Friday, February 3, 2017

Writing Extroverted Characters: 7 Things You Should Know

A few months ago I published a post about how to write introverted characters. People read it. People liked it. People wanted me to write a post on extroverted characters. I told people no. Because why would I, an introvert, write a post about extroverts when I know somebody far more qualified? I wouldn't. That is why, today, I'm excited to share a guest post with you written by the highly talented, highly extroverted Harley Rae. She has 7 great points to share about writing extroverts, so sit back and soak in her awesomeness: 

You don’t read about a ton of extroverts. In my opinion, introverts are more common than extroverts in works of fiction. You want to know why? Because most writers are introverts. And a lot of writers base characters off of their own personality. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say ALL writers are introverts and that they should be. I’m saying that most authors I’ve met are introverts. Personally, I’m an extrovert. As you can see, I’m also a writer. For those of you introverts that are having trouble writing a character who is an extrovert, I’ve written down a few pointers so you can do it right! (I think I’ve said the words “introvert” and “extrovert” way too many times).
Writing Extroverted Characters: 7 Things You Should Know (A Guest Post by Harley Rae)
1. Not all extroverts are mean. I’m sick and tired of hearing about mean extroverts. Just because we like to talk, does not mean we like to be mean. My Dad and I were discussing this topic earlier, and he made a really good point: All bullies are extroverts, but not all extroverts are bullies. Think about it. You never meet a shy bully. It doesn’t work. But, you do meet nice extroverts. That totally works.

2. Extroverts are alert. This may be a minor thing, but I thought I’d mention it. The four character traits of an extrovert are sociability, talkativeness, excitability, and alertness. I thought it was interesting that alertness was included. But then I started thinking about it. We are always looking for more attention (I know that sounds conceited but we do it anyway), which requires being alert. We have to stay on our toes to find the nearest crowd, especially us short extroverts. That may just make sense to me… I might be delusional.

3. Extroverts LOVE to talk. It’s good to have a lot of dialogue in your story. Make your extrovert talkative. If you have a character who is an introvert, make it so that the introvert likes listening to the extrovert. For me, personally, I love it when people are willing to listen to me. I mostly talk about fangirl stuff, so my family tunes me out all the time. When someone is willing to listen to me it makes my day!

4. Extroverts enjoy exploring new things. Extroverts like to explore. Make your character WANT to try things. Readers like exploring new places in books. As a avid reader, I know I love to hear of new places and things. I think your readers would really like it if you included some exploring.

5. They’re not always confident. Trust me, I doubt myself, a lot. Extroverts sometimes make really stupid decisions. I’m not saying we’re stupid, but everyone makes a bad decision once in awhile. It’s really funny when you’re reading about a very sarcastic character who, in the middle of a battle, makes a stupid decision. Then they make sarcastic comments to cover up their stupidity.

6. Extroverts aren’t always natural leaders. Just because we like being around people, doesn't mean we want to lead them into battle. It would be fun to read a story about a leader who is an introvert, and their best friend is a extrovert and enjoys following them into battle.

7. Extroverts like making people laugh. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I can rule the world when a group of people actually laugh at my jokes. I love reading about a sarcastic character. Percy Jackson is a perfect example of a sarcastic extrovert. He is also very sassy, but that’s off topic.

Well, that’s all of the pointers I can think of. If you have any more, I would love to hear them. I hope this helps you write the perfect extroverted character! Thank you for reading!

Did you like this post? I'm sure you did. If you want to get more of Harley Rae, go subscribe to her blog and follow her on twitter. It's not a requirement, but choosing not to do so will go down as a Poor Life Decision. We all have enough of those, so don't add to the list. Go follow her. And leave a comment below telling us about your favorite extroverted characters, your favorite tip, and any other favorite things you want to tell us! 

Related Articles:
Writing Introverted Characters: 8 Things You Should Know
7 Cliche Characters in YA Fiction That Need to Stop

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every week!

16 comments:

  1. Thank you! I have an extroverted character very close to my heart, but I've been stalling because I don't think I can do him justice in my writing. Maybe this will help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad I could help!

      Delete
  2. Nice job Harley! :D
    Fun idea: you could have an introvert turn extrovert or visa versa. I was pretty introverted in Jr. High, but sort of blossomed into an extrovert in high school. I realized that instead of sitting in the corner and feeling bad about myself just waiting for someone to start a conversation with me, I could go make someone else's day by talking to them and cheering them up! :)

    Introverts with purpose and a caring heart can sometimes have more meaningful conversations that an extrovert, but an extrovert can be a good listener too.
    The spectrum between the two "verts" is wide but I feel like writers prefer to either characterize their characters as extremely extroverted or painfully introverted. There is a lot of space in-between, just ripe for fantastic characters!
    Anyway, great post and happy writing everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an awesome idea! I would love to read a story about an introvert that turned into an extrovert! That would be awesome.

      I totally agree with you about the spectrum between the two "verts". It makes sense. I don't think that authors grasp the fact that their character can be both introverted and extroverted, at the same time. Or just somewhere in the middle.

      Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

      Delete
  3. I loved this post and learned more things about myself! Great job, Harley Rae. As almost the Lone Ranger Extrovert in my 200+ writers group near Seattle, Northwest Christian Writers Association, I wanted to add a little more on how extroverts function in an introverts world.

