12 Character Archetypes in Stories

Every Character in media falls into a set of paradigms we can identify with a limited set of archetypes. These Archetypes helps us decipher their personality and such, their purpose. I’m going to give you 12-character archetypes in stories. Without these set abstract concepts of what a character is, we would find ourselves reinventing the wheel.

1. The Hero – Mastery

The Hero archetype, in most cases, is the protagonist in stories. They have
an obstacle they need to overcome and we’re there to see it happen. This
archetype can come across as mysterious, with an origin unknown to themselves. Can be considered as the reluctant savor when thrown in the middle of a conflict. Not only does the Hero try and fail, but they keep trying with unmatched perseverance.

The usual weakness is short-sightedness, emotionally charged, and acts
without thinking. Which in most cases is why they fail when striving for their goal. It’s the most human thing we connect to because we have all been in a spot of similar circumstances.

The motivations are many to the Hero. Its archetype is deeply explored time
and again. Still, with every iteration, there’s always something that can
surprise us.

2. The Magician – Power

This archetype is thought to have immeasurable power. The Magician, often
powerful is used as guiding hands for the main characters, propagating visions and laying out the path for the early narrative. They act on their own accord and ideas to what they think is right.

The Magician can fill many rolls! Antagonist, narrator, the hero themself.
Grant it, magicians are, if not, static characters and don’t constitute
character growth within themselves but in others.

3. The Outlaw – Liberation

The Outlaw is the challenger of social and societal norms in stories. The
world (in the outlaw’s story) will be built around rigid conservative ideals
that many are not willing to challenge. Ideally, you follow the rules or suffer
the consequences. The Outlaw dispels illusion and fear brought upon from the control source of the story, converting others to challenge the status quo.

Ideally, the outlaw is the carrier of truth for other characters and the
revel of truth causes personal change within the characters living the lie.
This is your courageous and bold archetype, with their strength centered around their defiance.

4. The Lover – Intimacy

This Archetype is not really about the lover themselves, but about the ones they give their affection to. Which doesn’t have to be anyone one person, but usually is. A lover can be infatuated with an idea, a symbol, a thing like a sports car. We usually write affection between two people, because it’s what our minds can easily conceive. Convincing an audience why a woman loves a particular movie or house is only seen as a single-layered quirk, and wouldn’t be the grand parchment of their character.

Between two people, the lover serves has the connecting force that drives action,(The hero going off the save his lost love.) They’re personalities, in the past, that have been lost to serve the ones they love. Which is the lover’s biggest weakness. Willing to die for the one they desire.

5. The Everyman – Belonging

The Everyman is deemed unremarkable in skill set and there isn’t much that stands out to make them special. But that is the point! The Everyman connects widely with the audience, giving them someone to root for when extraordinary circumstances force their hand. Many protagonists in media turn out to be an Everyman, the underdog trapped in passivity and begging for something to turn their world upside down. This archetype becomes the hero we all desire within ourselves. Yet the Everyman wants to connect with others and live a simple life after strange events have unfolded.

6. The Jester – Enjoyment

The Jester, usually not to be taken seriously in the terms of the plot, but can throw a wrench in things when solutions are being found. They can change the mood of a scene by drastically propelling their brand of chaos.

They live by the truth and don’t take it seriously. They softening the blow with humor when things need to be said. Life is a game to the Jester and we all have a part to play. On the negative end, which isn’t that different from the positive… The Jester’s irresponsibility can prompt impossible choices for our characters, which usually end with sacrifice or plans not being executed perfectly.

7. The Explorer – Freedom

Freedom and Discovery! These are two words that best fit the Explorer archetype. This is your mysterious traveler to unknown lands, The climbers to self-discovery, the lone wolf best fit to survive in any circumstance. They’re always willing to try new things and live in the moment. Everything they do is usually on their own and only work with others if needed. Not to say they won’t share knowledge and aid others in their journeys, but only does so with a certain amount of emotional investment.

The most hated thing for the Explorer is stagnations and being trapped, Being compounded by the weight of society and living like everyone else. This is why most Explorer types operate “off the grid”.

8. The Sage – Understanding

The Sage are experts in Truth and Wisdom. They carry an un-biased, sometimes cold nature to them. These seekers of absolute truth study and accumulate information needed to complete goals for our characters in stories. Their actions and words are riddled with exposition and enabling personal growth. Mostly a static character, unless they carry a drastic fault that changes the events of the plot, which doesn’t end well for the sage if this is the case.

The Sage can become isolated and become condescending easily, and if too many characters stand in the way of the truth.

