Shannon here: Terri Reed shares insight into her characters, plus a chance to win two signed books from Terri’s backlist and some swag for US only for two winners. Canada or international a backlist ebook. Deadline: April 10th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Terri:
One of the most rememberable pieces of any good story are the characters. Take a moment and think about the people in your life. How would you describe them to someone who didn’t know them? Would you reveal that persons flaws and strengths? Or would you explain only what they look like and maybe one or two traits that stand out?
When developing characters for a story these are some of the things I think about. But as an author I must go deeper than what I would tell a stranger about a friend. There are many tools out there to pull from when creating a hero and heroine that will resonate with readers. One of my favorites tools is the enneagram. A few years ago, my community group studied the book The Road Back to You, an Enneagram journey to self-discovery, written by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. The Road Back to You – Amazon
This study was a good resource for not only my husband and me to learn how and why we operate the way we do, but I also use it for my characters.
The enneagram isn’t a set-in stone, you are this way and no other way, type of personality identifier. We all are a mix of the various personality types with some of the types showing up stronger and more vibrant in our lives than others. The same goes for my characters.
There are nine enneagram types which make up various personalities. The types go by a variety of names depending on the resource and each has a set of inherent personality traits. One sight I use is: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/
Here are the most basic definitions of the 9 types.
Type 1 The Reformer: the rational, idealistic type. They are principled, purposeful, self-controlled and perfectionistic.
Type 2 The Helper: the caring, interpersonal type. They are demonstrative, generous, people-pleasing and possessive
Type 3 The Achiever: the success-oriented, pragmatic type. They are adaptive, excelling, driven and image-conscious.
Type 4 The Individualist: the sensitive, withdrawn type. They are expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed and temperamental.
Type 5 The Investigator: the intense, cerebral type. They are perceptive, innovative, secretive and isolated.
Type 6 The Loyalist: the committed, security-oriented type. They are engaging, responsible, anxious and suspicious.
Type 7 The Enthusiast: the busy, fun-loving type. They are spontaneous, versatile, distractible and scattered.
Type 8 The Challenger: the powerful, dominating type. They are self-confident, decisive, willful and confrontational.
Type 9 The Peackmaker: the easygoing, self-effacing type. They are receptive, reassuring, agreeable and complacent.
You can see from even this sparse explanation how there would be conflict among the nine types when paired together. There are numerous ways the types intersect, react and interact with each other within each person. It’s a really interesting study of human behavior.
I pull from several of the traits associated with the various personality types to create three-dimensional character that readers will root for and fall in love with. For my current release, Alaskan Rescue, my hero, Hunter, is a type 8 Challenger while my heroine, Ariel, is a type 2 Helper. But they, and us, aren’t limited to just that type. Hunter has a strong type 9 wing which tempers the traits of his type 8. While Ariel has a strong type 1 wing which underscores her type 2 personality. It makes for great conflict but also for great melding of two hearts as their traits can complement and fulfill the others needs.
Using the enneagram to see how relationships work and how to strength relationships has been a wonderful blessing in my personal life and in my writing.
About Terri: Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publisher’s Weekly top twelve, Nielsen’s Bookscan top fifty, Amazon Bestseller and featured in USA Today. Her books have been finalists in Romance Writers of America RITA contest, National Readers’ Choice Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award and finalists three times in American Christian Fiction Writers The Carol Award contest. Her novel A Family Under the Christmas Tree was adapted into a Hallmark movie retitled Picture a Perfect Christmas. Contact Terri @ P.O. Box 19555 Portland, OR 97224
About the Book – Alaskan Rescue:
A mountain search-and-rescue mission turns into a fight for their lives.
Sent to find a wedding party that disappeared during a hike, Alaskan state trooper Hunter McCord and his K-9 partner, Juneau, discover bridesmaid Ariel Potter hanging from a cliff. But this was no accident—she was pushed—and her hiking companions are missing. Now it’s up to Hunter and Juneau to find them…and make sure whoever wants Ariel dead doesn’t finish the job.
Can’t wait for drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Terri’s other titles?
Get your copies now! Terri Reed Books – Amazon
Question for Readers: What personality type do you consider yourself (from the list or something else) and why?
Come back on April 6th for Linda Shenton Matchett!