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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kurt.Is.God's Avatar
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    Default What do types look for in stories?

    My ENTP friend is in my advanced writing course, and most of his stories are either parodies or run like a long joke with a great punchline at the end, but (or at least according to him) his actual writing is quite stale and academic.
    And the writer of Star Crossed Anime Blog (whom I suspect of being an INTJ) mentioned in one of his posts that his favorite genre is mystery shows which require rewatches and leave the viewer to piece the parts together (Boogiepop Phantom and Ergo Proxy). I think he also loves character studies.
    And then my mom, an ENTJ, is frequently critiquing movies for plot-holes as she watches them, but often opts for amazingly cliched movies with weak acting.
    As an ENFP, I like existential themes, interesting characters, and not-cliches.

    And, as mentioned by goodgrief in the thread MBTI and styles of writing,
    An E would focus on a larger group of characters who were nearly equally developed and the focus would move around.
    An I would focus mostly on one or a few characters who would have stronger development than the subcharacters.

    An S would put a lot of detail into the environment and situation and would be more action oriented.
    An N would place emphasis on puzzles and riddles, internal thought and abstract forms of storytelling.

    An F would emphasize the characters emotions and would be more likely to write about relationships and romance.
    A T would emphasize on the plot and include be more likely to write about mystery or science fiction.

    A P would have a more open and expansive plotline that leaves many plot points open and unresolved.
    A J would have a more restricted and linear plot where all the plot points are resolved and there are few questions remaining at the end.
    This got me curious. I get Te wants a consistent plot and Ne likes irony and fresh ideas. What I want to know is how these functions all play together in specific types to determine their tastes in literature.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member A. Zhang's Avatar
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    Hmm...

    I wrote several storylines for in-game campaigns. Although I never actually put any thought into how my type could affect it....

    Weird now that I think about it....

  3. #3
    Senior Member LunarMoon's Avatar
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    According to the writing style guide above my literary preference would be ENFJ and I see the shafting of supporting characters in Shonen anime, such as Dragon Ball and Naruto, as their most severe flaw, even more so than the extended fight scenes. The creators of these manga were rather extreme IXTXs so according to the theory listed above, it would make perfect sense that they would favor the development of a handful of characters over the several dozen that they have in the plot.

    I’ll have to disagree with your personal assessment, however. It would seem that the Star Wars fans go through the prequel movies searching for plot holes to be Ti-dominant, as opposed to Te dominant. Ti is more concerned with internal consistency and the more extreme fan base of these movies tend to fall closer to the INTP camp. They’re asocial, are concerned more about the sci-fi plot than the character development, which within the Star Wars movies is rather weak and archetypical, and they seem to rely on Ne quite a bit. One fan mentioned that he disliked the execution of the Star Wars movies but was a member of the fan base due to the diversity and world building within the fictional universe.

    Most anime fans, on the other hand, seem to have a similar personality type as you do in that they’re almost all XNFPs, but typically attempt to look for very different things than you do. Most XNFP anime fans actually like clichés such as power-ups, harem romances, moe, and bankai, and will actually backlash if these clichés aren’t played straight. There was a negative reaction aimed towards Shinji Ikari’s character breakdown from a “hot-blooded” mecha pilot in Evangelion. That would seem to be because most XNFPs especially, and many Ns as a whole, except for perhaps the XNTJs, are looking for escapism in their literature, and there’s a set pattern used by each entertainment industry to evoke this feeling.

    In that regard, I would say that a set of functions, rather than individual ones, are a better way to determine someone’s taste in fiction. XNFPs are willing to ignore a lot more plot inconsistencies and clichés in order to enjoy more escapist, fantastical situations, while xNTPs will be more discriminating and nitpicky about them. Ns in general will tend to gravitate towards non-mainstream fiction and other elements of geek fiction.

    As for myself, I prefer dark, depressing works of a fiction that examine social issue while focusing more on the characters than the plot. I’m not a huge fan of romance, especially idealized romance, and have more of a preference for situations in which characters must deal with factors relating to the human condition, i.e. , elements such as death, rape, war, the future of mankind, and the inherent lack of meaning in regard to human existence.

