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Thread: Could this be an example of Ni vs Si?

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    BLauritson's Avatar
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    Default Could this be an example of Ni vs Si?

    I was having a conversation today with a coworker who, after much thought, I eventually decided is an ISFp. Anyways, I was discussing with her about a novel I'm currently writing. Basically, my approach to things like this is to define the context before the content (in this case, deciding chapter titles and noting a summary of what's to happen, before actually writing the story itself). Anyways, after explaining to her I was about 1/3 of the way through designing the chapters, she said to me "How can you know what you're going to write in advance?" or something along those lines. Could this be an example of Ni vs. Si ways of thinking? Or am I completely along the wrong lines here?
    ILI (Indescribable Lovemaking Inc.)
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    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Is knowing what you will write in advance Ni?

    Is providing the structure first, i.e. the chapters, their titles, Te?

    I'm not sure.

    I don't think I have a very well-formed thought yet about content vs. context in this case.

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    Creepy-bg

    Default Re: Could this be an example of Ni vs Si?

    Quote Originally Posted by BLauritson
    I was having a conversation today with a coworker who, after much thought, I eventually decided is an ISFp. Anyways, I was discussing with her about a novel I'm currently writing. Basically, my approach to things like this is to define the context before the content (in this case, deciding chapter titles and noting a summary of what's to happen, before actually writing the story itself). Anyways, after explaining to her I was about 1/3 of the way through designing the chapters, she said to me "How can you know what you're going to write in advance?" or something along those lines. Could this be an example of Ni vs. Si ways of thinking? Or am I completely along the wrong lines here?
    nah just different styles of writting... I do pretty much what you described, of course I have some idea of what I want the story to be/go before I do that part and I make constant changes as I go and realise things that need to be rearranged/added in.

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    you have described the situation in a very unspecific manner. its hard to say anything at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niffweed17
    you have described the situation in a very unspecific manner. its hard to say anything at all.
    aye, I apologise, I was in a bit of a hurry writing it. I'll explain my reasoning anyway, bearing in mind I'm not really sure whether or not my thinking was correct in this matter which was why I started the thread:

    Basically I'm aware that Si tends to be present-focused, whereas Ni tends to be more long-term focused. I think what this particular ISFp (assuming she is ISFp - I'm not 100% certain on this) was trying to ask was how would I know what I wanted to write long before I actually wrote it. This made me wonder if it was an example of present vs. long-term focus or something to that extent. I don't know, I could be wrong. I just thought perhaps, could it be that the different viewpoints would indicate a different approach to writing things - a present focused approach might write each bit as it comes whereas a long-term focused approach might plan the story in advance instead.. fuck it, ignore me, I'm just thinking aloud and the more I think about it, the more it seems I'm completely on the wrong track with this. This is why I rarely create threads here, I fear looking like an idiot.
    ILI (Indescribable Lovemaking Inc.)
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    Default Re: Could this be an example of Ni vs Si?

    Quote Originally Posted by BLauritson
    Basically, my approach to things like this is to define the context before the content (in this case, deciding chapter titles and noting a summary of what's to happen, before actually writing the story itself). Anyways, after explaining to her I was about 1/3 of the way through designing the chapters, she said to me "How can you know what you're going to write in advance?" or something along those lines. Could this be an example of Ni vs. Si ways of thinking? Or am I completely along the wrong lines here?
    Your working procedure is totally different from mine here. I usually don't know in advance what I am going to write. The structure of the novel or short story more or less "emerges" during the writing process. And that is rather typical of all my writings. My ISFj partner works in pretty much the way you describe above, planning the story or the essay beforehand. I am not like that at all, and she was very surprised the first time she saw me writing an essay and realized that it looked like chaos to her. I wasn't aware of any structure, and I didn't know what it would be like until it was finished. But in the end it usually has a rather clear structure.

