Kick-butt. Strong. Mechanically inclined.
Confession: I usually love stereotypical ISTP characters. That being said, there’s no reason to continue to write the same person over and over (and over and over). Think the kick-butt character in almost every movie/book. They’re probably an ISTP- Ti, Se, Ni, Fe.
I don’t know any ISTPs personally, so I’m going off what I know of the functions.
Things to consider when writing an ISTP:
Se ≠ Fighting Skills
This pops up everywhere, no matter where Se is on a character’s stack. Se means they see the world as it shows itself through their sensory awareness. This often manifests as a need to engage with the environment, possibly through art, crazy stunts, or good food.
Although high Se users may be more likely to catch on to a sport (like sword fighting or martial arts) quickly, that doesn’t mean they’ll want to develop it into a skill. In fact, both those practices require a lot of repetition in training, which would bore Se alone. Being good at something is far different than being a natural at it, something many stories don’t realize.
Many Know Caution is a Thing
They’re no more likely to try crazy stunts than ISFPs (Se function is in the same position), and probably even less likely. They lead with Ti, after all, which analyzes situations automatically. With that and a decent Ni, they won’t fling themselves off buildings. Not without checking for a safety net first.
They Aren’t All Mechanics
The Ti understanding-how-things-work and hands-on Se dynamic lead many people to assume every ISTP enjoys working on cars, spaceships, robots, or whatever other mechanized things wander their way.
This stereotype actually makes sense, according to the functions. I’m sure many real-life ISTPs do enjoy messing around with mechanical stuff and figuring out how it works. But portraying all sci-fi ISTPs like that is silly. And lazy.
Great ISTP Characters:
Haymitch Abernathy from The Hunger Games; Han Solo from Star Wars; Natasha Romanov from the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Jill Pole from The Chronicles of Narnia
Like I said before, I like stereotypical ISTP characters. They do work, but if you want to put in some extra effort, familiarize yourself with the stereotypes and try to deviate from them.
Do you have some favorite ISTP characters?