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What kind of stylistic differences are there in how Sensors versus iNtuitives write? Fiction, nonfiction...writing in general?
 

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iNuitives will be poorer spellers, but it will add to the aura of being more interesting
 

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I think the category's too broad to make judgments.
I suppose you can look at someone like Ernest Hemingway and clearly see -- ESTP. His writing is to the point, immediate, full of action, with sort-of a ridge of symbolism and deeper meaning running under it. The extroverted sensing in his work is obvious.

"He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy's parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat."

Likewise, James Joyce -- INFJ (I believe). Incredibly cerebral -- he had an inner vision for his work and it didn't have anything to do with what anyone else had written, arcane meanings behind what he was writing. (I could also imagine a Ne typing for him but for the moment I'm going to stick with Ni). I doubt anyone would ever consider him a sensor (again, I'm not rock solid on his type so if someone wants to make a case for it..)

"riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens Country's gorgios while they went doubling their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old Isaac: not yet, though all's fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface."

I think as a rule, that if you have to look at a sentence for five or ten minutes before you start to get what it's getting at, an intuitive probably wrote it haha))

Otherwise I'm not sure, there's a lot more grey area. I think we have to say more than S vs N, it'll have to be Si, Ne, Ni, and Se.

There's a lot that makes it tricky -- some writers might be dipping more into their tertiary or inferior functions when writing, and their style very well might change depending on what they are writing (especially in fiction).

I'd be interested in hearing more about this topic.
 

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I've read somewhere that writers tend to emphasize their inferior function, but end letting their dominant take over the work.

She used as an example Jorge R R Martin, and how he dwelled on the little details just to later be overwhelmed by tons of characters and plot lines, typical of xNxP (Ne-dom, Si-inferior).

I can't talk about Sensors, but in my experience (Ni-dom, Se-inferior), this is true as well. I put a lot of effort making sure my work is as straight forward as posible with a great emphasis on visuals (i write comics, not books), but my Ni likes to take everything to the upper abstract level and sudenly i'm working on 3 different parallel plot lines of pure symbolism. For the same character. At the same time.

I'd like to hear how Sensors write stories
 

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Hmm, in my own experience as a person who loves to write, I've noticed that I focus more on details than the whole story. This may just be an INFJ thing though, haha this is something I am trying to remedy, because it is a little too much detail...and focus more on the big picture altogether. I am not a poor speller, by the way. Haha only when I am typing and trying to keep up with my brain, then there may be many errors. XD
 

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I've read somewhere that writers tend to emphasize their inferior function, but end letting their dominant take over the work.

She used as an example Jorge R R Martin, and how he dwelled on the little details just to later be overwhelmed by tons of characters and plot lines, typical of xNxP (Ne-dom, Si-inferior).

I can't talk about Sensors, but in my experience (Ni-dom, Se-inferior), this is true as well. I put a lot of effort making sure my work is as straight forward as posible with a great emphasis on visuals (i write comics, not books), but my Ni likes to take everything to the upper abstract level and sudenly i'm working on 3 different parallel plot lines of pure symbolism. For the same character. At the same time.

I'd like to hear how Sensors write stories

This! This is so relatable for me...lol
 

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I've read somewhere that writers tend to emphasize their inferior function, but end letting their dominant take over the work.

She used as an example Jorge R R Martin, and how he dwelled on the little details just to later be overwhelmed by tons of characters and plot lines, typical of xNxP (Ne-dom, Si-inferior).

I can't talk about Sensors, but in my experience (Ni-dom, Se-inferior), this is true as well. I put a lot of effort making sure my work is as straight forward as posible with a great emphasis on visuals (i write comics, not books), but my Ni likes to take everything to the upper abstract level and sudenly i'm working on 3 different parallel plot lines of pure symbolism. For the same character. At the same time.

I'd like to hear how Sensors write stories
See, myself, I put a lot of effort into the symbolism. I have almost an obsessive need to make sure all the symbolism fits together in a system. I'll go through and highlight every time I use the word 'blue' or something and make sure it aligns with a certain idea. I don't know if I 'fall back' to my Si...actually the symbolism might be partly Si. But I try to hide the symbolism too)

Actually I think when I try to use pure symbolism it turns out looking really awkward and unnatural and pretentious though. It has to be 'undercover'.
 
