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Monday, October 17, 2011

Do You Fit the Plotter/Personality "Stereotype"?

As promised, I want to delve a little deeper into each Myers-Briggs type and see what the survey revealed about plotting tendencies. I took each individual answer, separated them by type, and broke down how many from that type had answered as being a plotter, plotter with pantster tendencies, pantster with plotter tendencies, or pantster.

Before I go too far, though, for those who don't know what I'm talking about, check out my post here on my initial overall survey results.

So here's the breakdown, by type, of which responders are Plotters (which encompasses Plotters with Pantster Tendencies) and Pantsters (which encompasses Pantster with Plotter Tendencies). 

          18% PLOTTERS

          14% PLOTTERS


         17% PLOTTERS

                50% PANTSTERS



              46% PANTSTERS

         32% PLOTTERS

             35% PANTSTERS

         20% PLOTTERS

        50% PLOTTERS

        25% PLOTTERS

        39% PLOTTERS


*Very few responders in these categories.

The seven types that have a highlighted percentage are likely the types that have the strongest statistical leaning to one type of writing method, Plotting or Pantsting. In the categories with asterisks, the results are likely inconclusive and definitely not statistically significant. In some cases, only one responder indicated they were that particular type.

Additional surveys would need to be done on a much larger sample to reach more conclusive results for that particular type. At the time this data was collected, 166 writers had taken the survey. At the same time, I think it is statistically significant that most of our writers fall into the other categories (based on the results from my previous post).It just could be that there are very few writers out there with certain Myers-Briggs types.

Q4U: What do you think about these results? Did some of the higher percentages surprise you? How does that make you feel if you fit the "stereotype"? What about if you don't?


Katie Ganshert said...

I don't remember what personality type I am!!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Very interesting! I'm like Katie...I don't remember exactly which type I am...I think INFJ maybe? I found it interesting that the INFJ's were more split down the middle between the two. I guess that makes sense to me, since I've started out as a plotter, but I'm almost moving more toward the middle of being a plotter with pantser tendencies.

Unknown said...

I'm INFJ - and I'm a pantser with plotter tendencies. I've tried to convert to 100% plotter, but I find it too stifling.

Interesting results. It sort of reinforces my recent thoughts on pantser vs plotter. I should not try to force myself into a style that does not suit.

Unknown said...

I think I was an INTJ, a pantser with plotter tendencies. I was a little surprised it was 65% plotter. As I get older (nearly 30), I notice I'm liking a more regimented writing experience, including outlining, so while I started out as a strict pantser, I'm more growing into a plotter--though I don't think I'll ever be 100% plotter! :) So, I suspect for someone with my personality type, we find that there are definite advantages to outlining.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

katie and sarah - to me, not knowing what type you are, is akin to saying you have no idea what your social security number is. i seriously read your comments in shock. :)

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

jennifer - absolutely. this was why i did this in the first try to make myself feel better about my writing method. i think it actually does boil down to my personality!! i'm a solid ESFJ, and we're solid pantsters. hmm....

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

liberty - i looked up how many responders i had in that category...26. i really should do a survey like this at a writer's conference like ACFW and get over 500 people to take it. perhaps i will petition next year's conference committee to do so. i find this highly interesting.

Jennifer K. Hale said...

I can't remember which one I am either! I know I'm an E**J, but I can't remember the middle 2! Boo...

mplanck said...

I think I'm an ENFJ, but I can't remember what I came out on the Myers-Briggs test way back in 1995. Guess I'll have to dig through my old papers to check. The ACFW conference sounds perfect for gather more data.

Melanie N. Brasher said...

I loved this Jeannie!

I'm ENFP and I'm so a seat of the pants writer, though I still like a basic structure. Ha!


Unknown said...

Jeannie, I took a Myers-Briggs when I was in college, and at that time, my personality profile was an ISTJ... now, I'm an INTJ... In college, I was even more of a pantser than I am now. I kind of find that interesting, considering the fact the ISTJ's were more pantser's than plotters...

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

I'm an ISFJ, and we're apparently evenly split between pantsing and plotting. I am a die-hard, extreme plotter, but once I'm actually writing, I do occasionally find myself "led astray" from my outline in a most pantser-like way. Interesting!

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

I am am ENFJ and have always been a panster.
My best work has always come as a reaction to something or under pressure. That's me and I accept it.

Story and Logic Media Group said...

I always test INFJ. But reading the profiles I do have a lot of INTP tendencys. (Absent minder professor.)

In real life I am a project person. The only way I can handle having Sunday guests over is to invite way ahead of time. Then I get engrossed in my projects, writing, sewing, pattern making. (When I want to have fun I read.)

On Thursday I think Okay, company. (It is too late to do the inviting so I do this way ahead of time.) Then having company is my main project for the next few days.

Writing: A panster who would love to learn to plot just a bit.

Jessica Nelson said...

LOL Jeannie! I was shocked too that those ladies didn't know their type. Tsk, tsk. lol

I fit my stereotype as an INFP pantser. Heehee. I've just had to write a synopsis BEFORE my WIP and it has been absolute TORTURE.

I love this survey! Thanks for doing it, Jeannie. :-)

Jamie Adams said...

I'm an INFP and have tried to plot but it's like pausing a movie. The information stops flowing.

Anonymous said...

This was great. I fit the stereotypical mold here, alright: INFP: PANSTER!

Mary Curry said...

Jeanne, I just read your link on the ACFW loop so I'm way late responding but in case you ever update. -

I'm ISFP and I'm a pantser.

Very interesting stuff. I'm sorry I missed it last fall.

Erin said...

INFJ pantster here. I find that plotting kills my buzz and excitement for a project. Sometimes it can be helpful but it's definitely less exciting. I usually start with a scene or two and jump around when writing.

Unknown said...

As best I can figure, I'm either INFJ or INFP (and I realize there's a world of difference between the two once you delve into the cognitive functions, but I honestly can't tell whether I'm Ni-Fe or Fi-Ne or maybe something else, but with my dislike of focusing on the "real world," I do think I'm an N).

I think I'm a plotter who wishes she could be a pantser. I did NaNoWriMo in 2012 and in, I wrote 50,000+ words. But...basically, my characters were going around in circles. I was totally stuck. So this past February, I planned out my story at a high level, scene by scene, and it is going MUCH better. I'm still behind schedule (I wanted to be to 100k on 6/14 but I'm only at about 55k) but at a high level, I know where to go next. I'm currently stuck in a scene, and the only answer for that is to sit down and DO it...but I have to know where a scene starts and ends.

Honestly, I'm probably INFP, based on behavioral tendencies, but...I just don't identify well with introverted Feeling, which is the dominant function. I suppose it's a case of me not fully understanding what it means, and it being so natural to me that I don't realize I'm using it.

ANYWAY. This wasn't the point. Point is, I'm a plotter with pantser tendencies. I don't feel bound by an outline. I feel kind of freed by an outline, because I know where my characters start and where they have to go for each scene, and everything within that framework is up for grabs. Plus, I can add scenes if the story requires it.

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