“The Mastermind” in the group and one of the rarest personality types in MBTI, a cold-hearted INTJ writes tear-jerking stories sounds appalling.
How could someone as logically-driven and indifferent as this group writes works that make their readers cry? Well, in fact, they don’t seem they’re emotional enough to show it.
As an INTJ, I’ve been tired to hear people telling me I’m cold, apathetic, and tactless resulting in desolation. Nobody can understand how my mind works nor how I live my life to how I wanted it.
What they didn’t know is that behind my death stares is an emotional freak, a little girl with a soft heart, who prefer not showing any sign of emotional reaction to others.
People are emotional by nature. They feel pain and happiness. Joy and despair. The difference, as per observation, is the emotions I feel are deeper, lingering inside me for a longer time.
Because of my self-awareness to situations requiring emotions, it’s best not to show it explicitly. In fact, it goes back to my body affecting my health in secret.
Rather, I put them into my works of art. And that’s what my readers have been enjoying. I’ve been writing stories since I was 12.
What Is An INTJ…I Mean Who Are This Group?
One of the rarest personalities in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, an INTJ comprises only 0.8% among the majority versus other personality types (except INFJ, the rarest type), 2% of the general population, 3% of men, and 1% of women.
According to Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, the authors of MBTI personality types, INTJ by nature is a group of analytical thinkers. Known for their innovative ideas and improvisation of systems, they seek endless possibilities regardless if it’s at home or at work. Not even their relationships are exempted from this rule.
The reason behind this is that they belong to the Thinking Types. As the name suggests, persons who belong in this group thinks a lot, analyzes things deeper than the average person. The best explanation for that is their Intuition dominates, which plays along with the Introverted Intuition (Ni).
Because of that, INTJs live their world inward in contrast to how others perceive. As a result, people who aren’t oriented with this kind – including their personal relationships i.e. husband, boyfriend, and family in general – won’t be able to understand how complex they think. Except for EMOTIONS. This is their pet peeve.Writing an intensely emotional scene is a big challenge for an INTJ. #novel #writing @MGaspary1 Click To Tweet
Hence, writing tear-jerking romance is a BIG hurdle. A great one.
The fact they belong in the Thinking Group, their Feeling (Fi) isn’t developed nor dominated resulting in feeling missed out from everyone’s fun. They prefer studying any kind of information (Te) they could find leading to becoming “walking encyclopedias.”
Overall, they are likely to be labeled as cold, street smarts, serious, rarely smiles, and hates small talks.
INTJ Dominating Traits
- Dominant: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
- Auxiliary: Extraverted Thinking (Te)
- Tertiary: Introverted Feeling (Fi)
- Inferior: Extraverted Sensing (Se)
How To Write Stories Driving Readers To Cry?
Nicholas Sparks, the master of tear-jerking romance, shared his methods on how he wrote stories that “successfully” made his readers cry.
Even when some of his works are adapted into movies, they retained the same essence as they made the audiences bawl while watching them on the big screens.
1. He never calls his love stories as “romance.”
He prefers writing about real love as depicted on his works. In fact, he couldn’t describe “A Walk to Remember” as romance. Rather, he labels it as a work about real love without mixing dreamy fantasy as other romance has.
2. He refers to classics.
We’re not talking about those published in the Golden Age but way before than that. He talked about Greek tragedies, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, etc.
Why do you think he’s doing that? He doesn’t want to write something predictable. Rather he writes about something not a lot of people may read.
3. Conflict should be emotional.
The one thing I observed from his works is Sparks’ tendency to show two things: a) hero’s determination and b) reconnect with someone he loves. Be it his family member or his wife.
4. Tear them apart because of love.
If you think about it, this is one of the most common ingredients when it comes to making things too dramatic, too intense. But this is about pursuing love.
Your hero’s determination to reunite with his love and he fails to succeed makes the whole novel tear-jerking.
5. End in tragedy.
What’s common between “The Notebook” or “A Walk to Remember?” They all end tragically. Out of all the intense journey, your character has gone through, he ends up dying or his girlfriend dies because of rare degenerating disease.
Touching these themes, as we all know it, are close to the heart of the readers. That’s because they recognize those feelings and acknowledge them as painful as they are. That said, having this interplaying within a work makes the difference versus a typical romance.
