MBTI: SPs, The Creators


Last week, Suzanne gave an overview of the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI), and this week I’ll be discussing the SPs–ESTP, ISTP, ESFP, ISFP.  SPs are active and spontaneous, trying to get as much as they can out of the moment.  They do not concern themselves with the past or the future.  They think fast on their feet, as opposed to planning their actions.

ESTP–The Promoter

ESTPs are spontaneous and bold individuals, living for the moment and enjoying every minute of it.  They do not give much thought to the past or the future.  Rules are more like guidelines for them, and they enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with the risks they take.  They are able to detect the smallest change in body language, facial expressions, or habits.  They use this ability to relate others.   They love being active, and because of this, they tend to have trouble in school, unless the teacher uses a hands-on and interactive approach in the lesson.  ESTPs don’t care about things that are not rational or practical, so they don’t place much importance on the feelings of themselves or others.

Eddie Murphy and Bruce Willis are two famous examples of the ESTP; Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) and the Genie (Aladdin) are two fictional examples of the ESTP.

We have one ESTP in our books, but unfortunately she won’t show up until the fourth book. However, both Suzanne and I are looking forward to introducing her when the time comes.  She is going to be enjoyable to write.

ISTP–the Crafter

ISTPs are more private people, though they don’t seem to care as much about their personal “bubble” as some other introverts do.  They combine their spontaneity and practicality, making them very flexible.  Because of this, they are not exactly huge on commitments, for they also like to live in the present as opposed to planning for the future.  They go about life relaxed, not concerned about anything.  They know how to conserve their energy, so that they can use it only when they see fit.  They can seem insensitive, saying things without factoring in other people’s feelings.  They also have a very short attention span and have a tendency to get bored quickly.

President Taylor and Clint Eastwood are two famous examples of the ISTP; Han Solo (Star Wars) and Merida (Brave) are two fictional examples of the ISTP.

Carlisle, who is more of a secondary character in our first book Poisoned, makes decisions based on circumstances that are going on presently, failing to see how they will affect the future.  He is private, though he loves his family dearly.  He is effective in a crisis, applying logic and praticality to the situation.

ESFP–The Performer

ESFPs live very much in the moment for the “party” that is their life.  They are the world’s entertainers, thriving on the attention of people around them, and their boldness and out-goingness helps them achieve the attention they want.  They have great people skills, and will talk about anything and everything (as long as the conversation doesn’t stray to theories and philosophies).   They can be sensitive, sometimes overly so, because of this they struggle dealing with criticisms and critiques.  They can become very emotional, and are driven by their feelings, though this is not always a bad thing, but when their emotions go unchecked, it will cause problems.

Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) and Marilyn Monroe are two famous examples of the ESFP; Lydia Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) and Meriadoc Brandybuck (The Lord of the Rings) are two fictional examples of the ESFP.

Konan, one of the main characters in our first book Poisoned, is very out-going.  He enjoys being around people and doesn’t mind being the center of attention, which is good, because he is a crown prince.  He acts before thinking, lives for the excitement, and finds it difficult to be patient.  (Because Suzanne and I are NT and NF, we had a difficult time figuring out how to write Konan until we discovered MBTI.)

ISFP–The Composer

ISFPs are free-spirited, considering rules and guidelines to be boring and confining for their creative and imaginative mind.   They are open-minded and progressive, and have a high level of tolerance when it comes to interacting with people.   They are curious enough and willing to try out new things.  They are artistic people, usually expressing themselves through their chosen art (music, cooking, painting, etc.).   They value freedom, independence, and originality, which could cause problems in school or work.  They could have low self-esteem, which–I think–comes with their artistic tendencies (people with artistic personalities are often seen as lesser individuals, compared to the more academic personalities).  If they have low self-esteem, this would increase the stress in their lives, which would cause an emotional reaction from them.

President Grant and Elizabeth Taylor are two famous examples of the ISFP; Arwen (The Lord of the Rings) and Rory Williams (Doctor Who) are two fictional examples of the ISFP.

Richmond, who is also more of an secondary character in our first book Poisoned, focuses on the present, and not the circumstances that lead to the results.  When pushed, he acts accordingly, but without the prompting he would have done nothing.

Next week, Suzanne will be giving you an in-depth look at the SJs.



Writer, Know Thyself: An Introduction to MBTI


Writing fantasy is hard—especially a traditional sorta-kinda-not-really epic fantasy like The Thíortha Chronicles. First there’s the world-building: coming up with topographical, political, socio-economic, magical, and multi-cultural systems, all while attempting to not plagiarize any of the thousands of other sorta-kinda-not-really epic fantasy novels out there.

But a well-written story world is only half the battle. A complex story such as ours has many, many characters—hero(ine)s and anti-hero(ine)s, villains and antagonists (and yes, they are different), sidekicks and sages, and a whole host of supporting characters. How do we keep track of them all? That’s where the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) comes in.

MBTI is a type of, well, I guess you could say personality test. I like to think of it more as a indication of how a person processes information than a true personality assessment. Marie came across MBTI last summer while we were working on the second draft of Poisoned, and it has been a valuable asset in keeping our characters internally consistent, as well as aiding Marie and I in some areas of our personal growth.

An individual’s MBTI is based upon a four-letter system, one of each of the following: E (extroverted) or I (introverted), N (intuitive) or S (sensing), F (feeling) or T (thinking), and J (judging) or P (perceiving). For instance, I am an INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging) and Marie is an INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving). You can take a test and find out your personality type at one of these sites (here or here). These include a type description, strengths and weaknesses, and even some famous personalities of each type.

