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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The 777 Challenge!

I've been tagged by Savannah Jezowski in the 777 challenge! The rules are: The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

I am currently working on Esprit de la Rose and Hail Frost. The seven lines from Esprit are a bit awkward, since they begin in the middle of a description. Nevertheless, I will follow the rules!

***

But worst of all were the throbbing black hearts visible through the blueness of their skin and clothes. Everything about them felt rotten.

The creatures grabbed at the bars and shook them, gnashing their teeth at Cecilia. Some shoved William forward, jostling him towards the door.

"Get it open! She's in my omen!"
"And in mine! I want her first!"
"Come here, girl. I'm finally going to be free!"

***

And now for Hail Frost!

***

Grel looked exactly how it had when she had left- a smoking hole in the ground. Perhaps the ash had settled a bit more, shading the trees and the charred remains of huts in an old, untouchable aura. The boughs of nearby trees were closer, creeping back, trying to reclaim the little circle of gray as part of the forest again. The wood appeared cloaked and misty in the fog that hung over the land like a veil, as if trying to shield the ground from the humiliation of meeting a human gaze. Or shield humans from seeing the deathly ex-town. Ember couldn't decide which.

“Quite a cheery place,” Klina remarked, blowing soot out of her curls.

“You should have seen it in it's heyday,” Ember said dryly. Though her chapped lips protested, she forced herself to smirk.

***

There you go! Be sure to check out Savannah Jezowski's post. Her excerpt was awesome! You can read it HERE.

I'm sorry for not posting the Myers-Briggs post. My life has been incredibly hectic recently, particularly on the college front. I mentioned this awhile back, but I was accepted into the college that I have been longing to attend ever since I was fifteen (NC STATE!!!). I'm very excited about going in August, but I've been kept busy attending various meetings, applying for housing, writing for scholarships, and naturally, battling senioritis. I'm not saying this as an excuse, but because y'all deserve to know why I've been missing. :)

As for tagging... I tag everyone who reads this and has not done the challenge yet! Please link to your posts in the comment section. I'd love to read your excerpts!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Apologies and Esprit

Hey y'all. I'm really sorry about this, but as I was skipping along my merry way, life ambushed me with a GINORMOUS Spanish test and dialogue, lots and lots of Esprit edits that are befuddling my brain, and, naturally, a computer that decided to barf static all over the screen. :/ (Don't you fret your little selves over my computer. My dad fixed it, but it took a bit soo...) I won't be able to post the Myers-Briggs post today. :( It saddens me, but I REALLY want to do this type justice since it has both Han Solo, one of my favoritest characters in all of screendom in it and (SSHHH! This one is a secret!) Aragorn, one of my favoritest characters in all of literature. Hopefully, I'll post it on Wednesday or Thursday. I'm really sorry.

So! I have decided to share the two songs that I think sum up the two main characters of Esprit de la Rose best! I've been listening to these songs for hours on repeat the past couple of days. Not only do they get me thinking of my characters, but they also inspire me to edit!

Cecilia Lester- Overfly (original by Haruna Luna, English translation by Amanda Lee)


Cecilia is an extremely caring person. This song might initially sound like a romantic one, and perhaps it is, a bit, but I think it is more about love in any form, and the inevitable goodbye that we all must give to our loved ones- be it because of death, or disagreement, or distance. Cecilia faces all three of those, and she still is rubbish at goodbyes, and she knows it. Little phrases like 'it's not the destiny that I dreamed of' and 'how can I ever reach you, if I can't even see the sky?' really bring to mind, not just Cecilia, but all of Esprit to me.

Captain Pepin- No Good Deed (from Wicked)


So first, this song itself takes place in the play right after Elphaba (aka "The Wicked Witch") loses Fiyero, the man she is in love with. At the time, she also has a book with spells in it. She's a bit clueless about magic, so she is trying to find a spell to save him, and doing a rather poor job of it. That part doesn't have anything to do with Esprit, so if you want to get to the parts that remind me of Pepin, skip to 1:00.

I don't want to say much about Pepin, but just listen to the song, 'kay? Especially the part from 2:15 onwards.

