A couple of weeks ago, you might remember, I posted some information about the Myers-Briggs personality chart to help a writer find a characters core that you could build upon. Well here’s another nice way to accomplish that that offers a few more insights into personalities. For one, it gives the personality types Fatal Flaw, which is a good starting point, even if you disagree with it, for a characters internal story arc. Enneagrams offer alot more about each pesonality type to go into here, so you might want to check it out for yourself. Laurie Schnebly’s book:
Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams is a great place to start.
(ANY uh gram)
a system for identifying the nine personality types:
Perfectionist, Nurturer, Achiever, Romantic, Observer, Skeptic, Adventurer, Leader, and Peacemaker
Everyone has experienced what it’s like to be a Type One, a Perfectionist, concerned with getting something done right. You might have done that just this morning, observing the speed limit even though there was nobody in sight. Or last week, writing a letter to the editor about why your city needs better crosswalks.
You’ve been a Type Two, a Nurturer, as well. Maybe when you tucked your kids in bed and vowed to cherish every moment of how precious they are. When you saw a neighbor choking back tears and immediately asked what was wrong.
Last time you were a Type Three, an Achiever, might have been when you finished a report with a glow of satisfaction in knowing that your work was outstanding. Or when you dressed up for a special evening and realized that you looked really, really good.
As a Type Four, a Romantic, you’ve felt big, vast sweeping emotions at the end of a blockbuster movie. Or when someone you thought of as a dear friend betrayed you, leaving you abandoned and aghast and shaken to the core.
You’ve been a Five, an Observer, when you got engrossed in a term paper and scrambled intensely through a stack of books for just the right quote. Maybe you spent an entire weekend wrapped up in the study of something that absolutely fascinated you.
You’ve been a Six, a Skeptic, when you found yourself questioning the wisdom of a situation others took for granted. Could you really feel safe eating a hamburger with Mad Cow Disease on the rise? Was the rust on that fire extinguisher a bad sign?
As a Seven, an Adventurer, you’ve delighted in a spontaneous walk in the rain or an impulsive stop at a new restaurant. You might have enjoyed planning a trip to India, thinking up names for a cutting-edge business, or dreaming of a best-selling screenplay.
When you saw someone being treated unfairly and spoke up about it, you were an Eight, a Leader. You’ve seen how things should be handled and taken action to make certain they’re done, that people who need care and protection are assured of getting it.
And as a Nine, a Peacemaker, you’ve seen both sides of a question. You’ve acknowledged the value and worth of several different viewpoints, refraining from imposing your own on those around you, and helping people reach a consensus.
For enneagram personalities, the nine fatal flaws are:
Perfectionist One —— anger
Nurturer Two —— pride
Achiever Three —— deception
Romantic Four —— envy
Observer Five —— avarice
Skeptic Six —— fear
Adventurer Seven —— gluttony
Leader Eight —— lust
Peacemaker Nine —— sloth
Schnebly, Laurie (2010-07-01). Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams . Cider Press. Kindle Edition.