by David Wisehart
When I found “9 Fundamental Fears that Motivate Your Characters” by David Wishart, I knew I wanted to use it for my Divas Recommend. I’ve keep the site open on my iPad for weeks patiently waiting for my turn. Ha-ha! Wishart’s article discusses the nine fundamental fears we humans develop in our early childhoods and how these fears distort our view of the world. He introduces this concept with an Enneagram (see image below), which I shamelessly borrowed from his article. While most scientists today don’t put much stock in the Enneagram, its use as a tool for writers is valid and one to consider as we pretend to be armchair psychologists with our characters.
Each of the nine fears correspond with a personality type that is shaped by that fundamental fear. And while most of us in the real world are not 100% a certain personality type, we can see a little of ourselves in each one. In literature we can focus our character’s personality type for the purposes of the story and the fear that motivates that character.
So, read Wishart’s article, check out his website Character Secrets, and let me know what you think. Do you agree with the nine fears and their corresponding personality types or do you have a different way of looking at your characters and how you develop their fears and motivations?
Now… go write something!