Posted On August 31, 2012 by Print This Post

Solo, Duet, Chorus by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Who hasn’t checked out the Myers-Briggs personality type charts to see how we, and our significant others, stack up? Today, Laurie Schnebly Campbell takes a similar yet uniquely different approach to building fictional characters.


Anybody who enjoys building characters by using enneagrams (pronounced ANY-uh-grams) already knows about the nine personality types discovered by the Sufis and brought west a century ago.


Those types — the Reformer, Nurturer, Achiever, Romantic, Observer, Guardian, Adventurer, Leader and Peacemaker — are fascinating in their own right. Even more so because, if you take any two characters who share the same type, they’ll STILL have all kinds of differences.


That’s where we get into subtypes, and the subtypes are cool. Each one emphasizes a different choice of three perspectives: Me (Solo), We Two (Duet), and All Of Us (Chorus).


Each one of those perspectives can be a good, healthy approach to life. And anyone who values all three subtypes equally will have a wonderfully balanced outlook and attitude and behavior, every minute of every day.


But what good does THAT do us in a book?


Not much. Instead, we want conflict that comes about — at least in part — because of who these people ARE. And since sticking to just one perspective can create serious difficulties for our characters, let’s take a closer look at each subtype.




The “Me” subtype fits people who work at getting whatever they need to ensure their own health and well-being. When that comes down to finding enough food or water or firewood, everyone agrees self-preservation is a good thing.


However, it also might come down to getting enough solitude to enjoy a good book…or enough money to buy the perfect yacht…or enough recognition to outshine the person who did more work…or something else that leads to trouble from people who don’t grasp the importance of that need.


Characters who value self-preservation will be fabulous at fighting off the invaders, making sure their baby survives the tornado, protecting the horse or the vaccine formula or whatever matters most. In an action-adventure story, this character might jump off the burning ship just in time to elude the pirates and build a desert island hut out of palm leaves.


In a more emotional story, this character might be reluctant to risk heartbreak or disappointment or loneliness or anything else that WE know would actually be a great step forward. Yet until he or she can overcome that preference for self-preservation, such a risk will never happen.




The “We Two” subtype helps ensure survival of the species, because if nobody ever enjoyed intimacy the planet would run out of babies pretty fast. And since babies need people who care about ’em for a good start in life, what keeps such people together is intimacy.

But intimacy isn’t JUST between lovers. It’s between any two people who are enjoying each other, sharing a bond that doesn’t include the rest of the world. If you’re having lunch with your critique partner, or chatting with your best friend, or interacting wholeheartedly with your cousin or roommate or neighbor or mom, you’re engaged in the intimacy subtype.


Which is a good thing for sustaining strong personal relationships, but which — yep, you guessed it — can also create conflict. Just because one person values intimacy to a certain degree, at a certain time and place, doesn’t mean another person will share that exact same preference.


Intimacy works wonderfully when two people are both into each other at the identical moment, but in real life it can be hard to make that happen. In fiction, it can be even harder!




The “All Of Us” subtype helps humankind, too, because we generally need teamwork to keep society going. A hermit who prefers to avoid company won’t show any social interest, but most of us enjoy — at least once in a while — being part of a group or team.

A social-subtype character will always have the good of the pack in mind. Whether that means making sure everyone gets fed, or everyone gets protected, or everyone gets a good laugh to keep their spirits up, this person works at providing whatever the group needs.

That group could be an online class, a family, a troop of soldiers, a quilting club, or an entire village. What matters isn’t the size of the membership, but the degree to which this person feels invested in keeping it going.


And if another member doesn’t share his or her goals for their society — well, shoot, there’s conflict ahead. For that matter, if any group-minded person wants a moment alone or a one-on-one, there’ll be some SELF-blame there…because that requires putting the group aside.




Each subtype can create plenty of turmoil for our characters — not to mention real-life people — yet they’re still just the beginning of all the fun we writers can have with enneagrams.


Whether people prefer dealing with life’s demands solo, in a duet, or as part of a chorus, there’ll be discord whenever somebody doesn’t share their exact same approach. And even when somebody DOES!


You can picture that, right? Two self-preservation people disagreeing on how to avoid the traffic jam. Two intimacy people wanting heartfelt conversations at different times. Two social people each determined to get the best for their own group.