9. The Innocent – Safety

The Innocent, or child archetype is uninitiated in the world. They think the best of everyone and their trust is easily acquired. Naïve they are, willing to believe stories more far-fetched than usual. The innocent can appear in stories where the character suffers amnesia, or they’re thrown into another world.. Of course, they can literally be a child looking to find happiness on a road less traveled.

As the story progresses, the innocent has a change of heart about the world around them and learn a thing or two, prompting character growth. The changes can be drastic or a simple matter. Whatever the case, the innocence of the character is lost by the end of the story.

10. The Creator – Innovation

This archetype doesn’t settle for less when they’re in pursuit of abstract goals. They look to create something that leaves their mark on the world and will sacrifice much to achieve it. Therein lies the Creators flaw, personal sacrifice. From health, family, and friends, none of it is sacred in the eyes of this archetype. The Creator can come across as a business guru, bitter antagonist, parental figure, etc.

11. The Ruler – Control

Power is the defining trait if it wasn’t a surprise. This archetype seeks to be top of their respective hierarchy. Through peace or domination, this character will rain over others. Keeping the status quo in check and enforcing their will. Mostly rigid in stories and wants to maintain control, They’re willing to sacrifice pawns for the greater good or petty manipulation.

12. The Caregiver – Service

The caregiver is the generous type. Giving all they can and all they are to others. Protecting them, showering them with gifts, and in most cases love. The Caregivers identity is rooted in serving others, thus filling in the gaps where the protagonist’s expertise ends.

Their common fault is sacrificing themselves for others, not usually in a game-changing way, but to buy time, or create trauma for our characters. In more nefarious ways, the Caregiver may over give and shield, creating a dependency issue that other characters must over-come.

Final thoughts

In closing, Having an understanding of your character’s archetype can create structure in character development. It will be easier to figure out what part they play, and how they should move the narrative forward. That’s not to say that your characters can’t take up more than one archetype, they absolutely can. They deserve to have complex identities like each one of us. With this system of archetypes, it will be easier to identify those complexities. Thank you for reading! if there is something I didn’t touch on, please send me a comment.

Shine On!

3 ways to Improve your Character Arcs

Characters in stories are important and need as much attention to push the plot forward. There are times when new writers create stories with a ton of character arcs, but they become weighted down by the plot. Meaning the plot ends up moving your characters around rather than the characters provoking the action. Your protagonist needs to be doing the heavy lifting in your manuscript. I will list 3 tips that will push your characters arcs!

1. Drop the hook.

So, how do you start your stories? Does something exciting happen at the beginning? How are your characters introduced? All these questions are valid when deciding the central theme of your story. It sets the tone of what’s to come and will keep your readers interested.

Give your main character immediate actions they have to take, showcasing what their worth under pressure. A taste of the protagonist better qualities or lack there of. You can also show action by starting the story in the middle of your narrative, It’s called the in medias res. . Your hook doesn’t have to start with an action scene to be effective as long as you start your story with information that gets people asking questions.

Even if your characters have passive aspects about them, having a good mystery behind them will keep those pages turning. Make sure you reward that persistence! Readers don’t like to be baited without a payoff.

2.What’s the Goal.

After building out the back story of your character, they need a central goal, something that keeps the pace up through the middle of the story. It’s the slow burn of an character pressing to achieve their ends. If your protagonist lacks motivation and allows the plot to move them, it makes the character feel blank and empty. You want your characters to feel like they have choices of there own and for them to act on it. That means putting them in situations of high stress because they choose to. It means your characters need to make impossible decisions that forever change who that character is.

Their goal needs to leverage between sacrifice and safety as the narrative builds to it’s climax. We want to see what character your does in many emotional situations to build relatability between them and the reader. We want to see the failure, the strive, the awkward situations, the fear, and defiantly triumph (the characters triumph doesn’t always have to be at the end) as they work toward their goal.

3.Define the Character’s Lie

Every Character Arc starts with and exterior desire (The Goal that progresses the characters’ actions in the plot.) and the internal desire (The goal unbeknownst to the reader that the character struggles to achieve.) The internal desire being the more important aspect of our character. Because the internal desire will reveal our character’s flaw, The Lie the character believes that keeps them from achieving their over-arching goal.

The characters lie is important because it defines the reason why they struggle. It’s something that should be tested and reinforced in every step of their goal. Usually the Truth is relieved right before or during the climate. Making the character decide between rejecting the lie they carried on their journey and excepting the truth. Or fall pray to the truth and clutch their lie. For example: In Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen personal internal arc was:

Katniss’s Goal: Keep her sister safe. 

Katniss’s Lie: It’s not up to her to ignite a revolution; all she has to care about is her family and sister, not all the other districts.

