Creating the Introverted Character

Look closely to know if your character is truly an introvert.
Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Yesterday I saw an article on creating introverted characters. I was super excited to see something that might as well have said “Creating Sue as a Character.” The reality is that I am a gold medal introvert. I can interact. I do interact. And then I am DONE.

So I clicked through and saw . . .

Don’t stereotype.

Consider what motivates the character.

How is this trait a strength vs a weakness? If you aren’t an introvert you might not immediately get this last one. Society is pretty determined to convince introverts that this trait is a flaw. But really? We know better.

And that was pretty much all that this particular article had to say. Really? What the actual heck?

Why was I so offended? This about it. This wasn’t new information. This was the same old/same old and what the author was really saying was “create a solid character.” Gee thanks. I’d never have come up with that on my own.

So here are Sue’s tips on creating a character who is an introvert.

Know the difference between quiet and introverted.

If you are an introvert, you already know what I mean. If you are an extrovert, read on. Introverts can be talkative. It can mean that they are energized or that they are on edge. Eventually they will need to power down.

Someone who is being quiet might be an extrovert. My husband has little to say and is very observant. But he’s an extrovert.

Know how your character recharges.

The difference between being an extrovert and an introvert is where you get your energy. An extrovert needs people. An introvert needs solitude.

But that information alone doesn’t tell you how this person recharges. I read, knit, and watch movies. Some introverts need to nap. My mom sewed or read.

Your extroverted character will also have a way to recharge. They might play a sport. Maybe they go dancing. They could be in a band. Everyone will have their own method.

When does your character speak up?

Most introverts have times when they will speak up. It might be around certain people or when speaking on a certain topic. I tend to be quiet around my cousins. My nuclear family? Not so much. But then you have to shout to be heard in that group.

Invite me to speak about writing to my fellow writers and I am there. Zero stage fright. But I’ve done it often enough and I’m confident in my topic. When is this the case for your character?

To create a rock solid introverted character, do the same things you would for every characters. They need a backstory, a motivation, and something they want. But they also need to really and truly BE an introvert.

–SueBE