The good news is we can escalate the conflict as much as we want, and then use more techniques from the enneagram system to get these characters what they need for a happy ending. (That’s the topic of my September class, which is at — scroll down and click SEP, then down to “9 Types, 3 Tasks & Dozens of Conflicts.”) But meanwhile, here’s…



Is there some fictional character or real-life person who strikes you as being one of the three subtypes? If so, say who that is and which they sound like — then tonight, somebody who comments will win a free class!


On Monday, we kick off the month of September with a post by HANDSOME HANSEL! 





Laurie Schnebly Campbell combines work for a Phoenix ad agency with teaching other novelists about the craft of writing. She’s also published half a dozen romances (including one that won “Best Special Edition of the Year” over Nora Roberts) and a how-to for fiction writers on creating believable characters. Check out her August workshop on blurbs — and more — at

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67 Responses to “Solo, Duet, Chorus by Laurie Schnebly Campbell”

  1. Loved this! I’ve never really given it much thought, but after reading this article I realize almost all of my leads are the solo self preservationist type…the reluctant hero. I guess it’s due to growing up being hooked on Bruce Willis movies, “stay with me kid, if you want to live” type.

    I don’t think I’ll look at stories in the same way. Thanks for opening my eyes 🙂

    Posted by Margie Hall | August 31, 2012, 12:51 am
    • Margie, what a great call on Bruce Willis being the self-preservation subtype — at least his classic characters, and for all I know the actor himself might be too. And even though “Stick with me, kid” might SOUND like an intimacy duo, you’re right that it’s actually s-p…the kid just happens to be there at the time. (Lucky, huh?) Which makes for a more exciting story, because now we have an extra person’s life at stake!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 5:10 am
  2. LoL, leave it to me to think of a character after hitting submit :P. James Patterson’s Alex Cross always struck me as a bit of a solo. He isn’t really self-preservation but he definitely has some serious walls constructed

    Posted by Margie Hall | August 31, 2012, 1:12 am
  3. Hi Laurie – Ava wants nothing more than to preserve her intimate relationship with Elliot. She’ll move the mountains, the ocean, the moon and the stars — if that will only make him healthy and bring him home to her.

    Posted by Sheri de Grom | August 31, 2012, 2:42 am
    • Sheri, this is a perfect illustration of when saving someone else IS about intimacy rather than Bruce Willis-style self-preservation. Ava wants her husband back because of this bond between them, not just because he happens to be in the same subway tunnel while she’s fighting to get out alive. Finding Elliot is her only chance for intimacy — unless, of course, she decides to go have an affair instead…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 5:13 am
  4. I’m going to say Lord of the Rings cast was the chorus type characters mixed with the other two.

    Posted by Patricia Ann Preston | August 31, 2012, 5:47 am
    • Patricia, it’s easy envisioning the Lord of the Rings group with each member doing their best for the good of society. That core team was very much a one-for-all-and-all-for-one scenario, and even if (once they completed their mission) some of the individual members shifted subtypes, during the action of the books and movies they were very much about the group…and beyond that, the whole of society which they hoped to save.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 7:07 am
  5. Hi Laurie 😉

    I’ll have a go at this using Star Trek Voyager

    When I read the description of the social sub-type I immediately thought of Star Trek Voyager’s Neelix. He’s the morale officer and always has the good of the pack in mind. He makes sure everyone keeps their spirits up and works hard at providing what everyone needs. He feels invested in keeping everyone going. (A type 2 probably)

    Tuvok (probably a type 5)is a self preservation sub type. He has strong need for privacy and won’t let others in. Doesn’t realise the crew’s emotional well being is an important as their physical well being.

    Seska is an intimate (very volatile and emotional)she tries to dominate and control Chakotay and is jealous obsessive and violent–yet still claims to care for him

    Tom Paris is a social subtype.Feels a strong duty to others and a strong responsibilty towards his voyager ‘family’His day to day service on the ship gradually redeems his bad reputation.

    Posted by Janet Ch | August 31, 2012, 6:55 am
    • Janet, now you’ve got me eager to start watching Star Trek Voyager — I think I just saw it on Netflix the other day! Without knowing the show (I stopped with Next Generation 🙂 ), it sure sounds to me like you’ve nailed the subtypes of all those characters. And what fun doing it with members of a cast who play off against each other, week after week after week…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 7:10 am
  6. In the Hunger Games, it might seem that Katniss is a self-preservation type, given the very nature of the games…survive or be killed, but I believe she was actually a Chorus type. Everything she did was to help others. She hunted food for her family–and for others in her village, took her sister’s place in the games, and then risked her own safety in order to help both Rue and Peeta. Even at the end, when she could have been the sole survivor, she was prepared to die with Peeta, instead. Great blog!!

