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8 Key Female Archetypes to Consider for Your Novel

Last week we took a look at a number of diverse male archetypes that might inspire the characters in your fiction. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the female archetypes.

Archetypes can spark great ideas for characters because they are classic “types.” While one character might wear a particular archetypal “mask” throughout a story, sometimes characters will switch masks, depending on the situation and relationship involved.

You may think that fashioning a character to match all the qualities of a particular archetype might be like stereotyping, but that’s not necessarily so.  Within a “type,” there is room for much originality in personality and traits.

The idea here, when borrowing archetypal characteristics, is to look at the purpose as it relates to your premise, protagonist’s goal, and themes of your story. Continue Reading…

A Look at 8 Key Male Archetypes for Your Novel

While we don’t want to create cookie-cutter stereotyped characters, learning about archetypes can be tremendously helpful in character development. We’ve been talking about archetypes over the last week, so if you’ve missed some of these posts, start with this one.

The idea here is to find a type and go from there. Archetypes are all about personality and motivation, and by bringing in some of the traditional, established characteristics of specific archetypes, you can craft believable characters.

As I’ve mentioned in many posts, your novel or play or short story needs a cast of characters, unless your plot is about one person alone in the world (or some world).

These characters play various roles, and while the basic roles are ally, enemy (nemesis or antagonist), and lover, there is much more to consider than these general descriptions.

Some look at Greek gods as archetypes that can be utilized in character development, and if you modernize the qualities of these gods, you can see how you might transfer those over to your novel. Continue Reading…

Developing a Strong Novel Concept Starting with an Archetype

We’ve been starting to explore archetypes on Monday’s section on novel writing. I talked about some of the basic archetypes a writer might borrow from when developing characters, and I gave a series of questions you might ask of your character, to start identifying qualities that might tend to a particular type.

You might wonder if you have to stick closely to the standard archetype or if you can mix it up. Sure, characters can have bits of one or another. But the aim here is to identify those dominating markers and to choose archetypes that best serve your plot.

Starting Novels with a Character Type

Some writers begin their novel-brainstorming process based on a character type. When I put together my 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction Workbook, I decided to take a random idea and build it into a solid concept, fleshing it out through the workbook as an example, to help writers along with the process. Continue Reading…