Character Archetypes: Wrap-up

Well, Squiders, I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of the character archetypes. We could go on forever, honestly. Some people denote eight different character archetypes, others twelve. Still others can break down each archetype into another six or eight or ten sub-archetypes.

The interesting thing about archetypes is that, yes, they do seem to be fairly universal. You can look at classic mythology and modern TV shows and find the same character archetypes. And, despite knowing that they’re archetypes, that they’re set up to fit a mold (or inadvertently ended up that way, through the collective unconscious or whatever), they often come across as realistic, well-rounded characters (some archetypes not included).

I also find them interesting because there’s so much you can do to subvert an archetype. People who deal with archetypes on a regular basis call these Shadow archetypes, but I think it’s fascinating to see what people will do to take a classic archetype and try to turn it on its side.

The fact of the matter is, most people–and characters–go through stages. Even if they fit an archetype to a tee at one point, their character arc can drag them into a different one, or several across the length of their journey. A character who is the Hero of their own story can be a Villain in someone else’s.

I haven’t personally tried using archetypes in my own writing, but I bet you if I went back and looked, I would find some anyway. I think that’s true of most writers. These archetypes exist everywhere in the media around us, whether we’re aware of them or not, and so they seep in to the way we view the world and how we think narratives should be structured.

Did you enjoy this look at the archetypes, Squiders? Did I leave out any character archetypes you’re fond of?

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One response to this post.

  1. I must have missed this one while I was away. I enjoyed this series and would still love to host you on my site. This was a wonderful topic.

    Reply

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