    Posted by Karen Foley | August 31, 2012, 7:01 am
    • Karen, that’s a great illustration of how somebody can shift subtypes depending on the situation — Katniss embodied each one of those during the story, and you nailed ’em beautifully. Self-preservation included preserving her loved ones, social included looking out for the neighbors and then all of Panem, and intimacy was for her the most scary…but she achieved it effortlessly with Gale and then Cinna and finally even Peeta. Yay!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 7:16 am
  7. What a thought-provoking post! In the mystery genre, I can think of a lot of “soloists,” ranging from Lee Child’s Jack Reacher to Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple.

    I just read Jennifer Probst’s book, THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN, where the hero lives and works solo. The heroine thrives on her social and familial connections, so when the two of them come together the reader knows something has to give.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to this sort of musical interplay between characters – I never thought of personality types this way!

    Posted by Becke Davis (Becke Martin) | August 31, 2012, 7:32 am
    • Becke, your mention of the solo hero and the heroine who cherishes family & social connections reminds me of what happens when characters from different subtypes wind up together. It can be fabulous if they’re each willing to learn from the other’s style, giving them a whole new way of operating…and it can be awful if they’re each expecting the other to become more like them. Which I guess is true of ANY different types!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 7:37 am
  8. Well, I just finished re-watching the Resident Evil movies, and I’d have to put the central character (Alice, played by Milla Jovovich) falls firmly into the “All of us” subtype. Even when she goes it alone, it’s because she thinks she’d endanger the group if she stayed with them. (I’d guess she’s a Guardian primary type, too, which only reinforces that tendency.) The downside of all this is that she’s so busy trying to protect everybody else that she never really gets anything (time, relationships) for herself.

    Posted by Michael Mock | August 31, 2012, 7:57 am
    • Michael, that’s a good point about the down-side of working for the group’s good above all else — it IS hard to find any “me” time or one-on-one relationships. And, while I haven’t seen the movies, I’m betting that if Alice discovered her leaving the group DIDN’T save them, she’d be ready to slit her wrists until she found some other group that mattered like her first one. Unless, of course, she changes subtypes…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 8:21 am
      • Zombies, monsters, and the end of the world – what’s not to like?

        Okay, granted, they’re not the best movies ever made. They just hit that sweet spot between horror and action for me. Plus, most of the leadership and protection roles are actually taken by the women in the movies (particularly the later installments).

        Posted by Michael Mock | August 31, 2012, 8:58 am
  9. Hi Laurie,
    I tend to write a lot of the solo people who turn into relationship people at the end.

    Posted by Kim Carmichael | August 31, 2012, 8:32 am
    • Kim, that’s always a good formula for classic romance — who DOESN’T want a relationship in which the two people are happy being together, totally focused on each other? And the good thing about a book is that, when the last page has them sighing happily in each other’s arms, nobody has to wonder what’ll happen if one doesn’t want quite the same amount of intimacy as the other…everyone’s satisfied!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:06 am
  10. The characters that popped into my head while reading were Scarlet O’Hara (Gone With The Wind), whom I believe is a solo. And Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I think she started as a solo and ended up in the chorus.


    Posted by Di R | August 31, 2012, 8:44 am
    • Di, it’s fun looking at timeless characters like Scarlett and Dorothy. You’re right that Scarlett was into self-preservation (which was lucky for Melanie and the folks she saved from starvation at Tara) and yet the whole time she was pining for Ashley, what she THOUGHT she wanted was intimacy. Good thought on Dorothy moving from s-p to social, too, and I like how much nicer that sounds in musical terms. 🙂

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:08 am
  11. In the old movie, Kelly’s Heros, Clint Eastwood’s character is a classic solo and Donald Sotherland’s is a chorus. They have to work together to achieve a common goal. I love this movie.

    Posted by Stephanie Berget | August 31, 2012, 8:59 am
    • Steph, now you’ve got me wanting to see Kelly’s Heroes — it’s fun to watch people (whose subtypes we already know) rub off against each other, each one picking up the best or worst qualities of the other. And when they both wind up better people at the end, we can cheer for them having grown & learned & changed rather than insisting “my way or I’m outta here” and refusing to consider any other way of being.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:11 am
  12. Fantastic resource, Laurie! Cecilia and I need to analyze all out characters after reading your post. It should make for an interesting long weekend and for many more interesting stories with more robust characters in the future. Thank you!