Aaand that's all I am capable of blogging at the moment. I have staved off my Spanish test freak-out moment long enough. I hope you enjoy the songs, and I really am sorry about postponing the Myers-Briggs post.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Eragon

I have a special place in my heart for teen, especially middle-school, writers. I have another special place in my heart for writers of any age who keep at it despite criticism. And I have a special fascination with effective marketing. So how could I not read Eragon?



Eragon is the story of a seemingly ordinary young man who discovers a dragon's egg during one of his hunting excursions. He brings the strange stone home, hoping to sell it and earn some extra money for his family, but lo and behold it hatches! Saphira the dragon bursts into his world, changing his life, and his fate, forever. 

I'll cut to the chase. I enjoyed Eragon. I'm just not entirely sure why I enjoyed Eragon. The plot is not original, in fact, the entire book is so similar to the plot of Star Wars Episode IV, I could pinpoint the exact time the mysterious and snarky loner character would come in, or when they would rescue the beautiful Elf from prison, or when the hermit old man character would reveal his backstory. At this point, it will be more of a surprise to me if the character I think will be Eragon's dad turns out not to be Eragon's dad.

The world-building, while more original than the plot, was quite similar to Tolkien's Middle-Earth. However, I can cut the author slack here, because what epic fantasy is not similar to Middle-Earth in some way? Nevertheless, while I can excuse similarity to Middle-Earth, I felt that at times Paolini was attempting to write like Tolkien. It made his voice less strong and heartfelt, and it slowed down the plot with tedious wandering and "world-sight-seeing". Arguably Tolkien did the same thing, but it never squandered his voice. In fact, I think the depth and complexity and exploration of his world was part of his voice. Paolini, however, has different strengths than Tolkien. I wish he had explored those a bit more in Eragon, and left the Fantasy World Tour business to Tolkien.

Let's talk about Paolini's strengths! My personal favorite- his voice. A writer's voice is difficult to define, but it is basically the moments and words that stem from the writer's heart. It's the Thing that can bind every aspect of a story- characters, plot, theme, symbolism, and the words themselves- together. It takes practice to develop your voice. He was only fifteen when he wrote Eragon. It would be unreasonable to assume his voice would be well-developed. The little bit his voice shone through though- the first hundred pages or so of his novel, most of his secondary characters, Saphira, the enchanting language he invented, the magic system- are so compelling that I believe it is the Thing that made me enjoy Eragon, and keep at it even when it became slow. It's the reason I fully intend to read the next book in the series, Eldest. I want his voice to grow, and I want to read it. Unfortunately, his voice suffers by his imitation of other writers in Eragon, and it makes the story much less heartfelt.

Another strength, while not perhaps all that important in literary terms, is important to me- Paolini's respect towards women. Don't get me wrong, I have read many books written by male authors that truly respect women, and I am grateful for them, but Eragon strikes me as particularly meaningful. Perhaps it was because Paolini was only fifteen when he wrote it, and yet, he already understood a respect many adult men in my acquaintance have yet to grasp. Or maybe it was because all of his female characters- Saphira and Angela in particular- were realistic and compelling. Or maybe, it was just the fact that his female characters were never harmed by his attempt to imitate other writers. It gave me the feeling that he purposely put effort into creating them, he thought of them as human beings rather than plot devices, and it allowed his voice to shine through his writing... and his voice is decidedly wonderful when it comes to his opinion of women.

Usually, if I can guess even about a third of the plot, I stop reading the book. I kept reading Eragon, and I was glad I did, even when it ended exactly as I thought it would. I'm not sure why I kept reading, and oddly enough, that raises my respect for the book. I'm usually in-tune with my own feelings and reasoning. The fact that this book has me stumped is truly impressive. I suppose I just know there is so much potential for honesty, emotion, and greatness in Paolini's writing, that I'm more than willing to give Eldest a read.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

They Are And Always Shall Be Your Favorite Type

Aaaaand I'm back! So guess what? I got my edits back for Esprit de la Rose. In the words of the "Mandarin" from Iron Man 3, "Well first I panicked, but then I handled it."

Last week, I gave a brief example to show the difference between Sensing and iNtuitive types. This week, since this is the first time we'll be talking about a 'T' type, I thought I would explain the difference between Thinkers and Feelers.

