When talking about the craft of writing I’ve found that most of the ground has been covered extensively. With the hundreds of workshops and writing schools that proliferate the known universe just about every aspect of writing has been talked about and analyzed. The basic elements of story, plot, theme, style are now commonly referred to when discussing everything from writing for the screen, a web series, fiction, TV and theater.

But one aspect of writing that doesn’t get much attention is the kind of writer some of us are. I have come to the belief that we fall into two basic categories. There are extroverted writers and there are introverted ones and the distinction is only in the way a writer works and not in the quality of the final product.

We can’t consider screenwriters since they are usually writers for hire and they must show their work after a first draft to the producer who is paying them.

When a screenwriter is writing a script on spec they could be considered like a novelist or playwright but they will have to quickly share their work with a producer who might be interested in purchasing the rights from them. So despite the desire to protect their writing from comments and critiques they are extremely vulnerable to the plague of note giving that exists in the film and TV industry so they have no choice but to be at the mercy of their employers.

So in many ways the screen and TV writer has to be an open book. Unlike novelist and playwrights they have to eventually sell the copyright to their work so that’s another reason they can’t be considered for this argument.

So getting back to novelist and playwrights I believe the majority are introverted writers. They keep their idea close to the vest. They work internally never really talking about their current project until they feel it’s safe for them to show the material they have been painstakingly creating. They are usually shy to show their pages even in workshops. They resist sharing their creations until the work is completed.

Introverted novelist prefer not to talk about their novels when among friends or colleagues. It’s a top secret subject. If you want to know more about it you have to read it after it’s published.

Introverted playwrights share all of these traits as well. They are hesitant to even attend rehearsals preferring to get the reaction to their pages from the director via emails. I know many playwrights who don’t like directors and don’t like actors let alone wanting to discuss what they’ve written to those ready to interpret it for an audience.

On the other hand the extroverted writer is one who can’t stop talking about their new novel or play. They collar friends anywhere they run into them, and sometimes even strangers, and talk about their new book or play.

When asked “what are you working on” they divulge every minute detail of the story in their pitch right up to what they have already written, are writing and are about to write.

Playwrights like this love attending every rehearsal. They love to get ‘feedback’ from the actors. They love sitting in the rehearsal facing designers, actors, producers and the director sharing intimate details of the play. They field questions with the skill of a politician and take copies notes no matter how absurd the notes are. They also love Q&A’s with the audience after performances and like to talk about the play so much that it seems as if they are crowding the performers out of the theater.

How do I know this so well? I am an extroverted writer and I am guilty of all of the above.

I didn’t know I was an extroverted writer until a well- known ‘downtown’ literary critic called me many years ago. I still don’t know the purpose of the call. That part I don’t recall but I do remember him asking me a lot of questions about how I wrote which I eagerly answered and when I was done he firmly stated “Vetere, you are an extroverted writer.” Since that phone call I’ve became acutely aware of my ‘process’ and have found very few fellow writers of my kind.

Many times I’ve been told by others how ‘brave’ I am because I have no trouble sharing my work so early in its development. I see nothing brave about it. I find that it helps me enormously to talk about the story I’m working on as much as I can because it helps me get a reaction to all I’m putting together.

When doing this I find myself with very specific questions about the characters and plot eliciting a reaction and sometimes even anticipating the ones I get. This strategy helps me anticipate the reaction that specific work will get from future critics, readers and audiences.

It also helps me re-think a direction I’m going in. Of course sometimes I’m so sure of what I’d doing and where I’m going that I don’t ask specific questions but talk in general terms about the project. Sometimes people will suggest a movie or novel I should read that reminds them of my work. This also helps because if I’m unaware of what they are talking about I can visit it and see how it compares to my own. Most of the time I’m aware of that particular work they mention and know that it has very few things similar with mine and I have no need to worry.

I don’t believe I was born an extroverted writer but became one as I grew more and more prolific. Also being an actor and director I feel comfortable on stage and under the spotlight. The Q&A I elicit creates confidence in what I’m doing and make what I’m working on public as soon as possible. Being an extroverted writer I’m comfortable with that and as they say, it works for me.