    Posted by Chris Almeida | August 31, 2012, 8:59 am
    • Chris, it looks like you’re in for a fun weekend — good thing it’s a long one; you’ll have way more time for analyzing all your characters! It IS fun, even for characters in a TV show or book whom we’ll never affect as a writer, just seeing how the kind of people they are makes things (at first) worse and then better and sometimes worse again…depending on how long the show or the story lasts. 🙂

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:13 am
      • So true! And as for the types, people can be a mix of them too. Not just one. The complex layers of personality are great tools for character creation. We just have to make sure we create complex but cohesive ones. Thank you again!

        Posted by Chris Almeida | August 31, 2012, 10:36 am
  13. What comes to mind for me is that characters can be a combination of all three. My two favorite characters in Strike Back are an example. They are solo in that they are each dealing with their own demons they are dealing with on a personal level. They also react differently to events. Intimate in that they are partners, have to watch each others backs under stressful conditions and are friends who banter and laugh with each other. They are also social on the level that they are part of a unit, they are working to the greater good.

    Posted by Cecilia Aubrey | August 31, 2012, 9:12 am
    • Cecilia, it sounds like those Strike Back characters are wonderfully well-evolved people who’ve already mastered the art of valuing all three subtypes equally. Which doesn’t mean they won’t have to deal with any problems in life, just that their problems won’t likely come about because they focus too intently on solo or duet or chorus at the expense of the other two. They can focus instead on other problems…which I’m betting are plentiful!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:32 am
  14. Great post Laurie!

    The characters who came to my mind were the MCs from Victoria Thompson’s Gasslight Mysteries. I would say Sarah Brandt is a social type who was thrown into the solo position when her spouse died. That role was so hard for her that she easily fell into the duo role when she met Frank Malloy. The best bit is that it was the same for him, even if he tries to deny it 🙂

    Posted by Patricia Moussatche | August 31, 2012, 9:12 am
    • Patchi, it’s cool seeing people who (even if they don’t acknowledge it) recognize where each other’s coming from because they’ve been there — or still ARE there — themselves. And the death of a spouse can challenge people of each type: self-preservation because now they can’t ask for help if they need it, intimacy because there’s nobody to feel close to, and social because there’s no backup at home. The only good side is that all those holes CAN be filled…but it sure takes a while.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:38 am
  15. What a great post, Laurie! I love this whole idea, but it’s one that I really need to think about. I think probably most antagonists are Solo’s.

    Posted by Wendi Sotis | August 31, 2012, 9:22 am
    • Wendi, I suspect you’re right about antagonists — at least when they’re a traditional villain — being more oriented toward self-preservation. The exception might be a stalker who’s dreaming of intimacy, or a terrorist who wants more stuff for his people, but by and large a villain tends to be focused on “how can I get what I need.” For that matter, the duet and chorus could be kindly antagonists as well, like the matchmaking grandma and the meddling townspeople…oh, dear!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:41 am
  16. I love enneagrams! They’ll never not be fun to figure out.

    When I read the Social section, my first thought was Captain Mal Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion) from the TV show Firefly (sci-fi, for those who don’t know it–my favorite show of all time, and Mal’s my single favorite character EVER, in TV, movies, or literature). Mal comes across as the self-preservation type, but in fact he’s all about the little family of disparate travelers gathered on his space ship Serenity, and he will do whatever he has to in order to protect them. Any threat to his de facto family (and he was the same way with his unit in a war he fought years before) is instantly challenged and eventually dispatched. No one messes with Mal’s people. NO one.

    Now I have to pull out my enneagram book and figure out where the rest of the Serenity crew fall. Thanks for a fascinating post, Laurie!

    Posted by Linda F. | August 31, 2012, 9:35 am
    • Linda, I’m honored that you’re pulling out your enneagram book rather than the Firefly show itself! (You’ve gotta have the DVDs, right? 🙂 ) And Mal absolutely sounds like the social subtype, especially because he’s taken on that same role twice in his life — what do you want to bet he did the same thing for his classmates and childhood soccer team? That is, if he had any…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:45 am
  17. One of my all time favorite movies was Independence Day. It seems to me that the character played by Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson) was certainly a self preservationist BUT with ties to intimacy since he was really wanted to reconcile with his ex-wife (played by Margaret Colin).

    The same could be said of the President (Bill Pulman) who really wanted to be with his wife but couldn’t.

