I’ve been browsing through The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, written by pyschologist Linda Edelstein. It’s an interesting book, and I’ve enjoyed reading about various adult personality types.
I’ve always believed that understanding is a key component of good relationships — in real life and in fiction, as well. So from time to time, I’m going to share a bit of information regarding Edelstein’s basic personality types. Perhaps this knowledge will help us build stronger relationships — and for the writers among us, create realistic characters.
Today, let’s look at the Adventurer.
The adventurer lives on excitement. He or she often takes on “warrior” characteristics. They are always on the go, can be highly competitive, and are often unaware of other people’s feelings. It’s interesting to note that more men than women fall into the Adventurer category, primarily because our culture generally doesn’t support adventurous females.
An exception pointed out by Edelstein is Amelia Earhart. Born in 1897, she became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U. S. Distinguished Flying Cross for the feat.
In 1937, Earhart disappeared while attempting to complete a flight around the world. Two years later, she was declared dead at the age of 41.
To learn more, visit The Official Website of Amelia Earhart.
Although the Adventurer is an adult personality type, signs of it are usually seen in childhood. Traits of boldness and risk-taking are apparent even in the very young.
Adventurers often become leaders. They are out-going, fun-loving, and often quite entertaining. On the negative side, though, adventurers can become domineering. They ignore rules, bark out orders, and insist on having things their way.
These are the people who live life in the fast lane. They thrive on excitement and are always seeking thrills, especially involving speed or danger. They enjoy the spotlight and love to “put on a show” for others.
Daredevil Evel Knievel comes quickly to mind when I think of the adventurer personality type. Although his death in 2007 was not from any disaster but from disease — diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis, and hepatitis — he once remarked that he was “nothing but scar tissue and surgical steel.”
To learn more about this colorful, larger-than-life character, check out the story of his life and death from the New York Times.
Normally thick-headed, Adventurers can become stubborn to a fault. Their confidence can lead them to make poor judgments. At their worst, the Adventurer can be hostile and agressive, and their impulsiveness can put them — and others — in danger.
Adventurers among us may not become pioneers in aviation or death-defying stuntmen, but they will be drawn to exciting careers. Fiction is filled with adventurous men and women. Firefighters, Navy SEALS, ruthless stock-traders, and jet-setting playboys are familiar characters, as are female spies, women in the military, and from stories of days gone by, female bandits, gunslingers, and officers of the law, such as Samantha Reynolds, the heroine of my current work-in-progress, The Sheriff Wore Skirts.
Life is never dull with an adventurer around. They live on the edge and will take us with them if we’re brave enough to go along.