Painless character-development

Let me just tell you right now that the Gloria Kempton book Dialogue is worth the money. No, I haven’t finished it yet. But this weekend I learned about enneagrams. Heard of those? Me either. A brief quote from The Enneagram Made Easy: “The Enneagram is a study of the nine basic types of people. It explains why we behave the way we do, and it points to specific directions for individual growth.”

Many writers spend a lot of time developing their characters with lengthy sketches and questionnaires, but this is a nice shortcut without the I-didn’t-do-my-homework feel. It has been developed for decades with centuries-old roots, so when you use an enneagram, you can be sure that it hits the character right on the head.

#1 The Reformer has high morals, likes to live right, and tries to improve themselves and the world around them, often by pointing out what everyone else is doing wrong.

#2 The Giver is motivated by the need to feel loved and valued and often expresses positive feelings toward others, even when they may not be feeling the love.

#3 The Achiever needs to be productive, successful and avoid failure.

#4 The Artist always has their feelings at the forefront, and bring a lot of drama to the table.

#5 The Obsever needs to understand everything that is happening around them, they also need to appear to know everything that is going on and hate to look foolish.

#6 The Questioner is fearful and seeks approval from everywhere. Some questioners seek to confront their fears directly.

#7 The Adventurer will never have a dull day. They need to be happy and plan exciting events for themselves, do things in their environment, and avoid unpleasantness.

#8 The Leader is motivated by the need to be self-sufficient, strong, and not feel weak.

#9 The Peacemaker needs for everything to go smoothly and tries to avoid conflict, often by taking the hit themselves. They take on the personalities of all other 8 types, and can be mild-mannered to forceful.

You can pick up books about Enneagrams or do a search for more details, but this will help you to develop better characters, and even understand yourself. (I’m a #9!)