Contrary to popular belief, Thinking and Feeling does NOT refer to the manner in which decisions are made- not entirely, anyway. If that were true, it would imply that Feelers ONLY act when their emotions are involved, and Thinkers are ALWAYS logical. This is not true.

I believe that everyone is completely capable of making decisions based on logic or on emotion. However, the way Thinkers and Feelers portray that decision is different. Thinkers often attempt to justify their decisions through logic, while Feelers often try to justify their decisions through morality. For example, in the 2009 Star Trek movie, Spock justifies his decisions to maroon Kirk on the grounds that Kirk was being disruptive and insubordinate, when in actuality, Spock just didn't want to listen to him (an emotional reason). In Disney's Tangled, Rapunzel tries to justify her decision to leave the tower through emotion ("I've been on this incredible journey and I've seen and learned so much! ...I think he likes me...") even though she made the decision after realizing that the only way she would ever see the lights would be to go herself, so she went (a logical thought process, if not exactly a logical decision).

However, yes, Thinkers do tend to base their decisions around logic, even if they only utilize that logic after the fact. And Feelers do tend to base their decisions around emotion, again, even if it is after the fact.

And now without further ado... let's dive into the fascinating world of ESTJs and ISTJs!

Star trek : Turtlenotes on Etsy


ESTJ- The Guardian


"I ask only for the strength to defend my people!" -Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring (film)
ESTJs are realistic, outgoing, and decisive leaders. They hold justice in high regard, and are willing to do just about anything to gain it. They desire order and structure amongst their peers and their subordinates, with very little tolerance for inefficiency, laziness, and messiness. They are both reliable and loyal, and often quite brave. However, they sometimes become critical and insensitive of those who don't live up to their standards. Despite this, they are often socially popular because of their pleasantly boisterous personalities.

ISTJ- The Inspector


"Alas, not me, lord! Look not to me for healing. I am a shieldmaiden and my hand is ungentle." -Eowyn, The Return of the King
(Yes, I'm reading Lord of the Rings again, why do you ask?)

 ISTJs are duty-bound, honor-driven fighters... even if that fighting happens within their minds or through their words. Like their extroverted counterparts, they value justice, order, and structure. Unlike ESTJs, ISTJs prefer not to be leaders. They are usually perfectly content to play "Best Supporting Actor/Actress" as long as their discoveries and accomplishments are properly considered. They are serious and loyal individuals with few friends, but they fervently cherish the ones they have. Like ESTJs, ISTJs can be critical and insensitive, sometimes to the point of cruelty- both accidental and purposeful.

ESTJ Fictional Characters

Boromir (The Lord of the Rings), Arthur Pendragon (BBC Merlin), Eugene Fitzherbert/Flynn Rider (Disney's Tangled), Thor Odinson (Marvel Comic and Cinematic Universe), Killian Jones (ABC's Once Upon a Time), Sirius Black (Harry Potter), Peter Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Irene Adler (BBC Sherlock), Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle) Kelsier (The Mistborn Trilogy) Edward Rochester (Jane Eyre), Galinda/Glinda (Wicked: The Broadway Musical)

ISTJ Fictional Characters

Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings), Spock (Star Trek 2009, Star Trek TOS), Severus Snape (Harry Potter), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Pepper Potts (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Edmund Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Reyna (Heroes of Olympus), Gamora (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars), Fernand (The Count of Monte Cristo), Sebastian (Disney's The Little Mermaid)

What This Means in Fiction

There are three interesting aspects of the fictional characters who fit into these types that fascinate me.

1. There seems to be a character trait that these fictional characters share that, during my research, I NEVER found any mention of in "real life" ESTJ and ISTJ types. It's aggression. In all of the articles and infographics I read, I never ONCE found any mention of aggression being a common trait. And yet, in the fictional characters, nearly all of the ones I found have some form of it. What is interesting is that it really only seems to be true aggression in the Introverted characters, while the Extroverted characters use it more as persona, a defense mechanism. Here's an example of what I mean...