Katniss’s Truth: Caring about others can ignite a single spark and set fire to global change.

for more I have link here

Final thoughts

I hope these 3 tips help you on developing your characters and become more impactful in your narrative. Our protagonist, antagonist, and side characters deserve to be complex and action orientated. Let me know if I missed anything or if things can be explained better. Other wise, keep writing!

Shine on!

4 Types of Editing before Publishing your Novel

When finishing your manuscript, there are a series of steps needed before you see your beloved stories in your favorite online store and even before reaching out for an agent if your considering the traditional publishing route. Never is it wise to try publishing your work without proper editing from outside sources. This is especially true if your a new author. So I shall introduce to you 4 essential types of editing needed before moving on to the printers.

Developmental Edit

developmental editing is the first course of action toward fixing plot holes and structure in your manuscript. The editor will address all issues concerning characters, actions, pacing, repetitive trends that may not be intentional. This is also considered the most expensive out of the four editing types I’m sharing with you today.

You can consider this a professionals take on beta reading with more constructive depth. Some authors can go without a Developmental Edit, but I only recommend you go without if you feel confident and have a number of books under your belt. In short this is a great way to get feedback on some things you might of missed. You would defiantly want to do this first before any other edit.

If your interested in learning the trade, Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers is a good resource to get you started.

Line Edit

Also known as stylistic editing, The line edit combs through each line to integrate out-liars in your prose. Making your writing more consistent in craft and style. This can crank the readability and clarity on your manuscript up to eleven.

Have your ever read a piece of work, only for it to take you out of the atmosphere that the scene is trying to portray? A line edit can help with that! Making the readers experience as smooth as possible. Not having this done to your work can make or break the story. Consider using this method after making changes to your developmental edit.

So use this edit to eliminate the possibilities of poor execution. The Elements of Style, 4th (forth) edition is a great source for learning style in writing.

Copy Edit

Copy editing, in short, finds all the grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes the author missed in the course of writing a story. Chicago Manual of Style is the most popular set of rules used in most novels today, and most copy editors refer to this when finding mistakes. Having this edit done will be the difference between your title coming off as amateur, or one that shines professionally. Only consider this when you feel your writing style is integrated consistently through your book. At this point of editing, you shouldn’t be going back and changing the plot.

If you want to study copy editing for yourself, The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications is a great choice.

Proof read

The Proof Read is the last line of defense against errors before it hits the printers. This not only checks for punctuation and grammar errors like the copy edit, But also searches for bad formatting like naughty page breaks, inconsistent page numbering and any layout issues you might have missed. This includes your table of contents, publishers page and copywrite information.

By the time you get to this stage, you should have a Proof copy of your Novel handy. compiling everything you want in your book to be checked over one last time.

For proofreading help, you can read McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, following this course of editing will fare well for your novel. Making it better then some thought possible. You do have to sink some funds into this phase of your writing, but a necessary evil if you want to be taken seriously as a professional author. Hope you all finish up those chapters and Shine On!

Dialogue tips for Writing your Story

The beginnings of writing dialogue can be daunting, to capture many perspectives and make each one unique isn’t easy. Here are a few tips every writer needs to know when writing dialogue. Personally, dialogue falls into focus post-second draft. Having a good idea of what they say, loosely, then focusing intently on dialogue when your plots wrapped up. Working in layers from the big picture to the minor details was always the best course of action for me. That goes for any project!

Make your Characters speak Differently

Have you ever read something where the characters sound like the same person? Yeah, it’s difficult get past when your Russian character reads like an Mid-west American accent. It takes practice to nail the way someone speaks. If you have difficulty with making dialogue different, then focusing on mannerisms can help a lot. If that doesn’t help, then going back to the drawing board might be an option.

Getting to know your characters inside and out will keep you from getting hung up on the little things and will make the writing process a lot smoother.

Exposition

Yeah, there’s situations in your dialogue where you might want to drop a paragraph of information to establish characters, the world, how it all works, etc. I’m telling you now, don’t! There are other ways to convey information by having your characters ‘do‘ instead of ‘listen’. I know some of you might be worried about confusing your readers. Don’t worry, readers are smarter than you think! They don’t need info dumps to baby them. A little mystery can push the narrative, so keep your readers asking questions.

Small Talk

“Hi, how are you?” “I’m fine… you?” “Not to bad, like your new coat.”

This example of small talk is something you never want in you novel. Yes, its relatable, we all have small talk to awkwardly fill the silence when were not completely comfortable. Yet it lacks compelling friction and make your characters feel bland. You want to relate to the reader with more compelling traits in speech. Getting right to the words that push the plot and build character even. Unless small talk is a defining character trait/ moment and has relevance in your story, leave it out!

Read out Loud!