    Posted by Ginger | August 31, 2012, 10:55 am
    • Ginger, don’t you love the tragic aspect of a character who yearns for intimacy but can’t have it? Both those men cared about their job, whether analyzing the situation or shooting down aliens, and neither would’ve given it up in order to enjoy a nice happy one-on-one relationship, because they were aware of the bigger picture…but seeing them regret what they were missing was wonderfully poignant!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 11:41 am
  18. I thought immediately of the Highlander hero who is usually a solo type, who must become a duet type to win the heroine.

    Posted by Judy | August 31, 2012, 11:18 am
    • Judy, that’s a perfect setup for an emotional triumph OR an emotional disaster, depending on how the story plays out. (Great drama either way.) A solo type who becomes part of a duet might wind up craving time alone, OR might want up feeling richer than ever before. And of course, frequently they’ll come up against BOTH those feelings, which leads to even MORE great drama…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 11:43 am
  19. I had never seen this delineation and I love it. A great read.

    Posted by Lisa Heidinger | August 31, 2012, 12:05 pm
    • Lisa, I’m betting you love it for (at least one of) the same reasons I do — all three types of musical performance are wonderful, and so are all three personality subtypes. If we could listen to only one kind of music, or if we could spend our lives with only one kind of person, or (maybe even worse) BE only one kind of person, just think what we’d miss!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 1:10 pm
  20. I’m glad I managed to catch this before it disappeared. Another wonderful angle on personalities.

    I can’t think of any characters right now, but I can see me in parts of the self-preservation type. Especially in the need for solitude to be able to write. But I think a lot of the characters I’ve tried to write have been self-preservatuibusts, but I never realized it. They are definitely not part of a chorus. I can’t see any of them going that way. Maybe an occasional duet, but not often.

    Are you only now discovering Star Trek Voyager? Definitely check it out. I loved it.


    Posted by Darlene | August 31, 2012, 12:11 pm
    • Darlene, you’re SO right in thinking writers who need solitude to pursue their craft are in self-preservation mode…because preserving our well-being is every bit as important in terms of quiet time as it is the physical basics like food & shelter. And, hmm, maybe the next quiet time I get will have to involve finding Star Trek Voyager on Netflix. 🙂

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 1:12 pm
  21. I could really have used this method and categorization when I was setting up the WIP characters. I spent too long playing with enneagrams, other personality tests, “Please Understand Me,” Deb Dixon, Tami Cowden, and more. Finally just started writing and am working out the characters as we go. The various tests were fun to take, however, especially when I was answering “in character.” Thanks for this way of looking at characters, Laurie! Every insight into them is useful.

    Posted by Ann Macela | August 31, 2012, 12:16 pm
    • Ann, it’s easy to spend a whole lot of time playing with all the character development tools…but, heck, at least it’s fun! Good for you on finding an approach that WORKS, especially when you don’t have to give up the enjoyment of taking tests “in character” — hmm, maybe that could be your reward whenever you finish a week of writing?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 1:16 pm
  22. Laurie, I’ve heard about other writers using this method to build their characters and help with conflict, but I have never tried it. In my WIP my heroine is a “Me” subtype and my hero is the “We Two” subtype. That creates a lot of conflict!

    Posted by Haley Whitehall | August 31, 2012, 12:46 pm
    • Haley, you’re right about the inherent conflict between a Solo and a Duet subtype — and if you want to throw even more trouble at them, imagine a situation where they have to operate as part of a Chorus. (As if they didn’t have plenty of trouble already.) But that COULD show them each “hey, there’s another way of being besides mine and my beloved’s.”

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 1:18 pm
  23. The picture that jumped into my mind was the TV show The Walking Dead. I’m not normally into zombies but my family loves that show! Maybe because it’s all about the characters decisions for the survival of the group and the conflicts that arise between them. Definitely a Chorus with leaders having different opinions. Lots of emotional conflict!

    Posted by Darlene Panzera | August 31, 2012, 12:58 pm
    • Darlene, I’ve gotta ask my son about that show — he’s a big fan of Zombie Apocalypse stuff. And, boy, there’s something about a world in which “survival of the group” is taken literally that really ups the drama…all the more when they’re getting personal conflict in there as well!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 1:20 pm
  24. Hi Laurie!

    My mind keeps going back to Joe and Kathleen in the movie “You’ve Got Mail”. I think self-preservation is evident because she’s fighting to maintain a way of life that’s dear to her, and he’s crushing the competition and telling himself it’s business, not personal.

    Meanwhile, unaware of each other’s identities, they’ve established a relationship via email. Through the anonymity of the Internet, they both know that they’ve bonded and share an understanding that’s missing in their relationships with their respective love interests.

