Paying the Viking's Price

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Going back to the enneagram

I am currently about half way through my wip and woke this morning, thinking I need to check my enneagrams and make sure that I know where my hero is.
Now because he is a Viking, he is an uber-alpha male. He needs to be in charge. This means that he is some of an 8 -- the leader, the challenger. He is not going to be a helper. He is a protect and defend sort of person. But he is also my third Viken. In the other books he played slightly less of a leadership role as it was not his story. he was however co-equal with the other jaarls.
But I don't want to write the same hero. So what type of 8 is he?
There are three instinctual variations among each type -- self-preservation, social and sexual. An instinctual variant is where a character's concerns are mostly going to be played out. Everyone is a combination of all the variants. It just depends which one dominates.
Self preservation means that character is most concerned getting and maintaining the physical. They like to acquire things, and work hard to make their environments comfortable. They tend to be concerned about paying bills. In other words, these people are practical.
Social means the dominate trait is safety in numbers. These people like participating group activities. They like to get involved and they also like to know their place in the hierarchy. How do systems work. However much they enjoy interacting with people, they are also likely to avoid intimacy. Lots of friends but few good friends. These are community oriented.
Sexual -- this does not mean people who are sexy or sexually driven. It means their desire for intimacy and intensity dominates. They tend to follow their attraction.
Riso and Hudson in The Wisdom of the Enneagram use a party situation to illustrate how the types might behave in the same setting -- self preservation types notice the temperature, the food, where you can sit comfortably. Social types speak to the host and to people who might be able to help them, they are likely to be aware of the social structure of the party. Sexual types are after intense experience and are looking for interesting people, people they are drawn to, even to the extent of ignoring important obligations.
So within the 8 range which is dominated by the needs to control/protect and defend -- the self preservation type can be thought of the survivor and can be territorial about possessions. Highly competitive. I would say that Vikar from Viking Warrior, Unwilling Wife fits in this range.
The social -- goes for camaraderie -- trust and honour are big, holding court, making pacts with people.
The sexual -- takes charge in relationships and see intimacy as a struggle for control. They like a challenge and lose interest if they win too easily. They can enjoy being *bad*. Haakon in Taken by the Viking is much more of this type.
So does this mean that Ivar should be more of a social type? So should I attempt to make him more of a wing type personality.(ie rather than being a pure 8, should he be more a combo of a 7&8)
Anyway, it is something more for me to think about.

1 comment:

Ray-Anne said...

Many thanks for the reminder about this tool Michelle - I am revising my crime novel at the moment and this could be just the approach I need to sharpen the main characters! :-)