Monday, September 20, 2010

Ingoing Shame

Hardly anybody ever writes anything nice about introverts. Extroverts rule. This is rather odd when you realise that about nineteen writers out of twenty are introverts. We are being taught to be ashamed of not being 'outgoing'. But a writer's job is ingoing.

--Ursula K. LeGuin

Really? I think introverts are awesome, and I like to read about them. Who are these people who imply that ingoing is shameful? And who takes their implications to heart?

Not me. Extroverted characters, who always do and never consider, who are one percent evaluation and ninety nine percent action, I find shallow. I don't like reading about them. Give me an ingoing character that takes half the novel to mentally prepare themselves before interacting with their surroundings, and I will eat it up. While I can admire a character of interaction, I connect with those who spend all their time in their head.

Do you think Ursula is right? Do writers rank extroversion higher in fiction and find shame in their introverted roots?

1 comment:

  1. I can see where you both are right. A story about someone who never leaves the house and doesn't like to talk to people could leave the reader wanting more. The same goes if the lead character was the bubbly outgoing extrovert always out there on the edge - is in danger of becoming stereotypical because it has been done to death.

    Characters should have elements of both in different proportions.