    Thanks so much for being with us again! (I noticed I missed the deadline for your class. When is the next one?)

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | August 31, 2012, 1:29 pm
    • Jennifer, I’m so glad you noticed the wrong deadline — I just contacted the webmaster and asked to have that fixed; you absolutely still CAN get into the class! And I like your take on You’ve Got Mail; they both crave intimacy but figure it’s not possible so they’re pursuing other goals…when, suddenly, look what happens. 🙂

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 1:50 pm
  25. Hi Laurie! Sorry I’m late to the party….=)

    I’m going to toss out the old show Vicar of Dibley – the vicar, Dawn French is a definite chorus. If she’s on a date, doing something for herself or just having a down day she chucks it all when one of her parishioners come calling..the good of the town/village/parishioners is more important than her own needs…

    But I’m going to throw one at you, it was my first choice of an example to use – Han Solo from Star Wars…At first glance he’s a definite solo ….flies by himself, goes by his own rules etc….but he has an intimacy duet with Chewbacca…(can one have a duet with a Wookie?) =) would you classify him?

    hehehe..and YOU thought you’d be testing US! mwahahaha…


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 31, 2012, 1:40 pm
  26. Great post! You’ve given me more to think about, as usual.

    I’m thinking about the buddy relationship between Harvey and Mike on Suits. Harvey sings solo. He protects his boss, his secretary, the firm, even the people he doesn’t like in the firm as long as they’re loyal. Most of all, he protects Mike, his protege. And while he’s busy protecting everyone, deep down he’s wrestling with the conflict between wanting intimacy and the belief that it will make him weak.

    Posted by Frankie Robertson | August 31, 2012, 4:40 pm
  27. Laurie – Thanks so much for a fascinating post and for hanging out with us today. I love the discussion you inspired!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 31, 2012, 6:51 pm
  28. My heroine is an Intimacy type because she cannot get over the loss of her husband. When they get divorced she must learn self-preservation. At her new job she becomes social. Each change is a struggle.

    Laurie, I enjoyed your Fatal Flaws class two years ago. Is the upcoming class the same?


    Posted by Naomi Phillips | August 31, 2012, 6:54 pm
    • Naomi, you have a good point about change being a struggle — when people get used to operating in just one of the subtypes, trying another can be an enormous challenge. As for the upcoming class, it’ll be very much like the Fatal Flaws one, so the only reason for repeating it would be if you want to see how a new character fits the system. If you do, I’ll see you there!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 7:27 pm
  29. It’s always such fun hanging out with writers at Romance University, especially writers who come up with such great examples of the three subtypes!

    Thanks, everybody who commented today — if anyone who tried to sign up for the in-depth class saw the August 28 deadline, rest assured that the sponsor group has promised it’s NOT too late.

    And the winner of free registration to her choice of classes (contact me about your pick) is commenter #11, Chris Almeida…congratulations, Chris!

    Laurie, who’ll check back tomorrow in case I missed anything but meanwhile here’s wishing everyone a happy September

    Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 31, 2012, 9:46 pm
  30. I took your class on this, Laurie, and loved it. This review was great as an overview, a reminder of all there is to consider when creating believable characters. Thanks, Laurie. Always enjoy your blogs . . . .

    Posted by Denise | September 1, 2012, 7:00 am
    • Denise, you’re right about how much there is to consider in making characters sound real — so much that it’d be easy to get wrapped up in the fun of personality building and forget all about the storytelling! I remember doing that back in high school, when my sister and I decided to write the Great American Novel, and wound up spending more time on astrological charts than the actual book. 🙂

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | September 1, 2012, 3:26 pm
  31. Sorry I’m late for this great discussion and your information on the types, Laurie.
    I learned more about my characters as I thought about where they fit. Hada is a s-p and her husband is a chorus so no wonder their views conflict when family drama occurs.
    I, too, like the TV program,Frazier as you mentioned in your group blog. I’m thinking what combo he might be. s-p and chorus???

    Posted by Julaina | September 1, 2012, 12:02 pm
    • Julaina, what fun thinking about Frasier’s type! I’m betting he’s pretty much solo with occasional bursts of intimacy which never seem to last very long…except with Niles, he doesn’t really engage in intense one-on-one sharing. With the show callers, Roz and his dad, it’s more generic courtesy than a genuine desire to be involved in their lives. Yet in spite of that, he DOES do good for the world…now I’ve gotta go watch more episodes!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | September 1, 2012, 3:30 pm

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