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  • Writer's pictureCarolyne Aarsen

Such a Character

Newsletter - September 15, 2023

Hey there,

Back again in your inbox.

Last letter I told you I’ve been working on a new series. Leonard noticed as well, obviously. All that hanging around in my office with only distracted pets from me.

I've been drawing up maps, making plans of the town, looking up potential houses and places for my people to live.

Another thing I have been working on is the people who will be populating said places. They needs names, story lines, back story and personalities. At times the characters kind of come to me, but often I'm deliberate about how I figure out who they are and how they will interact with the hero or heroine of the story as well as their own family and friends.

One of the tools I like to use for laying this out is called the Enneagram. What I like about it is the one website I use gives strengths and weaknesses of each Enneagram type and, more importantly to me, how they interact with the other types.

So how would a Reformer act or interact with an Enthusiast? What do they bring to the relationship and what would be trouble spots.  All of this gives me a good jumping off point to create the one thing that I know keeps you reading…..conflicted characters! Much as we like the happy ever after of the story, I know that if it was smooth sailing for my characters all the way through, it would make for a boring story.

I want to write about characters who change and how the events of the story make that happen and, even more importantly, how the events of the story and the people they interact with, change them and help them become the best version of themselves.

If you don’t know about enneagrams, well, (rubs hands in glee because I LOVE this stuff) here’s a very basic rundown of the 9 types. You can read them over and let me know which one YOU are.

Warning, the list has positive as well as negative traits listed.Because none of us are perfect!


Here are the Nine Ennegram types I use as a jumping off point for my characters. Which one do you think you are?

  1. The Reformer - Rational, Idealistic, Principled, Purposeful Self Controlled and a perfectionist

  2. The Helper - caring, interpersonal, demonstrative, generous, people pleasing and possessive

  3. The Achiever - success oriented, pragmatic, adaptive, excelling, driven and image conscious

  4. The Individualist - sensitive, withdrawn, dramatic and at times temperamental

  5. The Investigator - intense, cerebral, innovative, perceptive and, at times, isolated

  6. The Loyalist - committed, security oriented, engaging, responsible, anxious and suspicious

  7. The Enthusiast - busy, fun-loving, spontaneous, versatile, distractible and scattered

  8. The Challenger - powerful, dominating, self confident, decisive, willful and confrontational

  9. The Peacemaker - easygoing, self-effacing, receptive, reassuring, agreeable and, at times, complacent

Obviously these are all pretty broad. If you want more information or to discover your own deep dark attributes as well as your positive ones, you can definitely check out this place. I find it very interesting.


Leonard's Lines

I'm at it again....waiting for Rusty and Richard to show up. Carolyne has been going for more walks and even a few bike rides - when it's not raining or the wind is blowing too hard or the road has just been graded by the maintainer. She has lots of excuses. But I still get bored.

Next week she warned me that she's bringing me to a kennel while she and Richard go to a wedding. Rusty will end up staying behind because he LOVES hanging out on the yard. The neighbour will come and feed him so he'll be fine. But it will mean that yet again, we won't be together.

And now Carolyne just finished shampooing the rug in the living room and I have to sit outside on the deck. Life. From one thing to the other.


Like Mr. Flopdoodle said, we are off for a wedding. I am looking forward to a time of celebration after this season of sadness. And isn't that how life goes? Joys blend with sorrows and through it all we cling to God's promises.

I wish a blessing on you in your day and week ahead.

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