The first tool, Character Creation for the Plot-First Novelist will take you through the ropes of creating living, breathing characters with a kick start from real Myers-Briggs and Keirsey (Enneagram) personality types, followed by the most in-depth character worksheet I've ever come across. Other than the use of personality types, the thing that really stands out about this worksheet is how each section builds upon the next. We are connecting the dots to make a complex mind, not just writing a laundry list of traits; we are exploring how those traits really work together in unison, creating their own important and unique attributes.
Along with the character creation template, you get some background into personality types (including a short humorous chart titled "Myers-Briggs Prayers for the 16 Personality Types") and a fun little no-frills program called Charpick which at the push of a button randomizes choices for 42 different character traits. This is great for adding some spice to a main character. For a minor player, try letting it do all or most of the mixing of for you. You just might be inspired by the cosmic character soup it serves up. Me? I'm already feeling sorry for my plain red-headed child with a full beard and "not too bright" intelligence. Careful though, like most random generators caution is advised in the hands of naturally procrastinating writers. Gerke recommends picking up a copy of Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey for more insight into the Myers-Briggs character types. I also highly recommend What Type Am I?:The Myers-Briggs Type Indication Made Easy by Renee Baron for the same purpose.
On the other side of the fence, Gerke gives us How to Find Your Story: A Step-by-Step Roadmap for Creating Page-Turning Plots. As a character-minded writer myself this one was the tool I knew I'd be scrutinizing the most. As you can imagine, I've read more than my share of books about plot. Still, I've struggled with finding interesting story and structure for years, while churning out notebooks full of deep, damaged, and drifting characters who ultimately continue to drift until I lose interest or get distracted by an idea for another quirky character. I've always heard that if you write good characters they will write the story for you. In my nearly eight years of working as novelist and screenwriter, I've yet to see that miracle occur.