    I feel a great responsibility in a group of introverts to help them succeed. At a writers conference I will always sit at a table and start introductions and draw people out. I will even review names, knowing that if an introvert makes one connection, that will bolster their comfort and confidence level. If I know agents and editors, I try to introduce writers in that genre, knowing they might be afraid to walk up and face them alone.

    In a group I look for body language of introverts. I can tell when they want to interject, but don't dare. I interrupt for them and ask their opinion in a gracious way.

    I work hard at sharing air time in a group. Even though I can talk the hind leg off a mule, I try to ask questions and listen patiently while the introverts formulate their answer, instead of filling in the answer for them.

    I've also learned that they aren't impromptu. I can call an extrovert and we can be having coffee in an hour. I contact my introvert friends and give them a few options of when I'm available, then let them finalize day, time, place.

    While introverts may spend time worrying about the things they didn't say, extroverts can worry about things they did say. Because I tend to process my words as I'm saying them, later I worry if I hurt someone.

    All this has been learned through years of mistakes. If you want a character to fail, take the opposite of what I do now.

    Here's a blog post I wrote for a little more insight. http://mindypeltier.com/true-confessions-extrovert/

    Great series, Hannah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mindy! Thank you for all the feedback! All your points are awesome. I understand all of them, being a fellow extrovert. I checked out your blog post and it was really good! Thanks for sharing! :)

      Delete
  4. This will probably be helpful in the future,I'm very introverted and I'd like to accurately write extroverts. One of my best friends is an extrovert (she's more ambiverted actually) and a writer,and she does like to talk though if I know you well enough I'll talk your head off about something I like. And she is more of a leader than I am but I avoid leading at all costs so that may not mean much.Good post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad this post could be of some help to you! I'm the opposite of you, I guess. One of my best friends is an introvert (although she will talk to me a lot, but not other people), and I'm a total extrovert! Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  5. *applauds* Epic post Harley! This was super helpful. I certainly understand how introverts tend to write introvert MCs. ALL the characters in my book, for example, are introverts, except one (secondary character).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad the post was helpful! Now, I have a question...WILL I EVER GET TO READ YOUR BOOK?? I want to read it so bad!!!

      Delete
  6. I'm a rather quiet ENFP, so almost ambiverted. So I'm better at writing scatterbrained, idealist, enthusiastic extraverts and any kind of introvert.
    My current MC is supposed to be much more organized and a good leader. But there goes the friendliness and alertness. It's a struggle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a rather loud ENFP, so we're sort of similar, I guess. Your MC sounds cool! Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  7. Since I'm VERY introverted, it's difficult for me to write extraverted characters. The book I'm writing has three main characters and one of them is very extraverted, sarcastic(okay, even my introverted characters are very sarcastic), and really just likes to have fun. But sometimes I have a hard time with him. But I've got #6 down! His introverted best friend is the leader and he helps where he can(though the other two would probably fail miserably without him). He's also a daredevil and the others are constantly having to patch him up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally understand that writing about an extrovert when you're an introvert can be hard. I struggle with the exact opposite problem: writing about introverted characters. Because I'm an extrovert, it makes it pretty hard.

      I like how you have the introverted best friend as the leader! It makes the story so much more interesting. And every reader wants to hear about a daredevil. Your story sounds great!

      Delete
  8. Nice post! I think I'm more of an ambivert. I tend to get quiet around loud extroverts and I can be very talkative with quiet introverts :)

    One thing I've noticed about some of my extroverted friends: sometimes the loud party mood is an act to conceal that they are hurt and troubled. Extroverts are good talkers in normal circumstances, but when something really upsets them (like a parent suddenly getting very ill) they don't always know how to deal with that. I think a good introverted friend should be able to tell when their extroverted friend is not as happy as they pretend to be.

    Another thing, my extroverted friends will startle me by randomly declaring that they love me. I come from a culture where this is not something you do so I always feel a bit uncomfortable when they do that. I usually give lame answers like 'ok' -_-'

    I'm good with hugging though. That is by the way how I usually scare my introverted friends, I declare I want a hug when I see them or whenever I think someone looks like they need it. Fortunately, most of the extroverts like it :)

    One more thing: when my extroverted friends see something they really like (a great view or a beautiful work of art) they keep telling me over and over again how much they like it. One of my friends (who's a bit more like me) once actually replied to one of our extroverted friends 'If you tell me you liked it one more time I won't believe you any more.' And I agreed with her, after the third 'this is so great', the fourth and fifth just seem less true...

    Oh one more thing, friendship triads seem to work really well when you have one extrovert, one introvert and one ambivert. It creates a kind of balance that is noticeably different when one of the three can't make it and you're left with two. Conversations take completely different turns too.

    That's my two cents anyway :)



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! I like your first point... I know that sometimes I'm loud to cover up what I'm really feeling. I do it all the time. About your second point... I get it, but it's never happened to me. Sounds interesting. Hugging people is awesome (as long as its not too long of a hug...that's when it gets awkward). Your fourth point is a little puzzling... I like to express just how much I love something by telling my friends over and over again. I'm probably a little annoying sometimes. I don't know. That could just make sense to me. I love your last point!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete

Google Analytics Alternative