Monday, May 6, 2013

The Reformer - Enneagram Type #1

Welcome back to Monday, good people of the blogosphere. Another week is upon us. Good news! For the next ten days, you're going to get a treat from the blog. We'll be going over Enneagram personality types and how you can use this labeling system to create dynamic characters. Not only will you be producing more interesting characters, they'll also have wants and needs. Hopefully, you can bring this out in dialogue with the exercise given at the bottom of each post. So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

I'll be using definitions of each type from a book titled: The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People. That's the link to the Kindle edition, if you choose to check it out for yourself.

Today, we talk about #1 - The Reformer.
Definition: Reformers are motivated by the need to live their lives the right way, including improving themselves and the world around them.

These characters are outspoken and never miss an opportunity to point someone in a direction the reformer believes is right. Now, keep in mind these folks live with a strong point of view that isn't always socially acceptable. They try; but they don't always succeed. Oftentimes, they're called smartasses, jerks, assholes, or know-it-alls behind their backs. But they can come in handy either as a lead character or a secondary character who pushes the lead to do the "right" thing.

Reformers can also be fun. If you have one in your story, you might want to give him or her a snarky attitude. This could be great for the punchlines of jokes or just to annoy the crap out of other characters. Perhaps you can off the reformer just so the reader punches the air and yells, "It's about time!"

You decide what kind of personality to give your character. Why not have a reformer in the slew of cast you pull from your imagination? They're almost guaranteed to give your story the two-punch in the guts it needs.

Time for the day's exercise!
Write a few paragraphs of dialogue where a reformer talks to you. Let them show you where you're going wrong and have them point you in the "right" direction. See what kind of things you learn about the character. Tell them off, agree with them, or just let them rant at you about everything you're doing wrong and how you might be able to fix it.

This is going to be a long two weeks. But if you hang in there, I promise you'll be thanking me by the end.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Great share and exercise! I never heard of that method for categorizing personality types, what an interesting tool to use to create intriguing characters.

    1. It's not really meant for writers, but I figured we could use something like this to really show people our characters' inner selves :)


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