities are split into 16 types, based on four letters (for example, I’m what’s known as an INFJ). The type is determined by how an individual senses and then processes their world: Introversion / Extroversion, Sensing / iNtuition, Thinking / Feeling, and Perceiving / Judging. The individual’s dominant type is what makes up the four letters in the personality, as indicated by the bold (for example, as an INFJ, I am an introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging individual). Going beyond mere letters, the test itself explains each unique 4-letter combination in depth. More than just a label, it discusses how we see the world, and how we react to it (in most instances, though certainly not all).
If you want to learn more about this, or give it a try, I’ve found the following site to be the most accurate with the most freely accessible information: http://www.16personalities.com/
Try to put yourself in your character’s shoes, and answer the questions as they would–even if their answers would be the complete opposite from yours!