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Rival Archetypes for Your Novel

What would a novel be without a good antagonist or two? There are some wonderful “Rival” archetypes that you might consider developing to give your novel depth and provide strong conflict.

Last week we looked at some of the archetypes that can be found in allies and friends of the protagonist.

Your novel needs a cast of characters, all playing specific roles. And sometimes a character will play different roles at different points in the story. Think of these as masks a character might wear.

We all slip into a variety of roles in our lives, as I mentioned in the earlier posts on this topic. This will depend on who we’re with and what the situation is. A best friend might take on a Magi role when giving needed, hard advice. But that same friend might turn into a Joker archetype when he’s had a few drinks, and might even act patronizingly, assuming a type of King archetype if his “domain” is threatened.

Archetypes resonate deep within us, and so when we writers apply archetypal attributes to our characters, our readers find it easier to relate to and connect with those characters. Continue Reading…

Archetypes for the Supporting Cast in Your Novel

Archtypes can be inspirational and helpful in not just crafting your hero or heroine but all your secondary characters. Don’t ask me why I thought of Scooby-Doo. I just did. Maybe because each character in the Scooby gang is a specific archetype. Not too hard to figure out.

We’ve been looking at archetypes over the last few weeks, and I hope you’ve seen how these personality or character “types” can bring richness and depth to your characters.

Whether you start out with an archetype in mind and then create a character with those attributes or you start with your basic characters already formed and then deepen them with archetypal traits, you will find that utilizing these various types will help make your story great.

I’ve touched a bit on what kinds of supporting characters are needed in a novel, but let’s go deeper into some of the “supporting archetypes” you might choose. Continue Reading…

Your First 50 Pages—Pass or Fail?

The first fifty pages of your novel carry the heaviest burden for your story. The opening chapters are all about setup. Setup of characters, premise, tone, writing style, conflict, stakes, world/setting, and so much more.

Thousands of writers across the US are finishing a novel today—or at least trying to. For some committed to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), this was a first effort. Others have participated many times and have cranked out the semblance of a novel each of those years.

I imagine a lot of writers who signed up didn’t reach the finish line of 50,000 words. I recall how hard it was, writing my first novel thirty years ago. It took me almost a year, and I thought it was a masterpiece.

How wrong I was. Continue Reading…