On the Enneagram and Character Development

My current goal is to write the most terrifying novel ever. Perhaps the most terrifying thing to me would be the confrontation of my own faults. What’s the basis for horror if not the most flawed aspects of ourselves?

As with description, I’ve also struggled with character development. Many screenwriting books talk about finding opposition within a theme to create conflict. Characters must then develop themselves and grow to overcome those conflicts. I realized with the enneagram, this framework is already set up and makes for a great growth path for characters.

There are theories stating Dante may have done this with his Divine Comedy, as well as Homer’s Odyssey. I have yet to read Dante’s work, but the outline presented here seems accurate.

My plan for character development is to use the enneagram. The antagonists are the traits of a type that are meant to be overcome, while the secondary characters are “arrow” and “wing” types to support the protagonist on their journey to greater fulfilment.

Writing is about learning. The horror aspect of my novel is the real twist: the study of the protagonist’s enneagram and their growth will be that of myself. A most horrific experience indeed.

1 thought on “On the Enneagram and Character Development

  1. Jill Marie Dupslaff says:

    Dear Arthur,
    I enjoy keeping up with your writings and postings. They are insightful and I like to reflect on the deeper meanings I feel you are subtly bringing awareness to.
    As you know, the dynamics of all 9 types of the enneagram live in us and we need to work in all 3 areas; head, heart, body to experience spiritual growth. I am looking forward to your continued character development as see through this lens.

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