How to Write an ISTP Character

Series: The Psychology of Character Creation


Creating well-rounded and relatable characters is a crucial aspect of successful storytelling. Each character should have a unique personality, complete with strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. One intriguing personality type to explore in your writing is the ISTP. In this guide, we’ll delve into the characteristics of an ISTP and offer tips on how to craft a compelling ISTP character for your next story.

Understanding the ISTP Personality:

The ISTP personality type is one of the 16 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) categories, and it stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving. Here’s a brief overview of the core traits that define an ISTP:

Introverted: ISTPs tend to be reserved and often prefer solitude or one-on-one interactions over large social gatherings. They draw energy from their inner world and may need alone time to recharge.

Sensing: ISTPs are highly attuned to their physical surroundings. They process information through their five senses and are practical, detail-oriented, and grounded in the present.

Thinking: ISTPs make decisions based on logic and objective analysis. They are often seen as rational problem-solvers who value efficiency and objectivity.

Perceiving: ISTPs are adaptable and spontaneous, preferring to go with the flow rather than sticking to rigid plans. They enjoy flexibility and often thrive in high-pressure situations.

Creating Your ISTP Character:

Now that you have a better understanding of the ISTP personality, let’s explore how to bring this character type to life in your writing.

Develop a Backstory:

Start by creating a backstory for your ISTP character. Consider their upbringing, life experiences, and how these have shaped their personality. Did they have a childhood filled with exploration and hands-on activities? Or perhaps they overcame obstacles that fostered their independent problem-solving skills.

ISTP Character Distinctive Characteristics:

ISTPs are known for their practical and hands-on approach to life. Give your character unique traits, hobbies, or skills that reflect this aspect of their personality. They might be skilled mechanics, outdoor enthusiasts, or talented artists.

Communication Style:

ISTPs tend to be straightforward and concise in their communication. They value efficiency and are not likely to engage in lengthy conversations. Create dialogue that mirrors their preference for practicality and logic.

Conflict and Growth:

Consider how your ISTP character responds to challenges and conflicts. They may initially appear emotionally detached but can surprise others with their resourcefulness when facing adversity. Develop their character arc by exploring how they learn to navigate their emotions and relationships.

ISTP Character Relationships:

ISTPs may have a small but loyal circle of friends. Explore how your character forms and maintains relationships, especially their close bonds with a select few individuals. This can add depth to their character and provide opportunities for character development.

Conflict Resolution:

ISTPs are problem solvers by nature. When conflicts arise, they are more likely to approach them with a practical and logical mindset. Show how your character resolves conflicts, and how their unique perspective can lead to unexpected solutions.


Here are some attributes to add to your ISTP Characters:

Subtle humor
Struggles with Motivation
Hard time opening up
Highly independent
Hands-on creative
Likes Risks

Here are some ISTP Characters

Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titian)
Jim Hopper (Stranger Things)
Black Widow
Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games0
Linh Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles)
Vin (Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson)
Delilah Bard (Shades of Magic Series)

Conclusion: How to Write an ISTP Character

Writing an ISTP character can be a rewarding endeavor, as it allows you to create a unique and intriguing individual with a practical, logical, and adaptable nature. By understanding the core traits of the ISTP personality and incorporating them into your character’s development, you can craft a well-rounded and relatable ISTP character that will resonate with your readers and enhance your story.

Remember that every individual is unique, and your ISTP character should be no different. Embrace the quirks and nuances of your character, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a memorable and engaging ISTP character for your next literary adventure.

Up Next: How to write an INTP Character

Want to learn more about the Meyers-Brigg 16 Personalities? Click Here