As an aspiring author I need a paying job until I hit it big (haha), and lucky for me my job goes right along with what I love to do. I'm promotion coordinator for Geode Press. I get to promote great books like Zenobia - Birth of a Legend. I've been sharing my notes from a recent writers conference I attended on the Geode Press website but I wanted to post this here on my blog because this class really helped me with my MC Krystal and developing a better archetype for her.
This class will help you improve your characters in writing and makes them more believable.
It's fun to take real people and see where they fit in the archetypes:
Zenobia is a Crusader.
I would say Jennifer Griffith is a Spunky Kid.
Russ Wallace, author of Zenobia - Birth of a Legend is a Chief & a Professor and so is my husband Jason Wallace.
Read below and you'll understand in a minute what all this means. Have Fun!
ARCHETYPES, NOT STEREOTYPES:
Nailing down Our Main Characters and Making them Come Alive for the Reader
WHY USE ARCHETYPES?
“Creating believable characters that connect with the audience is probably one of the most difficult aspects of writing an author faces. ARCHETYPES operate beneath the surface of the most original characters to forge a link with the audience based on shared human experience. The archetype tells the reader what the heroine’s or hero’s instincts are, what he feels, what drives him, and how he reaches his goals. The writer conveys these to the audience skillfully. Then the reader settles in to enjoy the old story told anew.” —Cowden, LaFever, Viders
MC (Main Character) + circumstances = Plot
Know your MC. What is their story?
There are many Personality types. You want to pin point what your MC is and make them believable.
You need good Villains as much as you need Heroes and Heroines.
Keep your MC true to their type.
Core character should have one of these archetypes.
Multi- layer characters: As you go down the list you will find many characters could fit in more than one archetype. For writing purposes your character should have no more than 2 archetypes.
Characters should be evolving. Start out one way and the circumstances change them.
Good books of reference are:
“45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters” by Victoria Lynn
“Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes"
by Tami D. Cowden,Caro LaFever,and Sue Viders
Below are some samples of heroes and heroines.
The CHIEF—a dynamic leader, he has time for nothing but work
Captain Kirk from Star Trek
The Skipper from Gilligan's Island
John Wayne in every movie he was in but for sure McClintok
Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice
King Arthur in First Knight
The BAD BOY—dangerous to know, he walks on The wild side
Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice
The BEST FRIEND—sweet and safe, he never lets anyone down
Mr Knightly in Emma
Gilligan in Gilligan's Island
The CHARMER—a smooth talker, he creates fantasies
Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's day off
The LOST SOUL—a tormented being, he lives in solitude
Edward in Twilight
Loki from Thor & The Avengers. Of course he is The Bad Boy too but it's because he's a lost soul. He just need love. :) haha
The PROFESSOR—coolly analytically, he knows every answer
The Professor on Gilligan's Island. (I think the reason why Gilligan's Island was so funny is because they had every archetype on that show. Seeing them interact made for a good laugh.)
Ben Gates in National Treasure
MacGyver ( He is also a warrior)
Castle (he can be a charmer too)
The SWASHBUCKLER—Mr. Excitement, he’s an adventurer
Jack Sparrow in Pirates of Caribbean
Flynn Rider in Tangled
Han Solo in Star Wars
The WARRIOR—a noble champion, he acts with honor
Superman & Batman (all superheros for that matter)
The BOSS—a real go-getter, she climbs the ladder of success
Lucy in Charlie Brown
Kate Beckett from Castle
Queen Elizabeth I
The SEDUCTRESS—an enchantress, she charms to get her way
Ginger in Gilligan's Island
The SPUNKY KID—gutsy and true, she is loyal to the end
Mary Ann in Gilligan's Island
Stephanie Plum series
The FREE SPIRIT—an eternal optimist, she dances to unheard tunes
Ariel in Little Mermaid
The LIBRARIAN—controlled and clever, she holds back
Hermione Granger in Harry Potter
Marion in The Music Man (the music man was a classic Bad Boy meets Librarian and changes.)
The WAIF—a distressed damsel, she bends but does not break
Bella in Twilight
Princess Anne in Roman Holiday
The NURTURER—serene and capable, she nourishes the spirit
The CRUSADER—a dedicated fighter, she meets commitments
Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games
Zenobia is a Warrior and a Crusader. I know warrior is a man trait but since she spent nine years of her life as a boy I think she kept some of those traits.
Share from your favorite books and movies and tell me what archetype they are. It's fun, try it.