If you look at the list of ESTJs I have compiled, every single one (except for perhaps Eragon and Peter) has a mask of bluntness, harshness, and/or devil-may-care-ness that they use in public situations. Think of Boromir constantly bringing up and semi-bragging about Gondor during the Council of Elrond. Think of Arthur drawling "Ohhh, don't run away!" mockingly to Merlin after Merlin attempts to walk away from a fight. Think of "You can't tell anyone about this, okay. It could ruin my whole reputation" from Eugene after a brief moment of sincerity. Think of Thor's brashness and loudness which would imply that he is nothing more than an oaf with a hammer, and yet he is so hurt by Loki's betrayal. Shall I go on? Fictional ESTJs tend to have a "mask" of aggression to hide the vulnerability they feel inside.

Fictional ISTJs, on the other hand, seem to often truly be aggressive. Outwardly, they appear controlled, serene, and unflappable, but if you push the right buttons, they blow into a completely unforeseen explosion of aggression. Think of Eowyn appearing so distant and cold at first, and then we see her frantically pacing the Houses of Healing, desperate to return to the war. Think of Spock when Kirk's life is threatened, or, better yet, Pon Farr. Think of Snape completely losing it after realizing that Sirius Black, the alleged betrayer of Lily Potter, had escaped Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Think of nerdy, talkative, and caring Hermione turning rather ruthless when it comes to bullies like Rita Skeeter or Draco Malfoy. Fictional ISTJs tend to house a deep-rooted anger that will burst if targeted.

I'm not entirely sure why this is. Again, none of my resources said ANYTHING about aggression in ESTJs or ISTJs. So why does it appear in fiction? I have a few ideas, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this strange phenomenon!

I think it might be because conflict makes stories interesting. Anger and aggression in a character stays interesting to a reader far longer than peace and passiveness. Assertiveness also tends to drive plots forward. Pixar's Brave did not have much of a plot, but it had an extremely assertive heroine that kept the movie going. However, people also love softies... as long as the "softie" part of the character isn't annoying or obvious. Showing a blunt, commanding, and insensitive ESTJ get pressed into admitting that Merlin is the bravest person he's ever met, or that he desperately loves an ordinary and plain governess makes the character lovable, giving the audience a chance to go "awww".

ISTJs are different. Instead of aggression being a mask, they hide their aggression beneath a mask of solemnity. However, I think the writers create characters who do this for the same reason writers give ESTJs a soft side. It's paradoxical, and it keeps the reader fascinated, while also making the character relate-able. Showing a calm, seemingly emotionless, composed ISTJ sassing the Witch King before destroying him, or his deep remorse at the betrayal of his family and Aslan lets the audience know that no matter how robotic the character might seem, he is deeply and forever human.

And that was only the first interesting thing about these characters! XD These next two are shorter, so bear with me.

2. ESTJs and ISTJs often house the characters that have extremely fanatic and passionate fan bases! Boromir, a character who is, comparably, not in Lord of the Rings very long, who attempts to steal the Ring, and who starts off rather obnoxiously in the Council of Elrond has some of the most die-hard, extreme fans in the Lord of the Rings fandom. I don't blame them. I'm a huge Boromir fan. I actually find myself getting angry when people talk trash about him. Why? I have no idea. He is certainly a well-done character. I sympathize with him without resorting to pity, and I love him without denying his faults. This same sort of fan loyalty has happened with Irene Adler, Edward Rochester, and others! The same goes for the ISTJs. When Star Trek TOS first aired, people were completely enthralled by Spock... and it wasn't just because of the fact that he was really the first main character of a story to be an alien. People simply loved him.

Again, I'm not sure why people love these characters so much. They just do, I suppose. I love the characters in these types, and I can't exactly explain why,

3. You love them or you hate them. This sort of goes along with the above paragraph, but these characters seem to invoke the most audience-emotion... for both ways. I personally LOVE Edmund. I confess, I'm not much of a Narnia fan, but Edmund has never failed to grab my attention. To me, he seemed like the only truly relate-able character in the series. However, I have met people who vehemently hate Edmund. When I try to get them to give me reasons for their hatred, they can't come up with anything, but they simply hate him. This same bizarre paradox of extreme love/extreme hate applies to Snape, Glinda, Sirius, and, believe it or not, Pepper Potts. I don't understand it so I shall not try to explain. I just thought I would point it out.

