Saturday, August 24, 2013

Writing: Archetypes

Research: Better Writing through Social Anthropology and Psychology

The use of myths and archetypes helps the writer create complex, believable characters and tell stories that echoes of the human psyche. The value in using archetypal characters in fiction is that the a majority of people  unconsciously recognize the archetype and the character's motivations.

"The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers" by Christopher Vogler, inspired by Joseph Campbell, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" reveals the hero’s journey by identifying 12 steps seen in myths. The journey is a narrative archetype where the protagonist must overcome increasingly difficult obstacles before reaching the goal. Vogler identifies major character archetypes:

Volger Major Character Archetypes
The Hero

In "Archetypal Patterns in Poetry: Psychological Studies of Imagination", Maud Bodkin compared Jungian archetypes to poetry.

 Among the archetypal patterns:
·         The Oedipus complex .
·         The Rebirth archetype.
·         The Archetype of Heaven and Hell.
·         The Images of the Devil, the Hero, and God.
"Heroes and Heroines: 16 Master Archetypes," by Caro LeFever, Tami Cowden and Sue Viders is an exceptional resource for the writer. The authors define 8 male and 8 female archetypes.

The Eight Male Archetypes:

Archetype Name – Male
The Chief
The Bad Boy
The Charmer
The Lost Soul
The Professor
The Swashbuckler
The Best Friend
The Warrior

The Eight Female Archetypes:
Archetype Name – Female
The Boss
The Seductress
The Spunky Kid
The Free Spirit
The Waif
The Librarian
The Crusader
The Nurturer

Upcoming Blogs:  
 Defining the male archetypes and identifying a character from film or fiction for each category.

Wait! There is more on the Blog Horizon for Writers.

Sixteen Villain Archetypes
Jungian Archetypes
Volger’s Archetypes and the Hero’s Journey.

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