    -On a final note, I would say that a preference for intellectual plots has less to do with an MBTI type and more to do with a person’s neuroticism score on the Big Five and their approach to the Locus of Control. A person with high neuroticism and an external locus of control will be unsatisfied with their life but will cope with it using passive methods such as escapism. So they don’t particularly want to think, while watching or reading fiction. I do imagine that Intuition would correlate once both of these factors were satisfied, however.
    Surgeons replace one of your neurons with a microchip that duplicates its input-output functions. You feel and behave exactly as before. Then they replace a second one, and a third one, and so on, until more and more of your brain becomes silicon. Since each microchip does exactly what the neuron did, your behavior and memory never change. Do you even notice the difference? Does it feel like dying? Is some other conscious entity moving in with you?
    -Steven Pinker on the Ship of Theseus Paradox

  4. #4
    The Duchess of Oddity Queen Kat's Avatar
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    I've just written down the whole plot of my current big project and I'll spoil the end too. It took me 4 hours to write it. You can find it in my blog. Then you can tell me if it suits me.
    I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower. The TV was obviously on. I used to fly myself and I said, "There's one terrible pilot."
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    If you don't agree about my MBTI type, you can complain about it here. I've had plenty of people telling me I'm something else, in my reputation box. That's annoying.

  5. #5
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I've bolded the ones below that apply to me.
    An E would focus on a larger group of characters who were nearly equally developed and the focus would move around.
    An I would focus mostly on one or a few characters who would have stronger development than the subcharacters.


    I don't like it when too many characters are introduced at once. It confuses things. I like fewer characters that I can get to know deeper. On the other hand, I don't want just character driven books. I want things to happen. A balance between plot and characterization is ideal.


    An S would put a lot of detail into the environment and situation and would be more action oriented.
    An N would place emphasis on puzzles and riddles, internal thought and abstract forms of storytelling.

    Too much detail tends to be boring, unless the detail happens to be in an area of real interest to me. I like fast-paced action books but yet not action strictly for its own sake. What I'm ultimately interested in, is the rationale behind the actions and the possible implications of them.


    An F would emphasize the characters emotions and would be more likely to write about relationships and romance.
    A T would emphasize on the plot and include be more likely to write about mystery or science fiction.

    I guess of the two I prefer the T style more. I do like good characterization and I want some emotion in there, otherwise the book is stale. But not too much emotion or too sappy. I enjoy mystery and science fiction. Romance not so much.

    A P would have a more open and expansive plotline that leaves many plot points open and unresolved.
    A J would have a more restricted and linear plot where all the plot points are resolved and there are few questions remaining at the end.

    I can't stand it when loose ends fail to be tied up. I don't like ambiguous endings. The only time when I tolerate it is when the book is in a series and there are later to come. I sometimes have difficulty with books where the plotlines aren't linear- when they seem to be suddenly jumping from one subplot to another with no smooth transition. I find that confusing.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    I've bolded the ones below that apply to me.
    An E would focus on a larger group of characters who were nearly equally developed and the focus would move around.
    An I would focus mostly on one or a few characters who would have stronger development than the subcharacters.


    I don't like it when too many characters are introduced at once. It confuses things. I like fewer characters that I can get to know deeper. On the other hand, I don't want just character driven books. I want things to happen. A balance between plot and characterization is ideal.


    Hmm, in literature, less characters with more depth is good. In mysteries, more characters are necessary. So both.

    An S would put a lot of detail into the environment and situation and would be more action oriented.
    An N would place emphasis on puzzles and riddles, internal thought and abstract forms of storytelling.

    Too much detail tends to be boring, unless the detail happens to be in an area of real interest to me. I like fast-paced action books but yet not action strictly for its own sake. What I'm ultimately interested in, is the rationale behind the actions and the possible implications of them.
    I don't like as much action or meticulous detail (outside of intense sensory imagery, which I think is very important...think Goethe or Evelyn Waugh or Fitzgerald), more internal thought and abstract, or puzzles and riddles...I guess I clearly fit the N profile for this one.