Have I Ever Written an ESTJ or an ISTJ?

Why yes! The illustrious Miss Ember of Ember Flame is very much an ESTJ. She's very fun to write, but I much prefer her as an ally like she is in Hail Frost then I do a hero like she is in Ember Flame. Being an ally, a bossy little firework to the plot, suits her much better than being a hero. Don't get me wrong, I loved writing her in Ember Flame, but I'm enjoying her spark and attitude much more now that I don't have to worry about giving her a super deep character arc. Her arc in Hail Frost mostly consists of taking a bit more responsibility, and becoming an older sister. Easy and fun.

Common Cliches

As mentioned (very extensively) above, these types are prone to different versions of aggression. However, I am reluctant to define this as a "cliche". Cliches make stories weaker, and I am struggling to think of an example where the aggression in an ESTJ or an ISTJ made the story weaker. Actually, I would suggest attempting to find the soft side of an ESTJ and the aggressive side of an ISTJ, and then find a way to show it in your story. You'll have to be careful though. Too subtle, and it won't be "eye-catching" enough. Overdone and it will lose the emotional punch to the audience.

Ember is very headstrong, unrelenting, and forceful. She can also be a bit of a bully, has difficulty trusting others, and is extremely insensitive. This is not, entirely, a mask. She is truly like this. However, she loves very easily. People find their way into her heart without her even wanting them to. She doesn't trust them, but she loves them. This is her soft side.

I've never written an ISTJ, but I think it might help to drop hints at the aggression beneath the surface. A slight frown when the villain mocks her friend, a quirk of an eyebrow when his ideas are callously disregarded. Dropping hints will help make the aggression, once it blows, more believable.

Relationships

Romantically, ESTJs and ISTJs probably need someone who is orderly and structured, though it might be good for them to have someone a bit more laid-back to tone them down. Think of Uhura simultaneously understanding Spock and respecting him, but also pushing him to open up a bit more because she knows it will be good for him. Think of Gwen steadfastly encouraging and pushing Arthur to be the good king she knows he can be, instead of the prat prince he used to be.

Friends and allies. ESTJs and ISTJs NEED people to disagree with them. They NEED conflict, but they need it to come from someone who is "on the same side". Think of Aragorn and Boromir, how they rounded each other out. Think of Hermione and Harry, both natural leaders but with sometimes conflicting views. Arthur and Merlin. Glinda and Elphaba. Gamora and Peter Quill. Sirius and Remus. And, naturally, Spock and Kirk. The list goes on and on.

ESTJs and ISTJs would probably dislike/oppose people who either lack justice, or don't value justice. Obi-Wan and Anakin. Killian Jones and Peter Pan.

Closing Tidbits

These types have the capability of being either the most-loved/most-hated (Hey! Any emotion in the reader is better than no emotion!) character in your story, or the most unrealistic and inhuman. Pour some effort into the character, find out their secrets, and force those secrets to come to light. Who knows? The character just might get an extreme fan base.

Questions!

Are you writing an ESTJ and/or an ISTJ? What do you think about them? What do you think about my aggression theory? I'd love to hear your comments!

Also, which character do you prefer, Han Solo or Gandalf? This will help me determine which types to do next. I'm voting Han!

Thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Once Upon a Type

Before I get started on this post, allow me to tell a brief story to demonstrate the differences between the thought pattern of a Sensing type and an iNtuitive type.

My mom is an ESTJ. While working at IBM, some consultants came and tested mom and her colleagues to find out their Myers-Briggs types. After the test, they arranged a demonstration to help them understand the differences between Sensing and iNtuition ways of thought. Everyone who scored Sensing on the test was placed in one group, while everyone who scored iNtuition was in the other group. Both groups were given the exact same picture to examine, and they were told to work with the other members of their individual group to describe the picture. When the time was up, mom's group presented a bullet list that said things like...

  • One horse
  • One man
  • Three trees
  • Snow on the ground
  • Snow falling
  • Storm clouds
The iNtuition group, on the other hand, presented a long paragraph that said things along the lines of...

"A young man, perhaps twenty years old, who lived in the 1700's, is traveling home after a long journey. He is tired and worried about the incoming storm. His horse is in need of rest, and they are both looking forward to adequate meal and shelter, something they have both lacked for at least several days..."