6. [Book covers or posters] Impose love.
Having the couple almost kissing or hugging or whatsoever is a clear gesture of love. Now, in order to make the work induce too intense drama. Write a story in reverse to what’s shown in these images. Make them look happy on the book cover or on posters and write a tragic story.
Donald Maass’s book entitled “The Emotional Craft of Fiction” tackled how writers can evoke emotions in their writing.
It all boils down to how the writer touches the readers’ beliefs to the virtues of humanity like compassion, insight, commitment to justice, love, steadfastness, sacrifice, and selflessness.
If these things comprise the work, the readers would immediately react to these kinds of situations. For example, your main character faces injustice and wants revenge for his wife’s murder.
Along the way, he meets a victim who’s also in the process of healing after his wife died because of a disease. That acquaintance opened up a subject of compassion and love as they go through difficulties together in an unexpected time and place.
In relation to Sparks’ technique of having his character’s strong drive to reunite with his family. Maass advised making it even stronger. “A protagonist must want something really badly.” Especially when he pursues his dream or any other kind of desire making him happy and contented.
Mass pointed out the benefits of including sorrow in the works. This is not just sadness but deeper than that. He wrote, “Sorrow happens when we have not only lost someone, but also miss them. Their absence isn’t emptiness, which is final, but a feeling of incompleteness.”
Lastly, have your characters believe in an unseen phenomenon. Miracles, if you will. “Does God heard your prayer?” This is common to books about a child suffering but he remains steadfast and positive albeit the chaotic surroundings he’s living. That picture in mind makes everyone in tears.
How An INTJ Writes Tear-Jerking Stories? [In A Nutshell]
To determine how an INTJ writes tear-jerking stories, let’s divide this part into chunks. First, we go through how INTJ is as a form of a quick review. Second, we tackle Jane Austen as a reference for INTJ writer. Third, we summarize the methods or techniques of how an INTJ does the work (resulting in oddly unique works).
INTJ As Logical Thinkers & Systematic Writers
Bookriot defines INTJ writers as logical, systematic thinkers who are able to turn their visions (stories in mind regardless of how impossible they are) into a reality. This is all due to our intense inner worlds nobody could dare enter and survive. Besides, it’s too deep for an average person to apprehend.
Further, we don’t like to work with other persons and rather work independently and in our own pace. We love to work inside our caves alone as we keep going. Not even my husband is exempted from this rule.
Because the end goal is big, we do everything we can to make that vision we have in mind become real in our own eyes. Let me tell you an example. I wrote “Accidental Quest” for months as a crap. I was too distracted to continue writing the story, leading to a complete hiatus.
Months forward, I decided to work on it again and committed to finishing the whole book. I did in exchange for a 30-day rule wherein I set more than 5 hours per day to writing until I finish it within the month. As a result, I finished a draft with 100,000 words.
I did the same with my gay romance novel “The Rival” with 60,000 words. I set aside a few hours every day until the last word.
How did I do it? Click here.
INTJ Writers Rely On Research And Science For Fiction
Everything INTJ writes, including the drama and romance, are dug deep within our souls backed by science and research.
Every word we write means something and will make an impact on someone else’s life. We don’t write just because. We have a great, a crazy vision inside our heads that we don’t like to compromise it for the sake of trend.
Thus, we instill a bit of authority to the readers because of the nature of writing style. It’s given. And we’re so damn serious about what we scribble.
The readers didn’t read crap from me – they did before I got serious into novel-writing. So they know the author behind this work knows what she’s doing. They testify that to me many times.
Although a particular scene is dramatic or too emotional or heartbreaking, we still apply the same principle which has been effective in my writing so far. Logic remains and will never be put aside. It’s always present in the works I write.
My readers on Wattpad love my books because they could see the progress of the story and development to the characters. Especially the dialogues between characters.
INTJ Tends To Mix Philosophies & Psychology In Plot
I tend to inculcate philosophies people usually forget about within the conversation. For example, Alexandra, the main character of my book, said, “You don’t need to compare yourself in the standards of others.”
In addition, I’d also like to point out that they neither – NEVER – predict what’s to come. In fact, one of the readers sent a message and begged to tell her what’s up in the next book (Book 2).