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See, myself, I put a lot of effort into the symbolism. I have almost an obsessive need to make sure all the symbolism fits together in a system. I'll go through and highlight every time I use the word 'blue' or something and make sure it aligns with a certain idea. I don't know if I 'fall back' to my Si...actually the symbolism might be partly Si. But I try to hide the symbolism too)

Actually I think when I try to use pure symbolism it turns out looking really awkward and unnatural and pretentious though. It has to be 'undercover'.
Si and Ni aren't that different. They work in similar ways when creating ideas, is just that Si prefers to use impresions and Ni likes abstract undertones. They both need time and are way better at polishing and extending existing ideas than generating new ones, like Ne and Se.

So, i think your great amount of symbolism is there in a similar way i use it, just like you said.

Also, pure symbolism looks terrible. For it to work you need at least one literal level and other symbolic one. Think about a letter: on a literal level, it's just a sheet of paper with ink; but we know that ink represents ideas and concepts in the form of words.
This is how symbolism works, literal things representing other, more abstract ideas. Also you can have more than one symbolic level, creating different relationships between different symbols to make complex systems of pure symbolism.
 

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I think the category's too broad to make judgments.
. . .
Otherwise I'm not sure, there's a lot more grey area. I think we have to say more than S vs N, it'll have to be Si, Ne, Ni, and Se.

There's a lot that makes it tricky -- some writers might be dipping more into their tertiary or inferior functions when writing, and their style very well might change depending on what they are writing (especially in fiction).
I agree. I don't have any great insights here but I do think whatever makes one's writing style is probably pretty complicated and having to do with the interplay of your specific functions.

I'm not really familiar with the personality types of different authors, and don't have any real speculations on those I've read myself, though I have noticed a number of different styles.

Personally here are a few style points of my writing, I'm not sure if other Ns, or other INFPs, would relate to these or not.

1) I like to paint mental pictures, but more than just using visual descriptions, I like to include touch and smell and sounds and I guess stuff that's not strictly 5-senses, like the 'feeling in the air' sort of things as well. I like to use both characters' personal perceptions of things as well as providing a more 'objective' narrator's description.

2) Though I like specific 'tangible' descriptions, I also tend to describe things through comparisons to other things, highlighting a common underlying thread or essence

3) I really like to get into characters heads and share their thoughts, I don't want the reader to just know the characters based on what they say and do, I want them to have an intimate understanding of at least the main character's mind, their internal comments and feeling reactions, the process by which they come to a choice not just the actions they settle upon taking, their reflections and impressions of other characters, places, and events. I really don't like reading books where one feels distant from the characters, or when the point is more the plot and how the movements of the people advance that, rather than really being about the characters themselves. I want to write characters in a way that readers will feel like they are friends, like they know them and relate to them.

4) I'm not particularly big on symbolism, but sometimes I will find it's almost subconsciously been woven in and I start noticing what I'm doing with it and will enjoy it, but it's not something I find particularly important or spend a lot of thought on creating.

5) my favorite parts of writing are 'world building' and 'character creation', I love meeting and fleshing out my characters, and I love exploring endless possibilities as I create cultures or magic systems or new creatures/races. I want to know so much more about the places and people than I actually ever describe in the book because I feel like it will still give a sense of the world and people being full and reaching beyond the slice of what the reader gets to view.

6) I'm not big on references to other things in the 'real world' that the reader may (or may not) know about. (Like... I liked the little nod to star wars fans in one of the caves of the videogame Skyrim, but in a fantasy Novel I would find such a reference kind of jarring in that it's reminding me as the reader of my world rather than keeping me immersed in the world of the book. I don't want to think about the fact that I'm a person on earth reading a book while I'm reading it, so... I don't have much interest in weaving such things into what I write myself.)

7) I'm definitely not concise, and I personally prefer to read long descriptions and complicated sentences as opposed to more direct, bare-bones writing.