Both groups were shocked at the other's definition of the picture, but neither completed the task incorrectly. They simply thought about it differently. The Sensing group took the literal aspects of the paper and noted them, the whats, if you will. The iNtuitives read into the picture and decided upon the most logical reason for the picture, the whys. Neither type is more intelligent than the other type. The Sensing group missed the story behind the picture, while the iNtuitives missed the literal aspects of the picture. Or, more positively, Sensors tend to notice more concrete details, while iNtuitives tend to notice the meanings for the details, even while never consciously noting the concrete details. This is the difference between S and N types. 

And now, without further ado, let's explore the fascinating world of ESFPs and ISFPs!

Brittish designs and Sahlin Studios


ESFP- The Performer


"Everybody look left. Everybody look right. Everywhere you look I'm standing spotlight!" -Simba, The Lion King

ESFPs are fun-loving, generous, and vivacious people-lovers. They enjoy socialization, they love helping their (many) friends out, and they are always up for a surprise. Spontaneity and flexibility are ingrained into their personalities. This, coupled with their tendency to desire peace and to create that peace, tends to make them extremely gravitational and likable. The downside to this is that ESFPs sometimes struggle with commitment, often placing present enjoyments over long-term stability.

ISFP- Often called 'The Composer' but I prefer 'The Passionate'


"People down here think I'm crazy. Well, I don't care." -Tiana, The Princess and the Frog

ISFPs are quiet, sensitive, and kind-hearted individuals. They are typically extremely laid-back, but when they feel an emotion, they feel it extremely deeply, perhaps more deeply than any other Myers-Briggs type. They are sometimes withdrawn and difficult to know, perhaps because they fear hurt and rejection, but they are also extremely loyal and tolerant, so that the friends they allow to get close are very close. Their sensitivity sometimes causes them to struggle with critique.

ESFP Fictional Characters

Anna (Disney's Frozen), Donna Noble (Doctor Who), Fred and George Weasely (Harry Potter), 11th Doctor (Doctor Who), Simba (Disney's The Lion King), Finnick Odair (The Hunger Games), Pippin Took (The Lord of the Rings), Jack Harkness (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Breeze (The Mistborn Trilogy) Chewbacca (Star Wars) Naveen (Disney's The Princess and the Frog)

ISFP Fictional Characters

Tiana (Disney's The Princess and the Frog), Remus Lupin (Harry Potter), Arwen (Lord of the Rings films), John Watson (BBC Sherlock), Belle (Once Upon a Time), Jane Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Aurora (Disney's Sleeping Beauty), Rubeus Hagrid (Harry Potter), Mercedes (Count of Monte Cristo), Melanie Wilkes (Gone With the Wind)

What This Means in Fiction

As I researched these different types, I noticed something odd about the fictional characters who, in my opinion, fit into these personalities. Both ESFP and ISFP fictional characters seemed to be extreme exaggerations of the types they fit into to. The exaggerations went either way. Sometimes they were romanticized into vivaciously friendly or silently powerful heroes (11th Doctor and Arwen), and other times they were parodied into obnoxiously outgoing or kindly angelic allies (Breeze and Jane Bennet). I labeled this post 'Once Upon a Type' because of this strange phenomenon. These types very often become 'fairy tale' versions of themselves in fiction. This is probably because of their natural tendency to extremes in certain aspects of their personality.

For example, ESFPs are truly extremely personable. They love people and they love fun. ISFPs are truly extremely internal. They feel deeply and they care deeply. These aspects of their personality seem extreme in relation to most of the other Myers-Briggs types. I can only assume that writers have subconsciously noticed these extremes, and so they went ahead and made the rest of the ESFP and ISFP personality extreme. Not only does Jack Harkness love being around people, but he also loves parties and drinking and dancing and adventuring and flirting and danger and risks and "planlessness" and, and, and. Mercedes not only feels sorrow over her betrayal of Dantes, but she also feels guilt and shame and love and hurt and self-pity while simultaneously pining after Fernand and worrying constantly over her son. ESFPs do enjoy fun, but Jack is certainly an extreme ESFP. ISFPs feel deeply, but Mercedes takes "feeling deeply" out of rational capability and into the realm of unending hot mess.

