Saturday, August 20, 2005

Myers-Briggs and Writing

I'm fascinated with Myers-Briggs types - how I can use them to understand people better, including my characters. Determining a person's type has now become a vital part of my character-building. It helps prevent me from using a similar hero/heroine in all my stories. It provides framework to flesh out characters consistently. It makes it easier to see what a person will do in a situation. (It doesn't help with varying sentence structure, though.)

I'm also curious how my type influences me as a writer, and how others' types influence them. Do extroverts do more speaking to promote themselves? Do intuitives delve more into hidden meaning, while sensors focus on real life? Does character- vs. plot-driven novels have anything to do with whether the writer was a feeler or thinker? Are perceivers SOTP writers while judgers outline?

I'd love to hear your comments on how your type relates to your writing. Here's a questionnaire if you don't know your type, and here and here are great sites for learning more about Myers-Briggs.

I'm an INFP - introverted intuitive feeling perceiver - which happens to also be the type of Isabel Briggs Myers, who did much with developing and promoting type theory. My type has a lot to do with how and why I write.

I - I'm an introvert, so I get energy from spending time alone. I'm more comfortable with writing to express myself rather than speaking. Long hours in front of a computer screen don't bother me.

N - Intuitive. I've found that most writers share this type. Intuitives like working with ideas, while sensors prefer concrete, tangible things. Ideas are a writer's lifeblood.

F - I'm a feeler, which is more common for women than men. I like my readers to empathize strongly with my characters, and also enjoy a romance plot or subplot.

P - A perceiver, one who prefers keeping options open. I'm wondering if the "P" should also stand for procrastinator in my case. I don't like structuring my day or my writing, and start novels on the barest of outlines.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist

When I received Deeanne Gist's A Bride Most Begrudging in the mail about two weeks ago, I was in the midst of reading four other books, a rare occurrence for me. I usually pick up a book and finish it that day or the next. I don't like being in the middle of more than two books at once (one fiction, one nonfiction), yet there I was with four books started and wanting to read another. I'd heard good things about Deeanne's book and reading the back cover was starting to drive me nuts. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and read the prologue. Excellent. I forced myself to put the book down and finished one of my library books. All the while, it sat there with old-fashioned wedding gown and daintily crossed fingers, tempting me like Swiss chocolate. I wolfed down my "dinner" of the nonfiction title, then moved on to savor dessert.

I read fast. I can polish off even long novels in under four hours. But it's a rare book that makes me want to zip through to find out what happens and linger so it doesn't end too soon - simultaneously. A Bride Most Begrudging was that book. I enjoyed every minute of reading it.

A quick synopsis: Lady Constance Morrow is taken against her will to become a tobacco bride for the colonists in Virginia. After losing his fiancee, Drew O'Connor only wants a maid to care for his house and his younger sister while he takes care of the fields. What he gets is a wife with a feisty temper, a head for mathematics, and no knowledge of housework.

For more, visit Deeanne's blog.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Well, the week only has about 23 hours left, and I didn't get all the to dos done. I'm blaming it on the AC dying. Except for a nice rainy day Friday, we had highs in the 90s here in PA, and the house temperature ranged from 81-85. Nasty for both sleeping and writing. VBS (including dinner) took up from 4:30 to 10:30 at least each evening, one day we prepared food, and two days we babysat from before nine until after two. So, while I'm disappointed at not getting more done, I'm grateful I accomplished what I did.

Nevermind that I picked three more review books this week. Oh, well, one's a youth novel and I had three others I wanted. But I was strict with myself and kept my list short.

Dave Long at faith*in*fiction is challenging us writers with another contest. This time it's those dreaded conversions stories. Although I didn't place in the last contest, I'm hoping to give this one a try. Providing I get a brilliant idea. Otherwise, I'll just work on my own neglected writings. But a short story may be just the thing to get me back into the swing of weaving creative tales.