    An F would emphasize the characters emotions and would be more likely to write about relationships and romance.
    A T would emphasize on the plot and include be more likely to write about mystery or science fiction.

    I guess of the two I prefer the T style more. I do like good characterization and I want some emotion in there, otherwise the book is stale. But not too much emotion or too sappy. I enjoy mystery and science fiction. Romance not so much.
    I'm not so sure about your assessment of F vs. T. I'm an F and I love mystery novels...but I also like novels with emotional depth. Novels with emotional depth - the ones most likely to be characterized as "literature" - are often draining and psychologically taxing to me, though. Literature is HEAVY and it requires philosophical and psychological analysis. I consider mystery fiction to be my "light reading" because the characters aren't very developed and I can follow the puzzle and tie up the end.

    A P would have a more open and expansive plotline that leaves many plot points open and unresolved.
    A J would have a more restricted and linear plot where all the plot points are resolved and there are few questions remaining at the end.

    I can't stand it when loose ends fail to be tied up. I don't like ambiguous endings. The only time when I tolerate it is when the book is in a series and there are later to come. I sometimes have difficulty with books where the plotlines aren't linear- when they seem to be suddenly jumping from one subplot to another with no smooth transition. I find that confusing.

    Hmmm...I actually like "open ended" books...the kind that leave you with a feeling of haunting, or of life continuing. Real life has no neat little tie ups, so I find open ended novels to be more realistic. Once again, these are also typically the books which are considered "literature."

    When I read mysteries on the other hand, I feel like I'm deluding myself with the comfort of order, of everything falling neatly into place. It almost serves some childish need for my daddy, like law enforcement or authority can fix THE BIG BAD WORLD. I'm especially a fan of Agatha Christie for this purpose. It's an escape.

    So once again, I fit both criteria, but in different ways.


    If I were actually to write a novel, I think I would be most influenced by the style of P.D. James...she writes cozy mystery novels with such depth and intensity that they're practically works of literature.

    Or maybe I would just write black comedies. I love black comedy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    I enjoy writing and telling 'stories' in a sort of rambling fashion but they are accounts of actual events rather than fiction. However, I still think that the way you tell a story, fiction or non-fiction, or convey any information for that matter, says something about you.

    My writing style (particularly the first person accounts) tends to be about establishing where I was, what I was doing, and how I was interacting with my environment and the people in it. If my stories have a conflict, than the story follows the conflict and resolution path. Otherwise, I also like for my stories to have something for the reader to learn - a trick, or a concept, or how to do something. Occasionally I have a moral of some sort.

    I convey a lot of detail through describing the environment directly (sensor based) but also through following my own internal musings. Usually the story is fairly linear, but I may bring up other events or experiences.

    I like writing about people, but I generally only describe their behavior, my behavior, and my thoughts and feelings. I occasionally muse about other's thoughts and feelings but I mostly concentrate on describing behavior. I do this in part because it is my main focus, but also because it lets my readers draw their own conclusions.

    Most of what I write is - outwardly - trashy light reading, I'll admit it. But I like to have some depth for my readers to check into, if they want it. You can read a lot of my stuff as a straight forward account but if you look for it there is more there than just a summation of events.

    I also use occasional alliteration and throw in a pun here and there. I think my stories are best voiced aloud.

    EDIT:
    I mostly focused on my own writing vs. what I like, but they are fairly similar. I like action based plots, and while I'm capable of following "literature", it tends to bore me to tears. Get to the point already.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  8. #8
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    An E would focus on a larger group of characters who were nearly equally developed and the focus would move around.
    An I would focus mostly on one or a few characters who would have stronger development than the subcharacters.
    Yeah, I lean towards the I preference here. For characters to be very well fleshed-out, I think you cannot have too many. The story would be very long to encompass all of that info. However, sometimes very good writers or film makers paint pictures of personalities very well without having to go into a ton of detail.