Why? Or shall I say…how did I do it?
How did I touch their hearts and make them listen to the lessons I want them to know and apply in their own lives?
Learn the secret sauce behind my writing.
An INTJ Writing Intensely Emotional Novel In A Nutshell (Using Jane Austen As Example)
To make everything as clearly as possible, let’s see how Jane Austen, one of the most popular INTJ writers in the 18th century, and how she depicts emotions in her works. Certainly, this is difficult for her since she values thinking and logic more than emotions. My struggle as well.
As I dug into her methods in writing her stories, I found out the 12 key principles she’s unconsciously applying to her works – until now, remains one of the top-read books of all time.
Jane Austen’s 12 Key Principles Of Novel-Writing
The following key principles are based on my research about Jane Austen’s writing style leading to a realization of our similarities. As an INTJ, knowing we share the same methods of writing our stories chills me.
That said, INTJ writers share the same techniques on how we present our characters’ stories, back stories, as well as the signs of progress in their lives. For people in this “Mastermind” group, it’s important to show our analytical and thinking nature deeper than anybody else in the room.
Because of that, those subjects or themes aren’t tackled or avoided comprise most of our works. Austen included the controversial themes of having a woman despising the norms of being a woman in her time.
She could have written a typical romance, but she didn’t. She made her own path and it turned out as influential classics both in writing style and in the plot, in general.
- Encourage passion and imagination in writing than strict or stale writing style.
- Include romanticism and neoclassicism in writing.
- Express emotional scenes by not following structure (rather smooth flow).
- Be original and unique versus the writing style most authors do.
- Add subtle sarcasm and wit within chapters.
- Create a powerful yet a dramatic scene leading into a satirical cathartic scene.
- Add romantic touch within the characters’ dialogues.
- Describe a vivid picture of a person and event by character’s words and actions.
- Focus on the beauty of the conversation to display progress and development of the story.
- Expose the beauty of ordinary people, real people’s lives, and societal issues.
- Add a hint of comedy, self-awareness and realistic, detailed portrayals of characters and their relationships.
- Make sure your characters exemplify intelligent or wit.
- Utilize the free indirect discourse to reveal characters’ perspectives on things.
Intelligent Use Of Logic Behind Emotionally-Driven Scenes
Most of the time, we use logic even during events wherein emotions are required. We rather put ourselves in a position wherein I must use my head at all times.
Let’s say, during a wake or death of someone. The average person cries or sobs to the point he couldn’t think properly. If not, he panics. For an INTJ, it’s unwise to do the same. I rather think of my next move or see the whole situation objectively and plan my next step forward.
The same thing with writing a story. I don’t simply write a scene without sense. It has to be logical in a way the readers will pick up the reason behind the situation.
Why I have to write it down?
Why I have to make it difficult for the main character?
Why did I have to take her life?
Lots of questions.
To do that as properly as possible, what I do is to follow a formula that tick to my readers’ hearts. Apparently, this is Sparks and Maass’ suggested methods to create an effective tear-jerking story.
- Start with a comical scene and drop to the saddest scene.
- Place the character in a desperate time, goes up to the happy times, and take that happiness away from her.
- Take every valuable thing or person from the character (even after struggling so much to get it)
Most of the time, I do the second and third tips. That sounds sadistic in a sense. Yet, that’s the reality in writing fantastic tear-jerking novels.
I typically place the main character in a desperate situation wherein she craves to obtain that something she loves or values. Once she reaches that goal, I let her feel happy about it for a short time. I allow her to indulge it while she can.
But then, I want to take it away from her again. From there, readers feel the emotionally-draining scene as they see the character rotting away. That’s where I bombard the readers with the drama they want.
The tip? Make them feel there is something valuable being taken away from them.
The readers, oftentimes if not all the time, place themselves in the shoes of the characters for whatever reasons. That’s one thing why they love a book. It’s because of a relatable character. They might see their own identity on him or her psychologically or perhaps physically. Many reasons.
If you’re able to put them in that position, you hold their emotions. You become responsible for that. So, when you put the character into one hurdle to the other, it’s expected you’re successfully driving your readers crazy in terms of making them feel bad.
Take something more valuable from the character after a newly surpassed hurdle. Then, add a flashback and a spice from that person’s dying words or parting words whatever. Your readers will surely cry.
