Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Enthusiasts, Leaders, and Peacemakers: Using Enneagram Types to Deepen Your Characters Part III

These past few weeks, I've been discussing personality types in literature and how psychoanalyzing your character using the 9 types (check out the RETI test).

Is your character the same prototype as Javert from Les Mis or Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady?  I also share links to other personality tests and analysis pages here.

Are you writing a Cyrano or a Hamlet?

Previously we've discussed:
Type 1: Reformer (think Javert from Les Miserables)
Type 2: Helper (Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady)
Type 3: Motivator  (Tom Riddle/Voldemort from the Harry Potter series)
Type 4: Romantic (Cyrano from Cyrano de Bergerac)
Type 5: The Thinker (John Forbes Nash from A Beautiful Mind)
Type 6: The Skeptic (Hamlet)

Here are the last three types:

Type 7: Enthusiast (click here to see the character motivator loop for a 7).

Type sevens have no greater desire than to be happy. Related their greatest fear is of being deprived. They desperately want to have a good time and to be thought of as fascinating. Never be bored is their motto. Their lives are busy and full with all their creative energy. Ideas motivate them.

Character traits:

cheering up others
stirring up others ideas
bringing a new energy to a task
starting new projects
diffusing conflict

being inferior to others
being deprived

Fictional Type 7: Okay, I'm cheating just a bit here because he's a movie character and not a literary character...but Jack Sparrow.

Why I think he's a great embodiment of a type 7: Super spontaneous, Jack Sparrow is always up for a good time, which is also his comeuppance. He is a spur of the moment decision maker and creative at finding ways to get into and out of trouble. Sense of humor, most definitely. Young at heart and witty, he is more likely to connive his way out of trouble than to confront.

Why a 7 would be a great addition to your novel: Often side characters, sevens are great comic relief. They keep the reader in stitches and can provide a bit of release from the high-tension moments. Their spontaneity can add some surprising decisions which keep the reader guessing.

Possible goals for 7/motivators:
Type 7's greatest need is to be happy so it follows that their greatest goal is working towards their own happiness. These characters are goal driven. From a spiritual perspective their goal can be challenged as they grow in their Christian life and find out its not all about "them" and learn to live for others.

Possible motivation for 7s:
Type 7s are motivated by a need to explore their own world and to appreciate the world around them. This can be a positive force in their lives helping them to achieve a greater outward focus.

Possible conflict for 7s:
The same desire to push themselves forward towards any goal (especially one that involves furthering their own happiness) can also be their strongest interior conflict. An unhealthy pattern is that 7s will tend to seek sensation at all costs. Ultimately from a spiritual perspective, selfishness holds them back from their goals and opposition from the outside controls them in spite of their wish to fulfill their own goals. Gluttony and lack of self-control can be some of the greatest struggles of #7s.

Type 8: Leader: click here to see loop for 8s

Leaders are dominating, The BIG Boss. The Provider and the The Rock, they are unchanging and protect those they love at all costs. They take care of others. Powerful is another moniker for type 8s. Often physically strong, they don't back down from a challenge.

Character traits: 
strong (physically or emotionally)

Taking on challenges
Encouraging others to take on challenges
Persuading others

Possible Fears:
being harmed by others
being controlled by others

Fictional type 8:    Sarumon from Lord of the Rings

Why I think Sarumon is a great embodiment of type 8/leader:
Sarumon is very self-confident, physically and emotionally strong. He is resourceful, definitely knows how to motivate those orcs often by physical pain. Highly charismatic, at first the reader is unsure of his true motives.

Why an 8 would be a great addition to your novel:
Cult leaders, CEOs, many powerful and famous people fall into the 8 category. As such, most of us are fascinated with what makes them tick. They can be great at providing conflict particularly for more people pleasing characters.

Possible goals for 8s/leaders:
Becoming self-reliant is a goal for a #8, as is seeking fame, fortune, notoriety. As a character grows in his/her Christian life 8s are challenged to learn humility and looking to others first. This comes into conflict with their quest for power.

Possible motivations for 8s/leaders:
Fear of being controlled by others is often a motivator behind the actions of 8s. As they grow in faith, they will come to the knowledge of God's sovereignty in their life and seek to understand that true freedom is found in allowing God to control your life, not self-control.

Possible conflicts for 8s/leaders:
Eights don't mind butting heads with others, but their biggest internal conflict on a spiritual level may be seeking to put their lives completely under God's control, giving up their own control.

Type 9: Peacemaker (Click here for the loop for type 9)

Type 9s generally dislike conflict and they dislike getting upset. Often they will go to all costs to avoid disagreements. Nines often blend in with the crowd and avoid getting too much attention. They tend to minimize their own upsets to others and often even to themselves.

Character traits: 
resistant to change

embracing others
bringing diverse groups of people together
healing conflicts

Possible fears:
loss and separation
loss of loved ones
loss of the love of others
loneliness and isolation

Fictional type 9: Frodo from Lord of the Rings

Why I think Frodo is a good embodiment of type 9/peacemaker:
Frodo is ultimately accepting and trusting of others even in the case of Gollom where it is unwarranted. He is a peacekeeper who is able to bring together a diverse group of people to work together towards his goals.

Why a 9 would be a great addition to your novel:
Nines have the great ability to bring others together for a cause. If you need your characters to work closely together for a common goal, add a 9 into the mix. He or she will help bring understanding and peace to the situation.

Possible goals for 9s/peacemakers:
To gain inner stability and peace of mind is a common goal for #9s. On a spiritual level, nines must realize that they can't base their peace and stability on their own life but must look to Christ for the peace and happiness they naturally crave. Along the way, 9s may learn that sometimes conflict is healthy and necessary to the Christian life. Holding in their emotions can be a destroyer of #9s relationships.

Possible motivations for 9s/peacemakers: 
Nines desire to create harmony in their environment, avoiding all conflict and tension. Of course this is not possible and in their Christian journey they must learn that true harmony comes from following God and not others' opinions. Also, they desire to keep things as they are. Change in itself can be a major issue and learning to cope with it can provide character growth. Nines will avoid disturbances, yet these same disruptions can lead to character growth.

Possible conflict for 9s/peacemakers:
On a spiritual level, a major conflict is between the desire for stability and the love of others, versus accepting the love of Christ and knowing that the basis for their life is what Christ did for them. Along the way they may learn how to serve others instead of being dependent on others to meet their every need.

Do you fit into any of these prototypes? Or does your character? Do you have a favorite type in fiction?

Julia enjoys writing women's fiction whenever she can find a chair free of smushed peanut butter sandwiches and lego blocks. She is a wife and homeschooling mama of two littles. She writes and reviews for Library Journal, a well-known trade publication available in over 60,000 libraries.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great post, Jennifer! I'm loving your posts on characters. I'm definitely the Peacemaker. I've done an enthusiast character, and he was pretty fun. Blessings!