Since studying MBTI helped Marie and I so much, we thought it would be fun to do a series about it on our blog, especially noting how it helped us with developing the characters in our books.

 E vs. I

The concept of extroverts vs. introverts is fairly well-known, especially in recent days.  While our general American culture tends to heavily favor extroverts, the internet subculture exalts introversion to an almost unhealthy level.  Many myths surround the two (extroverts are always happy, introverts hate people, etc.), but the MBTI distinction between the two is clear and simple. Extroverts gain their energy from being with other people, and introverts gain their energy from time spent alone. A classic example of the extrovert/introvert differences would be with my best friend (a textbook extrovert) and I. Whenever she needs to relax, she wants to go out with friends (the more the merrier), as opposed to my hermit-like tendencies to lock myself in my room with a book whenever I’m stressed. Sometimes, an individual will test somewhere in the middle, and they are called ambiverts.

N vs. S 

While the first MBTI letter deals with an individual’s inner world, the second letter deals with how he takes in information.  A sensor (S) is focused primarily on facts, what he can perceive with his five senses, and the present. The “just the facts, ma’am” line from Dragnet fits the Sensor very well. He is very bottom-line and practical, and can sometimes tend to be closed to new possibilities. The Intuitive (N), on the other hand, takes in information through his impression of things.  He is focused on possibilities, the future, and often reads “between the lines”. He tends to be quite creative, but can tend toward impracticality.

 F vs. T 

This MBTI letter deals with the information processing and the decision-making section of an individual’s personality. A Feeler (F) makes his decisions primarily based on how it will affect the people around him, while a Thinker (T) bases his decisions primarily on principles that he holds to be true.  Feelers tend to be warm-hearted individuals—the one who will allow you to cry on their shoulder and be a strong moral support in almost any situation, but can sometimes be too idealistic. Logic is law to the Thinkers, who (in some cases) detach themselves from their emotions to make nearly unbiased and fair decisions. Their innate love of logic and order often encourages them to pursue scientific and technological fields of study. However, they have an awful tendency (and I speak from experience) to be tactless in their endeavor to be helpful. When one asks a Thinker what their opinion is on something, they will give it to them no holds barred; while a Feeler, if they feel their opinion will hurt someone, will present it in the kindest way possible.

J vs. P 

The final letter of MBTI deals with an individual’s outer world. Judgers (J), unlike their name suggests, are not necessarily judgmental. They are highly structured individuals, prefer rigidity to spontaneity (unless the said spontaneity is scheduled, of course), and generally put work before play. They are task-oriented, list makers, and usually plan their work so that it will be finished before its deadline. Perceivers (P) tend to be carefree, spontaneous individuals, unfettered by the chains of schedule. They like to wait and gather as much information as possible before making a decision, unlike their Judger counterparts, who will make any decision based on the information they currently possess. Perceivers work in bursts of energy instead of at planned intervals. Marie and I are a classic example of J vs. P: growing up, I (J) would bulldoze through my list of chores every day and then enjoy a chunk of free time (again, the planned spontaneity), while Marie (P) would work on chores for a bit, read a book for a bit, work some more, read some more, etc.

Well, there you have the basic description of MBTI. Stay tuned in the following weeks, as Marie and I will be doing descriptions of each type. Who knows, you may even get a sneak peek of some of the characters from Poisoned!

Did you take the MBTI test? If so, what was your result?


I have a confession to make.


I…I judge books by their covers. Well, by their fans, too, if I’m being completely honest.

Generally, my opinion is justified, but recently I found that I was mistaken on one account: The Hunger Games series…

I didn’t exactly appreciate what I knew about the content–children killing other children for the sake of food and the entertainment of the country. I thought Katniss was going to be too irritating or unlikable, Peeta was going to be too soft, or the love triangle was going to be too infuriating. But, it was on my reading list and Suzanne suggested that I read it based solely for examining Suzanne Collins’ writing technique. So I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

Suzanne Collins is a master of the written word, I was engrossed in her method of story telling.  So, even if I (at first) did not want to like the characters or the story, she had me hooked on it.  And then I became  invested in the characters and the story.

I will say, Katniss is cold and bitter, but seriously, it is understandable.  District 12 is not exactly the nicest place to live, she lost her father at a young age, and her mother was mentally non-existent for a majority of her childhood, which forced Katniss to grow up early and take care of her mother and her sister.  Then, on top of all that, she participates in the Hunger Games.

Peeta was really sweet, though not as sweet as I had heard of him being before I read the books.  He was good for Katniss, being there for her when the nightmares came and in the arena.  As for the love triangle, yes it was there, but I didn’t think it was too infuriating. I didn’t think it was much of a contest between Gale and Peeta.

Yes, the story is about children killing children, but it is more than that.  It shows the warped politics and philosophies behind the Capitol and President Snow’s reasons for even having the Hunger Games.  It shows that even the smallest spark of an act of defiance can start the fire of rebellion.

TL;DR?  The Hunger Games was awesome, and always read a book before you judge it.

I’m not saying that I will completely stop making up my mind about a book before I read it.  I like to think I have good taste when it comes to books and can tell when a book is going to be good or not.  I’m just saying, trust your judgement, and don’t “like” a book/movie/TV show/whatever because it is popular.

If you like something that is popular, great!  Good for you!

And if you don’t, great!  Good for you!

Basically, know your own mind, and don’t be afraid to like what you like.