8) The point of my fiction writing isn't to make a point. I'm not consciously out to illustrate any particular idea, philosophy, or theme by crafting a story. Of course my opinions and worldview are going to come through in a story, and someone may find a 'message' in it, but my aim primarily is to give an enjoyable experience, to explore a world, to meet new people, to have an adventure you'd never have in real life. I do like toying with 'What if' scenarios and projecting possibilities of what different attitudes, systems, and ideas can lead to or how they might play out, but I guess I view writing more as an experiment generating data to be analyzed by the reader how they will, rather than as a well organized argument or explanation of a concept. I like 'deeper meaning' like that to be a byproduct of the story rather than the primary goal. (I speculate this has something to do with Ne)
 

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I think the category's too broad to make judgments.
I suppose you can look at someone like Ernest Hemingway and clearly see -- ESTP. His writing is to the point, immediate, full of action, with sort-of a ridge of symbolism and deeper meaning running under it. The extroverted sensing in his work is obvious.

"He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy's parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat."

Likewise, James Joyce -- INFJ (I believe). Incredibly cerebral -- he had an inner vision for his work and it didn't have anything to do with what anyone else had written, arcane meanings behind what he was writing. (I could also imagine a Ne typing for him but for the moment I'm going to stick with Ni). I doubt anyone would ever consider him a sensor (again, I'm not rock solid on his type so if someone wants to make a case for it..)

"riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens Country's gorgios while they went doubling their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old Isaac: not yet, though all's fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface."

I think as a rule, that if you have to look at a sentence for five or ten minutes before you start to get what it's getting at, an intuitive probably wrote it haha))

Otherwise I'm not sure, there's a lot more grey area. I think we have to say more than S vs N, it'll have to be Si, Ne, Ni, and Se.

There's a lot that makes it tricky -- some writers might be dipping more into their tertiary or inferior functions when writing, and their style very well might change depending on what they are writing (especially in fiction).

I'd be interested in hearing more about this topic.
I think you're absolutely right about this. I read this a while ago and sounds like an ESTP-INFJ relationship. I'm not sure how true it is, but it's kind of funny: "Deal with him, Hemingway."

James Joyce Picked Drunken Fights, Then Hid Behind Ernest Hemingway; Hemingway Called Joyce "The Greatest Writer in the World" | Open Culture
 

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I guess the description of the environment, etc is more explicit when written by a sensor, though, I must add, I really love to describe the environment too. I love letting the readers know how the places my characters are look like, if there's a certain smell, if it is cold or hot - and additionally describe the whole atmosphere. Sometimes I also give concrete details - for example, the dishes still aren't done (mentioned in a story where it was all very hectic, so adds to the plot as a whole). Or a broom leans on a wall - so the main character can conclude another character just might have been outside, doing some housework.
I'm not always explaining the caracters inner thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it's just not neccessary, because the readers will come to the right conclusion through the characters actions and how he/she responds.

My writing style changes depending on what I think is most appropriate and fits. I wrote this one short-story a long time ago, where the plot was really concrete and plain simple. But because of the philosophical character of the topic, I chose a less concrete writing style than usually. I brought a lot of tension in and used a specific way of telling the story, that wouldn't give the message of the story away easily. So the plot and the writing style balanced themselves. My readers liked it a lot, because they said it was a very good idea to make the story less simple with a more complicated writing style. However, the point of it all was... my writing style changes very often, although, most of the time, people tell me the style is smooth to read. Not utterly complicated.
Nonetheless, I do like to use symbolism here and there... it really depends on what kind of story it is. If I see how using symbolism would enrich a story, I'll use it. If I don't think it does, I won't.
 

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Before i comment, I'm curious what you make of this random sample of my writing, and how you see my INFPness or INFP functions manifested/expressing themselves?

