Enneagram Authors: Type 9 – The Peacemaker

This week we’re wrapping up the Enneagram Author series with the Type 9. This happens to be my type! It was crazy seeing how many of Kate’s answers to these questions were things I could relate to, lol. Anyway, I want to say a huge thank you to the authors who were involved in this project, and thank you readers for following along! Without further ado…

About the 9

Description from The Enneagram Institute

Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.

  • Basic Fear: Of loss and separation
  • Basic Desire: To have inner stability “peace of mind”

Interview with Kate

Well, I’m currently a student in high school, and have wanted to be an author since I can remember. When I was younger I would make up random silly stories with everyday objects, personifying them. I first won NaNoWriMo in eighth grade, writing a fanfiction. Now I’ve moved on to developing original stories and worlds. I haven’t won any NaNoWriMo since due to school, but it has helped me figure out my writing style and how I best work with my writing. As of right now, I write strictly fantasy. My current project is a long-term project for a series, and I’m still working on the niches of developing the overarching plot and worldbuilding.

Other than writing, I really enjoy drawing and reading. I’ve doodled since I was 10 and right now it’s just a really relaxing hobby. Some of my favorite books are The Mysterious Benedict Society, How to Train Your Dragon, A Mango Shaped Space, and Wonder.

I’m a type nine. I like my type, although maybe that’s just because I can relate to it so much. I could go on for a long while about how I connect with the nine’s uncertainty about who I am, and what I’m actually feeling. Knowing about my type (and about the other types as well) also helps me understand where others are coming from and why they may not have the same open-mindedness or opinions as me.

I don’t think it does. It’s not because my type isn’t that much of an influence, but because there’s not much in my writing process for my type to influence. I’m a definite planner. I’ve tried pantsing before and it was awful. I need to know where my story and characters are headed before I can actually write a half-decent scene. I can’t think of any way my type really has any significant impact with that. Maybe I’m missing something, but as for the process itself, I don’t think my type has too much of an impact.

I find that I’m usually pretty good at creating three-dimensional characters and relationships. A character is usually the spark I first have that develops into a story idea. And it’s generally easy for me to create a diverse cast and make sure everyone is different in one way or another. Something that helps me with this that I chalk up to my enneagram type is often putting myself in other people’s shoes when a disagreement comes up or their mood is confusing to me or clashes with mine. I like understanding where others are coming from, and my practice with this helps me better develop and understand the multiple viewpoints of my characters and how/why they work or clash with one another. And knowing where my characters are coming from helps me empathize with them, which is something that in real life I use to dissuade myself from getting into conflict.

While I’m good at characters, I’m not that good at figuring out plot. And now that I’m thinking about it, that’s probably because as a type nine, I don’t like conflict, a.k.a. the very thing that generates the plot. It’s usually not even the actual conflict I have a problem with developing; it’s the forces around that conflict and how that conflict drives the plot that I struggle with more. This especially happens to me with internal conflict. I don’t like being internally conflicted, and I’m very oblivious to many conflicts I can have within myself. And not being willing to look at my own internal conflicts prevents me from really understanding them on a level that I do other things like points of view. So while external conflict and relationships are clear for me to visualize and write about, internal conflicts are a lot more foreign and I end up writing them really awfully and cheesy.

One other weakness I’ve found that relates to my type also goes along with my dislike of conflict. I try not to get into conflict with others as much as I can, and I’ve started to be able to see when I’m going along with things just to avoid having to deal with opposition. And in my stories, my characters tend to do the same thing! A lot of it isn’t even intentional on the character’s part. They just naturally keep any deep feelings about things to themselves for one reason or another, and it builds up to an explosion (usually in a character’s relationship with someone else) around the climax. I hadn’t even realized I’d been doing this until I started thinking about it. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something I need to keep myself from repeating too often because then it gets predictable and annoying.

Like I stated in the strengths question, I don’t often have a hard time creating characters with different views because I spend a lot of time trying to understand others’ views in real life. I think another part of my type’s impact is I want to understand where my characters are coming from, protagonists or antagonists. I’m fine with the “evil to be evil” kind of villain (I have one, actually), but it’s much more satisfying for me for a villain to have a reason behind what they’re doing. It doesn’t have to be a justifiable reason; it just has to be an understandable one. And for me, an understandable reason doesn’t take that much work.

