Blog of Sara Jakša

My Advice To Writers Based On MBTI

I had just came from my first experience with the writing group, that just happened to start meeting, as I was leaving the library. So I decided to stay.

We had heard quite a few ideas, that I was be able to use. Then the leader of the group started to talk about two different types of writers.

For the people, that have not heard yet, some writers make outlines and then write stories scene by scene. The other writers - like me - tend to start writing and then see, where the story takes us.

As she was explaining that, I had an 'aha' moment. I realized, that one of the writers is clearly an P type of person and the other was an J type of person (based on the MBTI type of personality).

MBTI (or Myers-Briggs indicator) is a metric, made to simplify the Jung's theory about the people's mental processes. It defines the 16 personality types, based on the four letter code (Introverted or Extraverted, Sensing or iNtuition, Thinking or Feeling and Judging or Perceiving).

To return to the previous example, and to give the writers my advice concerning the writing process.

For the P type of people, just start writing. You don't have to lock yourself in a certain path on the very beginning, but let all possibilities guide and surprise you. And the story can still change in the rewriting. Remember, the story is not sat in the stone at the where end. Let the characters guide the story. It is what makes the story writing as magical as it gets.

For the J type of people, outlying is really helpful. Knowing the main points in the story before starting to write, can be in big help. So before beginning outline. Or at least figure out the main questions (who, where, when, what and why) and the main conflict. Make the outline as needed, to stop the fear of unknown and being lost.

For the T type of people, do not forget, that making the reader angry can be the most genius thing to do, or the most stupid. Take advantage of T function, to make the story follow the logical steps, but do not make the characters in the book all logical. They all have feeling, fear and are not logical. They have to also make choices, that are not for the greater good (even if that is themselfs).

For the F type of people, know that the writing is a personal thing, and that it does not matter, if somebody hates the story. Make sure, that the characters are aware, that they don’t have to get along. The conflict is what drives the story. Make sure, that F function get a good workout while connecting with your characters.

For the S type of people, do not forget, that the story has to have an end somewhere. Do not lose you way writing. Also, there are always underlying themes and question through the whole story, so make sure to not forget the big picture, while writing that great scene or that smart piece of a dialog.

For the N type of people, do not assume, that everybody will intuitively know, what did the story wanted to tell us. Using the dialog, the action of the characters and with sentence by sentence, word by word, the story has to show in front of our eyes. It is fine, to assume that the reader is intelligent, but not that he is a mind reader.

For the I type of people, remember, that it is fine, to manipulate the story in the head. But as long as the story is not written on paper (literally of digitally), nobody will benefit from it. Getting it on paper, or any written form, make the whole picture seen in different light. That is a lot harder to achieve inside the head.

For the E type of people, remember, that the first draft does not have to be perfect. Get it down on paper. Then you can see, where the worst parts are or the worst mistakes that were made and rewrite these parts. The end result is going to be something great.

Even if these advices were written with the different part of personalities in mind, do not forget, that inside each and every one of use, we have all these parts, and all the above propositions, can be used by anybody.

Good luck with writing.