Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Return to Archetypes Part 2

The third post in my "Writing a Novel Series", which details my experience writing 151, will cover my use of another kind of archetype to build my story: character archetypes.

Now that I had the major themes and story threads that would be woven into my novel, I had to populate it with a cast of memorable and compelling characters. For this, I returned to the idea of archetypes once more, only this time, I focused on character archetypes: those recurring character-types that seem to show up again and again in myths and legends, both ancient and modern. Below are a few of the archetypes I chose.

The Outcast Hero
This, of course, was a given, considering the concept behind 151. Many heroes from myth are first cast out of their own homeland and forced to live in the wilderness, or in a foreign land, before fulfilling their destiny. This type of hero is an outcast. From Odysseus, who disappeared from his homeland of Ithaca for so long that he was assumed dead, to Peter Parker, who was a societal outcast in his high school even after he became Spider Man, the hero cast away was a rich and compelling archetype for me to use.

The Pirate
This archetypical character brings a sense of adventure to the story. Usually a vagabond—someone who usually plays by his own rules—the pirate character serves as a side-kick and catalyst to the main hero proper. Think of Han Solo to the hero Luke, and you'll have a good idea of the role the Pirate archetype plays.

The Amazonian
This character represents a strong female lead, often a woman who walks, talks, and fights more like a man. The Amazonian will push the other male characters in the story, often beyond their limits, in an attempt to prove to them that she is just as strong. I wanted the story of 151 to also have one such character

The Tyrant King
Of course, the final character archetype that I would build the story around is that of the Tyrant, the ruler who abuses his power and terrorizes his people. This time, however, I would split this character into two: both the ruler of the Colony and his new wife! I would definitely have a lot of fun with the Tyrants, always dreaming up new terrible things for them to do...

Stay tuned for the next entry in this series!