I wouldn’t say how I worldbuild as much as why I worldbuild, or why I worldbuild fantasy only at this point. For me, worldbuilding is like an escape from reality. I can do anything I want inside my world, and I can fix or improve many things from real life in my world. This tends to especially show with different nations or species in my worlds. My “default” for those is usually peaceful relations, and I have to deliberately work at creating conflict between them. Aside from my general nine-ness of not liking conflict, a reason my default is set that way is because of all the conflict between countries and races in our world today. My desire to avoid the national conflict in the real world has subconsciously infiltrated my worldbuilding. I say subconsciously because it was only after I had created multiple nations/species with this attitude of non-conflict that I realized what I was doing, let alone why.

Not particularly. Like with my writing process, I can’t see much my type really has to influence with my outlining process. Needless to say, I like having everything outlined (usually mentally) before I start writing.

I’m not too sure on this one, because I’m still trying to figure out my exact writing style. I can say that, although I have not tested this out, my writing could very easily take the shape of the style I’ve just been reading/listening to. Whenever I’ve been immersed in a particular style/work for a long time, I tend to think and run my internal dialogue a lot like the style of that work. As a nine, I feel detached from myself a lot, and this kind of imitation stems from that uncertainty of who I am and my desire to be like others so they like me. While I can only say for certain this happens with my thoughts/internal dialogue, I can see how that can also easily impact my writing style.

One other thing I’ve found is that sometimes, if I’m “done” or fed up enough with something I’m writing (usually some sort of school assignment), my tone gets more sarcastic and/or rant-y.

It’s funny, because this past summer I actually decided to take on the project of typing my main seven characters from my current WIP for both MBTI and the Enneagram. I already had a pretty good idea of what type(s) most of my characters could be, and in the end absolutely none were a nine. I actually had a pretty spread-out typage, although three of the seven are sixes. Even taking characters from my other stories into account, I don’t have many nines.

I have a (very) strong wing one. And while my nine-ness doesn’t impact much of my writing process or outline, my one wing deeeefinitely does. I have an internal editor that I have no clue how to shut off. I have to go back and fix any spelling/punctuation/grammar/sentence structure errors the second I find them, and I’ll often re-phrase sentences or paragraphs right on the spot and trash the old ones, or just cut out stuff entirely. And all of this happens in the first draft. You know, the draft where you’re not supposed to care about all the errors and just write.

Having a strong one wing is also what makes me more of a planner and in need of outlines. I need to have every (or most) detail perfectly worked out in my head so I know where I’m going. Even if I don’t write it down, I need to have a mental outline of what I’m going to do.

I’d say my favorite part is outlining the story. I usually do this mentally, at least at first. And figuring out the order of all the plot points and where this dramatic scene or that revelation will take place is fun for me. And I often get epiphanies about certain scenes or plot parts as I fully formulate the story path, which is even more exciting for me.

My least favorite is revising/rewriting, because by the time I’m done I’m usually sick of the story and sick of writing the same scene(s) over and over and over again. And whenever I revise I usually end up knowing in the middle of the revision that I’m going to need to revise again.

My favorite is definitely characters. I love making a character with a vibrant personality, and then add on the backstory as to why they’re like what they’re like, and then further figuring out their relationships with other characters based on their personality and background. It’s always fun for me to play around with a character’s hobbies or little quirks, and figuring out their personality types is also really fun for me.

My least favorite aspect is plot, mostly because I can’t seem to ever get it to work the exact way I want it to. This may seem a little contradictory with outlining being my favorite step in the process, but for me plot isn’t just all the big outlining events; it’s everything in between as well. And it’s all those parts in between that I can’t seem to be able to smooth out well until I write the story and revise it a bajillion times.

I don’t always do something special with snacks, but if I’m in the mood I’ll make a large mug of hot chocolate to sip on. I’ll always have music on while I write, and if I’m doing a word war or a timed challenge, I’ll make a specific playlist for the length of time with songs that fit the mood of whatever I’m writing. Those playlists really help me when I need to get into the mood.

What inspires me the most is my own characters in my stories. I get to look at them at the end of their development, and I want everyone else to know how they got there. And recently, other people’s excitement over my story has been a huge inspiration. I never realized how excited others could get over my story until I started introducing them to random characters and scenes. I can’t stop writing now because it’s not just me who wants the story to go out there; there are others who are actually excited about my story as well.