    About 7 years ago I had planned to write a novel where I knew the basic story, and I had also made a rough draft of the chapters. I tried to plan it in advance as much as possible -- but it didn't work. I couldnt' get started, and I didn't feel motivated. Instead I started to write a single sentence -- a man asking a woman: "Where are we?" I saw the scene with my inner eye, and from that single sentence a whole novel developed, almost by itself. I didn't plan anything, at least not until the story had grown significantly. The novel I had planned to write, on the other hand, is still unwritten.

    It is not a matter of versus thinking. Not at all. If anything, what you describe is the difference between a J type's typical working habit versus a P type's typical working habit. Your working method is not what I would expect from an irrational IP with leading .

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    I think that in writing fiction and similar endeavors, one may take a variety of approaches that are type-related but not completely tied to one's own type.

    I agree with Phaedrus that having everything worked out in advance is often characteristic of rational types, particularly LIE, and that leaving too few details to the imagination may cause an ILI to lose interest in a project. However, I think it can be characteristic for ILIs to work things out in advance too. I think it's typical for ILI to want to know more in advance...or bigger chunks in advance...than other types.

    For example, it's very natural for an Ni type to jump ahead...to find it hard to resist the desire to imagine what will happen later on. Also, Ni with Te will tend to form blocks of structure...i.e., specific plot ideas. So this could be what you mean by knowing everything in advance.

    Similarly, I think ILIs will likely think of the overall form, the plot and its various intricacies, as being very important...whereas maybe it's not as important for an SEI, who is maybe more focused on invoking a certain realism or atmosphere of the moment.

    In my own experience as a composer, I often compose a skeleton of everything that will happen before I work out the details. However, the process of creating that skeleton is in itself a less deterministic process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan
    However, I think it can be characteristic for ILIs to work things out in advance too. I think it's typical for ILI to want to know more in advance...or bigger chunks in advance...than other types.

    For example, it's very natural for an Ni type to jump ahead...to find it hard to resist the desire to imagine what will happen later on. Also, Ni with Te will tend to form blocks of structure...i.e., specific plot ideas. So this could be what you mean by knowing everything in advance.
    This here is exactly what I was trying to describe as what I do - basically, I can't simply start writing a sentence then go from there - it requires me to stay in a linear sequence which is really hard for me to do. By forming a skeleton, as you described it, it allows me to jump around within the story, safe in the knowledge I won't end up "breaking it" so to speak, for example by having pieces not fit together. When I say "define the context before the content" - I literally write the chapter titles and, where it's not obvious from the title the general theme of what's to happen, a sentence describing what's to happen. An example from the novel I'm writing (FWIW, in this particular novel a chapter is larger than one would normally be in a book, instead each chapter is divided into several "episodes" which are more like normal chapters of a book.. if that makes sense to anyone) is this:

    "Chapter 2 - The Prince of Shadows
    ...
    Episode 5: Dangerous Ambition (Sangelians hire assassins to help dominate other houses)
    ..."

    Obviously there's the other episodes, but I'm not about to reveal all my designs here . But the point is that that's the level of detail I'm planning to - I think skeleton was the best way to describe it (as Jonathan did). I can't do any deeper level of planning than that - it's easier to write the story itself than to go to any deeper level of detail in the planning stages. It's like I plan the setting in advance, but everything else comes along when I actually start writing it.
    ILI (Indescribable Lovemaking Inc.)
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    Why?
    ILI (Indescribable Lovemaking Inc.)
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    Default Re: Could this be an example of Ni vs Si?

    Quote Originally Posted by BLauritson
    I was having a conversation today with a coworker who, after much thought, I eventually decided is an ISFp. Anyways, I was discussing with her about a novel I'm currently writing. Basically, my approach to things like this is to define the context before the content (in this case, deciding chapter titles and noting a summary of what's to happen, before actually writing the story itself). Anyways, after explaining to her I was about 1/3 of the way through designing the chapters, she said to me "How can you know what you're going to write in advance?" or something along those lines. Could this be an example of Ni vs. Si ways of thinking? Or am I completely along the wrong lines here?
    There could be a bit of Te vs. not Te in there, too. I think in general though that Ni types (at least with Te) plan more for the distant future and Si types plan more for the near future.

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