Have I Ever Written an ESFP and/or an ISFP?

Flake Frost from Hail Frost is an ISFP. She is, without a doubt, the most difficult character I have ever attempted. She feels very deeply and cares very much, but she is often reluctant to take action. Showing the reader her "feeling" over and over again will not raise the likability of Flake, compelling action will. Problem is, Flake is not overly keen on compelling action. It is a constant battle of finding an emotion strong enough to force her to act. She is tiring to write and I am often mentally exhausted after trying, but, after reading over the scenes, I always feel like it was absolutely worth it.

Captain Pepin from Esprit de la Rose is an ESFP. I'm not going to elaborate on him just yet. :)

Common Cliches

As stated above, fictional ESFPs and ISFPs are often exaggerated. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the character is secondary. However, if you want to create a realistic ESFP or ISFP, you'll need to pay very close attention to which aspects of the personality are exaggerated, and which aspects are kept at a "normal" level. Yes, ESFPs and ISFPs often have seemingly extreme traits. Pick a trait to make extreme, and then carefully try to keep other traits "normal". This is a bit harder than it sounds.

For example, Donna Noble's sass meter is off the charts. She is extremely sassy. However, she is NOT extremely thoughtless, fun-loving, careless, etc. She sometimes rushes into situations, but she also is capable of solving puzzles. She likes fun, sure, but she also likes peace. She's a bit silly at times, but hey, aren't we all? She's a very good example of an ESFP.

(This paragraph is a SPOILER for Harry Potter) Remus Lupin is good example of a well-balanced ISFP. He is laid-back, but he has one thing that he feels incredibly intensely about: his friends. He has few friends, but those he has he cherishes extremely. One could argue he loves them too much. His friends cause him to ignore his morals to gain their approval. His love for Tonks makes him push her away, even after she assures him that she doesn't care about his being a werewolf. He feels like any other person on most subjects, but when it comes to his friends, he is extreme.

To summarize, if you want to write a realistic ESFP or ISFP, pick ONE aspect of the defining trait (ESFPs- outgoing, ISFPs- feelings) to make extreme, but leave the rest set at "normal". Make your ESFP incredibly fond of goofy puns that he JUST HAS to share with all of his friends, but make him enjoy parties about as much as the next extrovert. Make your ISFP overwhelmed with intense memories and feelings at the sight of a sword, but don't make her flashback at the sight of daggers and burning houses and clouds and grass etc.

Relationships

Romantically, ESFPs and ISFPs get along with just about anyone. For them, a romance could work with almost any type. However, it takes a special type to love them, to handle the extremes. For ESFPs, ESTJs could probably keep up, and of course, ISFPs would help calm their impulsiveness. ISFPs would definitely need someone capable of understanding their intense feelings, so I would suggest either an ESFP, who could help bring some sunshine and fun into their world, or another ISFP.

As said before, ESFPs are well-liked and personable. They make friends very easily. However, they might prefer to hang around people who can at least attempt to keep up with their adventuring, and they likely would not appreciate someone who criticizes their lifestyle (ahem, see below)

ISFPs are usually withdrawn before you get to know them, and they usually only let certain people know them. They would probably become good friends with people who sympathize with their feelings, or who make an effort to understand and respect their feelings.

ESFPs and ISFPs would dislike (surprise, surprise) ENTJs and INTJs. ESFPs and ISFPs would likely find the analytic cynicism unappealing, and ENTJs and INTJs would likely find ESFPs and ISFPs shallow and uninteresting.

Closing Tidbits

ESFPs and ISFPs are NOT shallow and uninteresting. Sometimes, the people who say the most or feel the deepest are the most conflicted and paradoxical individuals. This can apply to anyone, but I feel it has special meaning for ESFPs and ISFPs.

Questions!

Are you writing an ESFP and/or an ISFP? What do you think about them? Just for fun, can you think of a villain ESFP or ISFP? I tried and came up with nothing!

This next question will help me determine which type to write next. In honor of Leonard Nimoy, who do you like better, Spock or Uhura? I'm voting Spock! (sniffle)

Thanks for reading! :)