I love the freedom you’re given in your writing. In my story I can do whatever the heck I want, and the options are limitless. Of course, if I want it to make sense I need some sort of structure, but there’s no absolute rule for even that. Along with creativity, I like writing because it’s a small escape from reality. The world doesn’t have to be like this one, and I can get a breather from everything real life daily throws on me.

I think that’s it! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

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5 thoughts on “Enneagram Authors: Type 9 – The Peacemaker

  1. Oh, wow, this is interesting. I can relate to some of the things she said, but also there is a lot I don’t.

    Like I love characters. if I had to choose one aspect of writing, it would be characters all the way. My characters are the ones who create the story in the first place. Without them it is an empty story. My characters are also hardly like me (so assuming they are not a nine. I haven’t tested them yet), I generally write characters who are basically nothing like me. I do find that making my villains having a reason is one of my favourites to do and it isn’t too hard to find that once I thought about them deeply enough. It is so satisfying to have a villain who has a understandable reason. So much so that I basically can’t stand villains who are “evil to be evil” now. That’s a slight difference there. I mentally outline all of the time. And, haha, I also can’t stand grammar mistakes and all that stuff and I fix them in the first draft (maybe my wing is a 1?). Though I only fix trash sentences if I am stuck. If my creativity is flowing, I don’t fix it, even if a part of me really wants to. Also I do feel really inspired that people love my stories when I share pieces here and there and that they want them out in the world like I do too.

    I actually really relate to this paragraph here:
    “I find that I’m usually pretty good at creating three-dimensional characters and relationships. A character is usually the spark I first have that develops into a story idea. And it’s generally easy for me to create a diverse cast and make sure everyone is different in one way or another. Something that helps me with this that I chalk up to my enneagram type is often putting myself in other people’s shoes when a disagreement comes up or their mood is confusing to me or clashes with mine. I like understanding where others are coming from, and my practice with this helps me better develop and understand the multiple viewpoints of my characters and how/why they work or clash with one another. And knowing where my characters are coming from helps me empathize with them, which is something that in real life I use to dissuade myself from getting into conflict.”
    I feel like I do this too, though a lot of it unconsciously. I don’t know, I just felt like this paragraph spoke to my soul.

    The differences are that I do plot pretty well. I actually really love plot and have a belief that plot is deeply connected to characters and that plot and character should be hand in hand through the whole story. But I do find figuring the between moments before and after major plot points is difficult is that part is similar to her as well. And also I do conflict in my stories a little too well at times. Sometimes I dig myself a hole that I can’t get out of with conflict. Though in real life conflict stresses me out and I do like avoiding it, especially as a kid. In fact, imagination was my way of escaping from reality. It wasn’t reading other people’s stories that made the escape for me, it was my own. At times, I know my imagination is still a escape from reality so I actually do relate to the part of how her own stories are an escape. Though I don’t treat writing as an escape, even though it really is sometimes. Wow, I didn’t really realised that until now. But, anyway, conflict is a big thing I explore in my stories, so while I avoid it in one world, I face it head on with another. I guess it is feeding my need/desire to stand up for me in real conflicts. Sometimes that comes out nowadays. I’m not sure if that is good or not. Also I think I do internal conflict really well. I actually deal with my own internal conflicts a lot, so that comes out in my writing. I don’t struggle listening to my thoughts and dialogue and so I don’t struggle listening to my characters when they want to speak their thoughts and dialogue to me. But I just realised that a lot of my characters are good at keeping their feelings to themselves until it explodes out of them. A lot like how I act, haha.

    Ahh, this was so insightful for me! Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. I understand myself as a person and a writer a lot better now. :) I also feel like I missed something I could comment on about it is like me, or not me but a little like me… Haha.

    1. Oh, I know what I forgot to comment on! It was the part about writing style. And I don’t relate to that. I’ve read so many books and my writing never turns out like them. It always feels like my own. And I only get sarcastic and rant-y like that in my head, haha. I don’t actually write down that tone in my stories, unless it is my sarcastic character talking, or other writing related things, haha.

  2. Another great interview. I think my best friend is a nine, so it was good to be able to learn a little more about the type. You are lucky that characters come easily for you. I am a five, and characters are such a struggle for me.

  3. As a 9, I found this especially interesting… just to see the similarities but also the differences between how different 9s approach life and story-telling. Thanks for doing these, it’s always interesting to look into the various patterns in how people think : )

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