When author and writing guru (can I call her that) Becca Puglisi makes a recommendation, I daresay it’s a good idea to consider it. And that’s how I ended up at Sara LeTourneau’s website and Archetypes.com learning about character archetypes.
Confession: I had a hard time with the quiz at Archetypes.com. I was able to use it for my characters but I wasn’t convinced by the questions and result it gave me for myself. Undeterred, I went reading on archetypes and learned quite a bit about my characters (nope not me) at the end of the day.
Courtesy of Sarah LeTourneau, I stumbled upon an essay by Carl Golden about the 12 Common Archetypes. They all make a lot of sense intuitively and are readily available in most of the story content we consume everyday.
It was rather easy to spot which categories the 3 main characters of THE PURSUAL fit into.
According to the website, the hero is one who’s desire is to prove their worth through courageous acts. The hero is scared to fail, fears being weak or vulnerable. As such, they strive to be competent and display strength. Their main weakness, however is arrogance.
Although I didn’t take much time to study up on characters when I was creating/discovering Neith, I’m happy that she checks off many of the characteristics attributed to someone like her. But, here’s a teeny tiny spoiler – she’s not quite a conventional hero.
The Explorer is one who’s thirst for freedom from the chains of life is the most important thing in their life. This type of person strongly believes in living a fulfilled life and shuns shallowness. As such, he or she is scared to be trapped or to have to conform. Such people run the risk of seeming aimless.
Yup, I think Invier quite fits this archetype nicely.
This individual aims to throw things on their head but has a good reason for it. They believe things aren’t working as is and thus, need a shake up. For a character like this, they aim for revenge or revolution. A natural progression for them is to enter a life of crime or cross onto the proverbial dark side (Why am I now humming the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars?)
Not trying to spoil anything but, uh yeah this would work for Bel.
However, the character types I’ve noted apply not just to the characters I attributed them to but to each of them in some amount or another. Nevertheless, my characters change over the course of the series. I’m currently working on Book 3 and see how everyone is morphing as the events in the story push and pull them in different directions.
And as I continue to finetune my books, I’m going to pay attention to the various archetypes and see how I can exploit them for the thorough entertainment of my readers.
Are you doing something similar? Come on, share. No need to be shy =)