THE TRAIN
I gaze pensively outside the graffiti-scratched window, contemplating my reflection. I look deep into my eyes – to see if I can meet my soul, perhaps see something I can recognize. It is the only way I can connect with the projection of myself that I advertise to others. The reflection is ghostly – the background is a shambles of urban miscellany, chugging past with unvarying regularity, the rhythm of the train lulling my thoughts somewhere else. It all seems so strange…black-furred apes on a wide, sunny plain in Africa, the screech of birds high up ahead, and now this claustrophobic maze of concrete, steel, bitumen and brick.
The light inside the carriage is harsh, clinical. It seems to slice through the sepia aura of nostalgia that I try to create around myself. Dirty, electronic beats soil both my ears and my soul – base, yet cold, animalistic, celebrating the exchange of warm fluids, an illusion of love in a shallow age. High-pitched angular shards of sound threaten to penetrate eardrums. The apes are not a dream: a gaggle of teenage girls, as simian as can be, decked up in the conventionalities of fashion, chatter with flippant abandon about trivialities. Empty-headed tonality from gloss-stained lips.
Two young men – fashionably styled facial hair – observe the world through thick-rimmed glasses betraying painfully deliberate intellectual self -importance. Everything is meaningless and ironic; everything and anything reducible academic theses. With the straitjacket of imposed impartiality, they seek an insight into the human soul – and the essence of existence and reality – itself.
A group of young hominids…bursting with the bluster that speaks of the ignorant, devil-may care arrogance of youth, their words crude, clumsy, invasive, go on and on. In hearing about relationships, my mind immediately falls into the depressing realization that for many, their concerns never transcend concerning themselves with the creaturely duty to eat and fuck. Yet perhaps it is an uneasy envy that they can be more present in the now; I am painfully conscious of a realm of existence far behind, I see the world millions of years from now, a cold, empty, crater, and a coldness descends upon me…a nihilistic coldness. My faith seems more like a hope most of the time. Perhaps my pretentious ‘depth’ is rip any hope of being a normal ape.
 

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Let's see. Usually when I write, I write my musings about things. My wonderings. My thoughts. It's very reflective. I'll have an interaction with someone, and it reminds me of a whole idea. Suddenly I'm seeing it everywhere. And I want to write about it.

It's a message I want to share with people, but it's something that has come from what I've seen.

But when I write a story. I find it's more about the characters, the world, a whole storyline. I'm not concerned with symbolism. Undoubtedly you'll see my worldview through the story anyways. The characters are themselves, they don't necessarily represent some "image". I'm hardly ever... allegorical. Though I love reading stories that are.

I get too swept away with creating. And I like to create a meaningful story. One that is rich with significance, but it has to grow naturally out of the characters themselves. What is meaningful to each individual character is most important. I think I'm more like @Aelthwyn. ^_^

I'm not like Tolkien when I write, for example. Though he came up with a fantastic world. He didn't just come up with a world, though, he came up with a culture and a history. Heck, languages. And the story he wrote. There was much symbolism in it and in the characters. Some of the characters represented things - like archetypes, really. They'd take on symbolic roles. There was so much about kings. And wisdom... and pride. And all that good stuff. I'm quite sure he lead with some Introverted function. I keep on thinking he could have led with Si. Maybe Ni.

Then take someone like Victor Hugo. He'd have these stories rich with symbolism. Every character was a picture of something. What role they played represented something. And gosh, would he go on and take his sweet time to describe the details of things.

I can't write like that.
 

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What kind of stylistic differences are there in how Sensors versus iNtuitives write? Fiction, nonfiction...writing in general?
I think it's more accurate to compare ne/si writer vs ni/Se - I'm only stating this because it's easier to differ between an Ni vs Ne writer.
I think that sensors are more detail oriented ( could be wrong ) I have a tendency to miss out on details when writing


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, I can't believe someone necroed this thread after all this time....
 

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Confirmed INFJ I know whose writing I've been reading for years tends to write very dialogue heavy novels with a focus on the mannerisms of her characters. She won't describe a room, but she'll give a paragraph on how someone plays with their food.

Focuses mostly on character motivation and tends to stress herself out trying to work out thematic points.

Recently stopped writing novels altogether because she was too hard on herself about needing everything to be perfect. She writes screenplays now, which works much better for her style. Focus on dialogue, with less attention to details (since they don't really matter in production).


Personally, my writing varies depending on the type of story I'm telling. But I tend to write stories that call for terse sentences, short but punchy visuals, and minimal dialogue.

I often forego writing any sort of visual descriptions until later drafts. I write for pacing first, so my early drafts are simply pages of dialogue with brief sentences that note a change of setting or a particular action.

I focus on character motivation and thematic elements and mood. I get obsessive with mood.

If we to compare to writers, she's a Doestoyevsky (spelling?) and I would be a Ray Bradbury borderlining Ernest Hemingway.

But that's my perspective. I'll ask her which writers she thinks we compare to.

Also, it's worth noting that we're both professionally trained in writing, me more than her. It's my more extensive education that gives me more versatility in my styles.

EDIT: also, her dialogue tends to be more chatty.
 
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