The Enneagram Personality Types for Authors provides insight into the perspective and motivations of each type giving your characters a primary motivation.
Stress and inaction can be explained by conflicts presented by the opposite personality. For instance, A Reformer might be guided by perfection, but also prone to The Enthusiast’s distraction trait. This conflict can be used to create tension.
- The Reformer: A rational, idealistic type sometimes over-concerned with perfection.
- The Helper: A caring, generous person who can be possessive of others.
- The Achiever: A pragmatic, driven type concerned with how they are seen.
- The Individualist: A sensitive, withdrawn type able to express themselves well but prone to drama.
- The Investigator: An intense, innovative type likely to be perceptive but also prone to secrecy and isolation.
- The Loyalist: A responsible but anxious type prone to caution that can cross over into suspicion.
- The Enthusiast: A spontaneous, versatile type who is always busy but is also prone to distraction.
- The Challenger: A decisive, willful type whose self-confidence can lead to confrontation.
- The Peacemaker: An easygoing, agreeable type able to reassure others in the moment but sometimes complacent about larger issues.
These one-word descriptors can be expanded into four-word sets of traits. Keep in mind that these are merely highlights and do not represent the full spectrum of each type.
- The Reformer is principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and a perfectionist.
- The Helper is generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
- The Achiever is adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
- The Individualist is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
- The Investigator is perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
- The Loyalist is engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
- The Enthusiast is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
- The Challenger is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
- The Peacemaker is receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.
Making it all work: A lot of behaviors, choices, reactions, assets, and liabilities are already assigned by the Enneagram . Once you figure out which type your character is, you’ll have ready-made ideas for their personalities and how the plot unfolds as a result of their type-driven decisions.