I’m returning to writing my blog. It’s been more than two years of heartbreak and struggles with writing. It’s clear to me now that I can’t simply wait for a better day to write. I have to start today with this little blog. So that’s what I’m doing. My plan is to write a short blog each day about something I’m interested in.
Nothing too political and nothing too sad. Because this should be a place in my life that isn’t touched by horror or sadness.
Steve and I are working on an adventure for Call of Cthulhu. Mostly I’m doing the art, layout, editing, and that sort of thing. It’s been fun and my art skills are developing nicely. Since the adventures are all set in the 1930s, I’m using that vintage look for the graphics. This is one of my favorite spot graphics for the project:
A few years ago a friend introduced me to the Enneagram, which has proven to be a fascinating way of thinking about characters for stories. It’s a personality categorization system like the Myers-Briggs, but with a key difference that makes it much more useful for fiction. It focuses on spiritual and character growth. Which means that it’s easy to move a character’s emotional maturity levers up and down without changing who the character intrinsically is, while creating situations that change the character.
There are nine numbers in the Enneagram which basically represent the person’s central struggle in life and how they react to this struggle. The Enneagram Institute has a good description of the nine types and how each responds as they become healthy or unhealthy. They also show how relationships between other types can affect each other and the types of conflicts that may occur.
There are also three sub-types that affect how the numbers interact with the world at large, what their central focus is. I think there are more depths that I haven’t plumbed.
I am fascinated by people, so this categorization scheme is also fascinating to me. And I like having a way of talking to myself about characters. But a word of caution. People are complex. No system of any sort is capable of expressing each person’s uniqueness. But the Enneagram is a good way to meditate on certain aspects of each type and on our own shortcomings and how we can fix them.
Also, it’s aesthetically beautiful. Here’s the Enneagram’s central chart:
I don’t want to write long blog posts since I plan to write one a day for the rest of this year. Later on I’ll talk more about the Enneagram in detail and how I’ve been using it to think about fiction. I’ll also tell you about Steve’s Medium adventures, where my writing is headed, new stories and game supplements coming, and I’ll review Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s in-person workshop on Capers and Heists.
Be well, friends!