Archetypes


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Thread: Archetypes

  1. #1

    Archetypes

    I bumped into a really fascinating site on archetypes this afternoon, and I thought other writers might be interested.

    I've never set out to write an archetypes, necessarily, but this site's not about "peasant prince" type archetypes--more like deep psychological archetypes. Especially if you can find your personal archetype in this bunch, it can be an enlightening (perhaps even life-changing) read.

    As writers, I think it might help some of us get into or make characters, also, and understand what drives them, what they might need for a fulfilling story arc.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  2. #2
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    well here's to loosing hours of my life in reading material once again.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

  3. #3
    I don't even know what an archetype is.
    Them five dollar words go right over my head.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    I don't even know what an archetype is.
    Them five dollar words go right over my head.
    Archetypes are the frequent character tropes throughout the art of storytelling--starting from the Bible and Gilgamesh. As long as we've told stories, there have been certain types of characters that have shown up repeatedly--like The Hero. While heroes may be individually different from each other, they still fit the archetype.


    In the case of this site, they're more like personality types or psychological profiles which many people fit. Many of the ones I've seen on the site would be difficult to emulate for someone with totally normal, healthy psychology, so I figured reading into these might help when trying to make certain odd kinds of characters (and ones that aren't so odd in fiction, like The Hero archetype). They're kind of like the Jung personality types but not--far more in-depth.

    For instance, I've apparently written a number of Wound Child characters. I hadn't even been aware that such children had their own archetype until I stumbled upon it this afternoon while trying to find a quote attribution regarding unloved children. I was pretty amazed by how well this archetype fit a number of these characters (and people I know), and knowing that such characters can be difficult to get right for persons who did not have certain types or degrees of childhood trauma, I thought I'd be friendly and pass the info along.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  5. #5
    Ahhh, that's why I am unfamiliar with the term/concept. I avoid writing by formula or formulaic writing.
    Hence, I don't even think in those terms.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Ahhh, that's why I am unfamiliar with the term/concept. I avoid writing by formula or formulaic writing.
    Hence, I don't even think in those terms.
    I don't either, but I do find it fascinating when I get into a character's head well enough to make them fit such a specific archetype.

    I used to think of archetypes as tropes and cliches, but they're just part of the fabric of human experience--like shapes and patterns. It takes more than an archetype to make a good character, just like a good house needs some furniture and variety to its shapes to believable and lived in. Archetypes are like that too--no matter how detailed some of them can get, they'll still need padding out, form, a history, relationships, a setting, likes, dislikes, quirks, achievements, scars, memories.

    Horoscopes are kind of like archetypes, too. You wouldn't walk into a full-fleshed Greek Sagittarius/Chinese Rat who exactly fits the prescribed personality traits, magic numbers and such--and has no other defining characteristics. Too specific, and the archetype isn't general enough to be broadly applied. Too general, and it's totally worthless, and nobody believes in it.

    Met a lot of people lately who seem to have some trouble getting realistic characters, and while you surely aren't one of them, I figured I'd pass this resource along.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  7. #7
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    Met a lot of people lately who seem to have some trouble getting realistic characters, and while you surely aren't one of them, I figured I'd pass this resource along.
    Ha! I actually got into an argument with someone because they felt my character wasn't realistic. It was rather hilarious in hindsight.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

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