Book Review · Writing Resources

Hero Archetypes, Part Two

Hero Archetypes. click here for new images/examples

We started talking about The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes in last week’s post. I only got through four of the eight hero archetypes then, so here are the last four.

This book has been a great help in my writing of late. I’d been finishing up revisions on my completed novel, and realized one of the characters needed more depth. While reading this book, I learned Artt falls into the WARRIOR archetype, with a layer of LOST SOUL. With that help, he’s become a much stronger character, to the point that I’m planing a sequel around him.

Edit: here are links to three other posts in this series.

Hero Archetypes, part one

Heroine Archetypes, part one

Heroine Archetypes, part two

Male Archetypes

The Lost Soul

This character is devoted, vulnerable, discerning, brooding, unforgiving, and fatalistic. He is defined by an isolating event from his past.

A tormented man filled with angst and passion, the LOST SOUL drifts through life with a heavy heart and a wounded spirit. He is dramatic, intriguing, and secretive. … This man has a poet’s voice, an artist’s creative genius, and a writer’s grasp on emotions.

Ideal occupations for this type of character include undercover cop, photographer, gunfighter, artist, musician, bounty hunter, wilderness guide, or travel writer.

The Professor

Some of my favorite characters — Daniel Jackson, Spock, Sherlock Holmes — share this type.

The PROFESSOR’s strength is his intellect or special skills. Expert in one field or many, he has turned his life into a science project. … He is used to being the smartest man in the room.

These characters are experts in their field, analytical, and genuine. They can also be insular, inhibited, and inflexible. They are academic, and absent minded or highly organized. They make good scholars, engineers, programers, teachers, and scientists.

The Swashbuckler

This character is fearless and foolhardy, exciting but unreliable, and capable of finding a solution to any problem, but selfish in pursing his goals.

He loves to leave his mark on every exploit, so he chooses the most rash and flamboyant method of achieving his aim. Impulsive and creative, this man lives for the next adventure.

These characters are explorers or daredevils, at home in professions like archeologist, pirate, body guard, safari guide, investigative journalist, and race car driver.

The Warrior

Tenacious, principled, and noble, this character type is compelled to see justice done. They can be self righteous, relentless, and merciless with their enemies.

The WARRIOR believes evil cannot go unpunished. he cannot allow the bad guys to walk away, so trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes. … He is the ultimate protector, the defender of all who are weak and vulnerable.

The character is a perfect model for knights, vigilantes, FBI agents, spys, Navy SEALs, and prosecuting attorneys.


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