A Look into the Archetypes of Story

Inner Journey
by Hartwing HKD

As I was considering what to write about this week I came across a great resource website for authors out there: helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com

If you haven’t had a chance to look at this website I highly recommend it.  It has great tips on a wide variety of topics from character development to scenarios and more.  There was one particular article that caught my attention this time around that I wanted to take a few highlights from and explain here.

Check out the full article here: 8 1/2 Character Archetypes You Should Be Writing.

Last week I mentioned two archetypes that are prevalent in just about every story: the Hero (or more accurately Protagonist) and the Mentor.  Everyone knows what the Protagonist is, and I discussed the Mentor last week.  So this week I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you three other large character roles that should find their way into your book.

1. The Antagonist
No self-respecting Protagonist can right exist without the Antagonist.  Whether the antagonist is a physical character in his own right, or if it is something more grand (such as a government, or weather, etc), there is always a few thinks that stay the same.

The only purpose of the antagonist is to oppose the protagonist.  She is the road block that the hero must overcome if he is to succeed.

Some of the best antagonists even have certain similarities to the protagonist (if a single person) which can create even more tension in the conflict present between them.

2. The Sidekick
This is one that many people have a tendency to forget, but most stories have one present.  Just look at the last few really popular stories that have circulated in the past few years: Samwise is Frodo’s sidekick (Lord of the Rings), Peta is Katniss’ sidekick (The Hunger Games), Ron and Hermoine act as Harry’s sidekick (Harry Potter), and on and on the list goes.

The sidekick is loyal to the protagonist, and does what he can to support her goals, but he is also his own individual with strengths and flaws that need to be set apart from the protagonist so that her growth is more apparent.

3. The Love-interest
While the title of the this particular archetype explains itself pretty well, it is still important to bring up here.  The Love-interest has become a staple in storytelling for many years and with good reason.  Often, I have found, that the Love-interest is someone who pushes the protagonist forward in their development.  She may help him overcome some internal conflict, or he may physically aid her with an external conflict.

Additionally, the love-interest can be exploited as a weakness for the hero or a catalyst that breaks past the threshold of his true potential.

The beauty of all these archetypes and the ones mentioned in the article is that there can be any combination of archetypes you want in the story.  This allows for great variety while also sticking to these roles that make good stories great.

Until next week!

Grace and Peace

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