I can’t tell you the amount of editing you can accomplish on your own, when reading the dialogue out loud. We can have tendencies to veer off our sentence flow when constantly rewording or rephrasing things to keep characters true to form. After finishing a chapter, its best to read over it out loud and fix any hang ups that could give you high school English teacher an aneurysm. Just think how people actually talk and capture that as best as you can.

Doing this for your second draft will keep your editors happier if you didn’t. Cutting cost and heart break when the dialogue ruins the readers experience, because of the convoluted sentence structure.

Identifying Tags

When placing tags in your dialogue, it’s easy to settle on ‘he said, she said’ tags, ultimately making the conversation come off very stale.

In stead of following the ‘he said, she said’ formula, opt for variance to carry the tone. Using words like ‘she shouted, he lamented’ or ‘she stammered off, eventually barring silent and skiddish.” These sort of variances add real world dynamics to who these characters are and make them a ton more relatable. Implying body language speaks volumes about the tone of a scene if you do it right.

You could even get away with leaving the tags out all together, Especially when you want to keep your dialogue quick and snappy. The use of dialogue structure can aid you when using tags just becomes over-barring. It can slow down the pace of your intended scene.

Just keep in mind that a new person speaks every-time you indent another line of dialogue. There are exceptions to this, when two ‘and it you want to get weird, three’ characters finish an illustrated though in a sentence. For example: When someone interrupts another speaker.

I hope you found this information useful, Keep writing and check out my other blogs for helpful information!

5 Tips on Getting Unstuck on your Novel

frustrated

There are moments in your writing when you look at the voided white page and you just don’t know what to put down. Nothing comes up and it gets very discouraging whether you should be doing this at all. Writer’s block catch’s us, there are ways past it. I’m here to give you 5 simple tips to get you back on track and finishing that chapter you so desperately need to close out.

1. Walk Away

Now, it’s not as simple as that, as you all know. To walk away you have to have intentions of coming back. Do something that can pull your brain out of the gutter. We have to exclude things that will wrap you up for the rest of the day and push your writing to the next. We all have one thing that can relax our mind enough to let the ideas come through, whether it be running, gardening, even a simple shower. All thing we can walk away and do and come back with reasonable freshness. The key, if not over-stated, is that you have to come back after you have walked away.

2. Re-read your Chapter

Now you think this would be a common sense tactic, but in the means of writing your first draft, going back when your stuck can be helpful. Minimal bits of editing and problem solving can be enough to jump start the next step in your plot. It’s happened to me many times when I just go over it again, by the time i reach end point, I see just a little more of the story going forward.

3. Outline per Chapter

Some writers prefer to be lead by the nose with their writing, maybe they of a good sense of inner-structure to propel the plot. We all get stuck at some point in time. It’s a good idea to get another sheet of paper and write out actions and goals with the chapter. Note all thing things you want this particular chapter to achieve and what is the most interesting way you can do that. Are you building character but your inserting plot driving content that off-sets the pacing? Perhaps the your writing the climax, but your introducing more characters. All of these styles, of course, have exceptions. With that in mind, the lack of structure and pacing could cause you to hit a wall.

4. Take your Characters out for Coffee

Maybe the problem doesn’t lie in the plot, but in the lack of character knowledge. It’s common to be face with this situation in your story, when you have no idea how your characters should act. Meaning its time to start adding dimensions to them.

One way is to take those characters out for coffee. just yourself, your character and a table between you. What would they say, would they even drink coffee? How would they answer your questions? Would they be hostile toward you or friendly.

It doesn’t have to be coffee either, anything that you personally like to do when getting to know someone is good. Maybe tennis, would they suck at it? going to a bar! would they tip? everything that you do to learn about your characters doesn’t necessary have to make it in your writing. It’s more personal reference for you on making decision in line with character personalities.

5. Change the POV

Now, this doesn’t mean to go 1st person if your going 3rd person. Nor does mean to add an extra POV to your chapter. When stuck staring at the page, view the scene from another character can drastically put things in motion. Maybe you have a minor character involved in the scene. They might play a small part and have little to do with the plot, but account from their POV and decisions could create enough prospective that it can slingshot action where you didn’t have it before.

There are no rules saying that it has to be a character of sorts. Someone that’s even living and breathing doesn’t have to qualify. Get creative and take the POV of the tea kettle on the stove, That breezy crimson curtain where the window is open. or even morsel ciabatta left on an empty plate after lunch. Push the POV farther to better understand the scene, giving it depth, finding the tone.

Last Thoughts

There are many ways to tackle the dreaded white page. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to the create process, your create process. developing your own way of doing things is just as important as taking note on how other authors do theirs. We’re all in this together and it’s not a competition. Discover what you box is for you and then re-discover what the outside, of said box, looks like! you can do it! I know you can 🙂

Shine On!