    An S would put a lot of detail into the environment and situation and would be more action oriented.
    An N would place emphasis on puzzles and riddles, internal thought and abstract forms of storytelling.
    I have an N preference here. Action & details can really bore me - I scan them in books, unless they are meant to be metaphorical. I also don't like plot-oriented stories. I prefer stories which have a layer of meaning behind the obvious - it says something about people, the world or something other than just a story for its own sake. This is why things like plot spoilers don't bug me - it's nice to be on the edge of your seat sometimes, but an unexpected ending or series of events does not make up for an empty story. I tend to read books which are not page-turners - books which many might call dull because they don't create urgency to find out what happens.

    I don't like fantasy or science fiction genres much for the same reason - I find the style of story telling to often be literal even if the plot & characters are whimsical. This is true of films of the same genres - they tend to be very focused on showing the future gadgets & the physical action between the strange creatures & humans (or whatever). Often times, the message behind these stories is rather trite and overly simple.

    An F would emphasize the characters emotions and would be more likely to write about relationships and romance.
    A T would emphasize on the plot and include be more likely to write about mystery or science fiction.
    Definitely the F here....although I don't think emotions need to be the focus, but feelings regarding ideals and meaning. I like stories which have themes regarding values in society, the nature of human relationships, and what is important/ideal in life in general. Sometimes the plot does convey this, but characters usually have to be well-written also.

    A P would have a more open and expansive plotline that leaves many plot points open and unresolved.
    A J would have a more restricted and linear plot where all the plot points are resolved and there are few questions remaining at the end.
    I don't have a preference here. As I said above, I like stories which explore concepts & characters more than ones which revolve around plot. To me, a plot does not need to be literally resolved, but the themes & ideas behind it need to be sufficiently sussed out, so the reader can infer the conclusion the writer wanted them to make regarding the underlying meaning as opposed to the literal conclusion wrapping up the plot neatly. I like books/films which leave me feeling like my perspective on the world is forever altered. Feel good endings don't do much for me.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  9. #9
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    As much as I like whatever "N" capabilities I have, I hate it when people predict a plot. Let me just watch.. I'll still get something out of it. The actual style or execution of something is just as important.

    I appreciate concepts and characters over plot, like OA above. Themewise though, I tend to go for happy endings at least. And heroism is cool. I'm not into depressing shit.. I need to be inspired. That's the bottom line for me. Stories are a means for escape or inspiration.

    I like an epic scale - or at least, open ended scale.. An interesting world, where many concepts and characters are touched upon. Where the world isn't just some tight focus on a few characters, but on many sides of the story. I like it when a writer goes off on a tangent a little and explores another side of things (not like..umm.. Stephen King though. His tangents suck. David Lynch does it too, but he's funnier. A little too random for me though). TV shows tend to do this better than films. Book-wise, the Dune series is a good example of open ended. Dozens of factions, histories of various planets, multiple sides to political plots, etc.. and they all are eventually directed to an overall point and theme. Shakespeare kind of does it too.


    edit: I would just add that ever since I was a kid, I was always a fan of "encyclopedic" materials, just as much as the stories themselves. Be it the "Marvel Universe" comics (profiles on all of the characters), coffee table titles, D&D manuals, or the appendix that sometimes was in the back of a book that explored the world more. I always hate it too when, for example, there was some badass character in Star Trek, and he or she only showed up for one episode (also, speaking of Trek, DS9 is my favorite series because of it's openendedness and inclination towards character study compared to the others. And it's the only Trek that explored a villain in depth. In my mind, Gul Dukat is the best Trek villain just because I know about him and can almost sympathize. Some would say Khan is the best villain, but he's just loud. He has no purpose except being a dick. Not cool enough for me).


    According to the OP, I'm an ESP (not quite settled on the T or F).



    Maybe I am one though. I was surprised to see Halla geeking out in one thread recently, talking about the Kobayashi Maru

  10. #10
    Twerking & Lurking ayoitsStepho's Avatar
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    According to what you posted, my story style is ENTJ. Hmm...
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    ayoitsStepho is becoming someone else. Actually her true self, a rite of passage.

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