If you want some references or proof of this technique, watch the best Korean drama series and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Showing How Emotional We Are
Nobody or only a few (only the closest ones) knows how emotional we are in contrast to how others perceive us. I just asked my sister today about it. She confirmed I do act cold to others which is in contrary to how I do behind the mask.
They think we lack empathy. In fact, my husband told me once I keep hurting him with my words because they’re too brutal to accept. Others told me the same thing.
Well, this is no news for me. However, as I grow older, it started to affect how I behave in front of others apparently. You know, I want to keep my connections and social interaction.
When I was younger, rebutting against someone – it doesn’t matter if you’re from a higher rank – is nothing. Though I still do until now (if it’s needed).
To prevent this in my marriage, I tend to control that behavior. But once my husband asks me for opinions, I ask, “Do you want me to be honest with you?” If he said yes, that’s when the most painful words come out from my own mouth. He asks for it, I give it to him. Simple. No drama.
The same principle applies when it comes to writing my novels. Of course, every reader wants something from the story they’re reading. And I don’t want to disappoint them with some crappy plot or chapter. That said, I give them what I couldn’t show in person.
This is what they get from me, intense emotions. Most of my works contain scenes with heavy dose of drama within the characters’ dialogues.
This roots from the suppresed emotions (my choice) hidden inside. In reality, I couldn’t show tantrums or outbursts, so channeling them in my works allows me to breathe. As if I released a huge burden inside my heart.
Just so you know, people who belong in this spectrum are more sensitive than you think. Ironic, isn’t it? But yes, they don’t show it to you. They don’t allow you to see they’re crying because, for us, it’s weakness and too illogical. It’s something we’ll regret later on.
Satirical Touch Mixed Within Stories
An INTJ writes tear-jerking stories with a mix of satire. If you come to know Jane Austen, author of the classic “Pride and Prejudice,” she’s a famous INTJ. That means we innovatively use satire to the romance and again, do the 3-step technique in our novels:
- Character’s desperation to escape
- Character’s success or at least hint upon obtaining the goal
- Character’s desolation (after the valuable thing taken away from her)
You may think what we’re writing is simple teen fiction. What you have to keep in mind is when an INTJ writes tear-jerking stories, there’s always a targeted social issue underneath the drama.
How An INTJ Writes Intense Drama In A Novel – My Final Thoughts
Writing a novel, in general, isn’t an easy thing to do regardless what personality type you have. Though it can be learned, it’s difficult. It’s not something the public or the majority delves into. It’s always been a big and tough choice.
Yet, if you want to begin writing your story and finish it this year, I give you my FREE eBook to learn the basics of novel-writing. The same technique I use for my books resulting in 3 finished books in 1 year.
However, for an INTJ like me, my writing style in comparison to the writers of my batch (my age) is quite different and somehow unconsciously touches Jane Austen’s. I didn’t plan it or intentionally follow her techniques because I recently discovered it myself.
I love the drama. I love how my characters immerse in events that I’ve created and try their best to survive the tough world.
In various ways possible, they manage to escape or attain the goals they have from the beginning. Although there some circumstances wherein some of them couldn’t take it or simply quit.
By creating the fantasy within the words I write, I’ve always thought of 3 things:
- Theme (What do other authors avoid?)
- Character’s personality (How could they survive the tough world I make?)
- Lesson or moral of the story (What message do I convey to my readers?)
- Intense drama by losing something valuable (How can I include a scene to make my character realize what he has that he’s been taking for granted?)
Oftentimes, I play around the 4 principles here. I create a theme, which will become a premise, and craft my novel outline. Afterward, I determine the overall message I want my readers to learn or keep.
This is how an INTJ writes tear-jerking stories. It’s still based on logic but way too intense to handle. Especially if you aren’t ready for exposing the brutal truth. (My readers told me after reading “Accidental Quest” it’s affected them the way they think about things).
To end the post, I have a few assignments for you:
- Go to my Wattpad profile and start reading the books I’m writing (especially my book “Accidental Quest”).
- Share this post to your social media accounts and spread the word.
- Download your FREE eBook to start writing now and finish your novel fast using the same system I use for my books.
Thank you for reading, my writing buddy!