Thursday, March 7, 2013


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.

Archetypes, not stereotypes was one of my favorite classes I took and I learned so much. Jennifer Griffith is a fun energetic person. Jennifer says she writes, “cotton candy for the soul.”

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!

Nailing down Our Main Characters and Making them Come Alive for the Reader

“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

Magnum PI

The LOST SOUL—a tormented being, he lives in solitude

 Charlie Brown

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

 James Bond


 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

 Marilyn Monroe 

Ginger in Gilligan's Island



 Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind

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


Snow White

Pretty much you could say most of the Disney Princess's are Damsel's in distress. We love that classic story of a handsome prince saving the day.

The NURTURER—serene and capable, she nourishes the spirit

 Mary Poppins

Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility

 The CRUSADER—a dedicated fighter, she meets commitments

 Wonder Women

     Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games


 Share from your favorite books and movies and tell me what archetype they are. It's fun, try it. 

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