My editor noticed this, that my characters tend to socialize one-on-one, focusing the most of their energy on the private nature of their relationships, rather than going to lots of parties, bars, or clubs. They don’t tend to double date and talk much to others about their relationships.
My introverted young women are not ones to experience life through the lens of emotional drama. They won’t get drunk and then do crazy things, because they don’t live their lives crazily. They think logically and are practical. They create strategies and plan, generally thinking and processing before they talk, whether about their thoughts or feelings.
My introverted young men are like the heroes of a few of Grace Burrowes’ novels, specially my favorite, Douglas: quiet, observant, shrewd as can be, hard-working, competent, and tough when they need to be. All of their intensity is focused upon the women in their lives. The types of women they value are the ones who are loyal and passionate about them and their relationship, yet reserved and private, because they know that those are qualities that will bode well for a successful long term relationship.
And how does that tie into writing sweet romances, those with no explicit sex scenes? My characters like to get busy, without question, but they are private about it, so to put it tongue in cheek, I won’t violate their privacy!
Does that seem boring, shy, or socially maladjusted? Do characters like these seem too mature for their age, like middle aged matrons and fuddy-duddy old men?
Susan Cain, author of the book, Quiet, argues that in a culture that is overwhelming extroverted, introverts tend to be seen as weird.
I suppose that is why I like writing introverted characters, because I am one: INTJ proud! Nothing motivates me more than sitting in my study with my thoughts, keyboard, and a window to look out of as I think. Apparently, writing is an ideal career for INTJ types.
Even though I have written extroverted ones, the introverts are the ones that grab me, because I think they are far more interesting, with depths that many don’t realize or experience because they don’t feel the need to be “out there.”
But here is the thing, lots of introverts have developed a sufficiently extroverted persona that becomes useful in their day-to-day life, because their jobs and other activities might require it. However, look to see what really motivates them, and you will see exactly where their hearts are.
Copyright Barbara James. All rights reserved.