Writing Practice: Create an archetypal character
Download the PDF and print it out, or just study the image below. Think of the main character in your story as you read back through the archetypes. Choose one that feels closest to your character.
Use these two questions to help you:
What fundamental human need is most pressing for her, right now, at the beginning of this story?
What is her “super power”?
Note that the super powers here are virtues anybody could cultivate. And ask yourself, which of these virtues will your character need, in order to complete her journey?
You may find yourself torn between two or three archetypes that seem super close. In that case, flip a coin! This is an exercise, not a marriage. Don’t get mired in the details.
Once you’ve settled on an archetype, brainstorm a list of 10-25 words that seem to connect with that archetype.
Then, using that lexicon, write your character’s origin story in archetypal language. Try to keep it between 3-5 pages, and see if you can demonstrate how and why this character is connected to the armature you’ve chosen for this story.
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