Archive - Novel Structure RSS Feed

3 Essential Elements to Crafting Believable Romance

(Note: this original post of mine ran on Romance University last year. You can find it via this link.)

Boy meets girl. Sparks fly. They fall instantly in love. Voila! Happily ever after.

Oh, really?

Well, maybe in fairy tales and with couples who are self-delusional or sickeningly codependent. But in real life? Among “normal” people?

Not happening.

Sure, maybe we all wish romantic love worked that way. But wishes don’t reflect real life. And a writer’s job—unless writing a particular type of fantasy story or showcasing highly dysfunctional characters—is to create stories that are slices of life. Continue Reading…

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…