Archetype

“Thanks to our instincts and life experiences, we’re able to recognize archetypes without any need for explanation”

Neil Gaiman

This entails creating characters with known patterns and a universal appeal based on classic and timeless themes. Stemming from the work of Carl Jung’s research of humanity’s collective unconsciousness or a collective memory of universal experiences, archetype characters are easily recognizable and identified with by your readers. These types of characters symbolically embody universal meaning and basic human experiences.

A typical embodied character would be the ‘Hero’. This archetype would be personified by the traits of courage, honour, perseverance, and sacrifice. These traits lead to expectations on the reader’s part as to a character’s nature and actions. This simplifies the writing of characters by relieving an author of excessive or unnecessary description, explanation, and exposition because of the expectations.

Archetype Examples

  • Lover
  • Hero
  • Outlaw
  • Explorer
  • Sage
  • Creator
  • Innocent
  • Jester
  • Everyman

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