Tag Archive - Archetypes

Crafting Great Characters Starts and Ends with Motivation

This material ran on my blog four years ago, but it’s worth sharing again!

Most fiction writers know that character is at the heart of a story. Whether you are writing short or long fiction, you need terrific characters.

But what’s in a character? And how much do you need to know about your characters before you start writing?

The depth of detail you develop for your characters may vary. It stands to reason that you aren’t going to put as much work into crafting minor characters as you would major ones. And the most important character—your protagonist—should have the most depth.

How deep should you go? That’s a good question. Some writers spend months working on a character: her looks, her history, her family, her issues. But often the details a writer works up are trivial details. 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…

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