Monday, June 28, 2010
I've found the Enneagrams to be very useful in building the motivations of characters.
One: Reformer, Critic, Perfectionist [Anger]. This type focuses on integrity. Ones can be wise, discerning and inspiring in their quest for the truth. They also tend to dissociate themselves from their flaws and can become hypocritical and hyper-critical of others, seeking the illusion of virtue to hide their own vices. The One's greatest fear is to be flawed and their ultimate goal is perfection.
Two: Helper, Giver, Caretaker [Pride]. Twos, at their best, are compassionate, thoughtful and astonishingly generous; they can also be prone to passive-aggressive behavior, clinginess and manipulation. Twos want, above all, to be loved and needed and fear being unworthy of love.
Three: Achiever, Performer, Succeeder [Deceit]. Highly adaptable and changeable. Some walk the world with confidence and unstinting authenticity; others wear a series of public masks, acting the way they think will bring them approval and losing track of their true self. Threes fear being worthless and strive to be worthwhile.
Four: Romantic, Individualist, Artist [Envy]. Driven by a fear that they have no identity or personal significance, Fours embrace individualism and are often profoundly creative. However, they have a habit of withdrawing to internalize, searching desperately inside themselves for something they never find and creating a spiral of depression. The angsty musician or tortured artist is often a stereotypical Four.
Five: Observer, Thinker, Investigator [Avarice]. Believing they are only worth what they contribute, Fives have learned to withdraw, to watch with keen eyes and speak only when they can shake the world with their observations. Sometimes they do just that. Often, instead, they withdraw from the world, becoming reclusive hermits and fending off social contact with abrasive cynicism. Fives fear incompetency or uselessness and want to be capable above all else
Six: Loyalist, Devil's Advocate, Defender [Fear]. Sixes long for stability above all else. They exhibit unwavering loyalty and responsibility, but are prone to extreme anxiety and passive-aggressive behavior. Their greatest fear is to lack support and guidance. There are two types of sixes, phobic and counter phobic. Phobic sixes will have a tendency to run from or hide from what they fear, while a counter phobic six is more likely to attack or confront said fear.
Seven: Enthusiast, Adventurer, Materialist [Gluttony]. Eternal Peter Pans, Sevens flit from one activity to another. Above all they fear being unable to provide for themselves. At their best they embrace life for its varied joys and wonders and truly live in the moment; but at their worst they dash frantically from one new experience to another, being too scared of disappointment to enjoy what they have.
Eight: Leader, Protector, Challenger [Lust]. Eights worry about self-protection and control. Natural leaders, capable and passionate but also manipulative, ruthless and willing to destroy anything and everything in their way. Eights seek control over their own life and their own destiny and fear being harmed or controlled by others.
Nine: Mediator, Peacemaker, Preservationist [Sloth]. Nines are ruled by their empathy. At their best they are perceptive, receptive, gentle, calming and at peace with the world. On the other hand they prefer to dissociate from conflicts and indifferently go along with others' wishes or simply withdraw, acting via inaction. They fear the conflict caused by their ability to simultaneously understand opposing points of view and seek peace of mind above all else.