“Models for Writers: Short Essays for Composition” by Alfred Rosa and Paul Eschholz, University of Vermont, was obviously written for classroom purposes and I have the ninth edition published in 2007. I’m not sure what level it was for, surely it was way after I was in school, but I found the essays to be worth reading with interesting points all writers could benefit from. Therefore, I will review of each essay, not for the value of homework, but for its value to me as a writer.
In a light-hearted essay, the author pokes fun at the results of a number of personality quizzes she has taken online. Not only were the results amusing, but they were also conflicting, causing the author to wonder who she really was.
I’ve taken a few of these quizzes in magazines, but I didn’t even know they were online. Who makes up these quizzes anyway and why? They are created from personality generalizations that may or may not be true. You’re supposed to answer them truthfully, without figuring out the end results. I guess this is an interesting exercise for psychologists or those who want to be. The intent is noble—to help a person figure out who he or she is, to help a person find the job of his/her dreams, and so on. I’ve never found the results helpful.
In writing, an author must know her characters inside out, including her personality. Is she in a job that she’s not suited for? Is she in a relationship that doesn’t work? Why? Once you figure out the why, you’ll have a better understanding of your character and in the end, have a better understanding of yourself.