Weaving Character Traits Into Your Scenes

One of the tools I use to set up the Happily-Ever-After (HEA) scene is the  Enneagram Institutes  Relationships and Type Compatibility descriptions. This tool will help you to understand some of the main positive and negative issues that are likely to arise between any two types.

Using a character’s personality as described by the Enneagram you can easily determine what each character will bring to the relationship for every personality combination when they are at their best and worst.

Since the example is on the HEA scene, I’ll be focusing on the positive traits for each character as well as what they both bring to their relationship. (Negative traits: Future Topic)

Step 1: Go to http://www.enneagraminstitute.com  and find the personality type for your Hero and Heroine.

Example: Blake is an Eight (Challenger) and Sarah is a Six (Loyalist)

Step 2: Go to the Relationships and Type Compatibility at http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/matrix.asp   Scroll down to find your match and print out the Growing Relationships sheet you’re directed to.

For Blake and Sarah I used http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/6and8.asp .  This sheet details what each personality will bring to the relationship in a positive light.

For example (partial list):

Blake (8) brings: Leadership, Secondary Supporters, Visions, Confidence, a Can-Do Attitude, and will Champion for Others.

  • Eights are touched by Sixes’ devotion and courage.
  • Eights use their strength to improve others’ lives.

Sarah (6) brings: Warmth, Personal Connection, Commitment, Playfulness, Sentiment, and Foresight.

  • Sixes act as advisors to Eights.
  • Sixes see Eights as their Heroes.

Both are doers, active, they get tasks done, and build a more safe and secure world for themselves and their loved ones.

The HEA scene will want to show the following: 

At their best a Six will be relaxed and an Eight will be open-hearted and caring.

Example HEA Scene for Sarah and Blake:

(Note: Highlighted comments in parenthesis explain how I’ve threaded the positive traits into this scene)

 With the last piece of playground equipment placed in Liberty Park, Sarah plopped down on the park’s bench under the shade tree, searching for a clean place on her shirt to wipe her sweaty face. (She’s relaxed; Both used their strength to improve their world)
Blake jogged toward her, carrying two bottles of water. “Here…you look thirsty.” He handed her a chilled bottle. (He’s anticipating her needs; he’s caring)
She smiled.  Thank you…for everything you’ve done. Without your vision and contribution—“ (Here Sarah acknowledges Blake for fighting for the underdog)
“And your commitment going after City Hall.  That took guts, but I knew you wouldn’t back down.“ (Touched by her courage, supportive)
Sure, she’d convinced the Board the park would improve the city as well as draw revenue from special events (foresight), but Blake had championed her cause the entire way. “We made quite a team, didn’t we?” (He championed her cause)
“Made? We’ve only just begun.”
She twisted toward him. “But the project’s compl—”
“Sarah, I’m not talking about the project.” He drew her hand to his, brought her muddied knuckles to his lips and planted a kiss without batting an eye. “I’m talking about you and me in a more permanent situation.” (open-hearted)
She swallowed her thick throat and fought back tears. She wouldn’t cry because…she never cried.
Only she did. (Sensitivity)
He hugged her tight, and she hugged him right back. (Warmth) He was the best thing that had ever happened to her.  He’d stood by her when her father died. He’d kept her focused until this project was finished.  He’d helped her to believe in herself. (Sees him as her hero)
She pushed away to look into his searching eyes and drew a deep breath. “You’re serious?”
“Damn right. We love each other. Not much more to discuss except the date.” He wiped her tears even though his own eyes sparkled. “Well?” (Hero, Self-Sacrifice)
She bobbed her head.  God, she loved Blake Corbit. “Yes.”
This wasn’t a time for tears; this was a time to celebrate a future together.  They moved simultaneously, embracing each other like they’d never let go. Finally, their lips joined…sealing her dreams. (Sentiment, Warmth, Commitment, Personal Connection)

Using the Relationships and Compatibility descriptions will help you weave the emotions you need to make your characters come to life.

Please check back on July 1st where I’ll be using this method to detail the negative aspect of characters’ relationships.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave your name under Contacts if you’d like to receive future topics on how to improve your craft or to sign up for my quarterly newsletter detailing writing tips and examples not on this sight.

One thought on “Weaving Character Traits Into Your Scenes

  1. Great examples, Cyndi! I love how you broke out each bit and showed us how your character’s personalities reflect the best part of their character types. I’ll keep referring people over to your blog!

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