Joined: 28 Nov 2013
This is a brief sketch summary of: The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines -
Sixteen Master Archetypes; Cowden, Tami D.; LaFever, Caro; Viders, Sue
The book presents Sixteen Master Archetypes, discusses each archetypes qualities, virtues,
flaws, background, the styles that the archetype usually appears, some occupations and
more. the later sections discuss the paring and blending and interplay of the archetypes
in story writing. The authors give numerous examples of well-known characters to
illustrate the archetype in literary or popular culture.
I summarize these archetypes here, and leave it to you to flesh this skeleton outline out.
If you can find the book on your library shelf or wish to buy it online it might make a
good read/addition to your personal writer's library.
THE HEROINE OR FEMININE ARCHETYPES
-a real go-getter, she climbs the ladder of success
Qualities: the BOSS values getting ahead and winning the game, but when it comes to
personal relationships, she is at a loss
Virtues: Confident, Dynamic, Competitive
Flaws: Blunt, Workaholic, Arrogant
-the BOSS rules her surroundings
-the BOSS's entreprenurial spirit quickly became apparent
-the BOSS was an achiever
the BOSS might be the PRINCESS...
this kind of BOSS has grown accustomed to constant applause for her many accomplishmetns
or immediate acquiescence to her every demand.
-the PRINCESS always knows what to do
-the PRINCESS is confident in her opinion
....or else she is the TRAILBLAZER
-this kind of BOSS had none of the advantages of the PRINCESS. She often has to challenge
the role that society wants to put her in.
-the TRAILBLAZER wants to run her own life
-nothing intimidates the TRAILBLAZER
Occupation: five star chef, prosecutor, ceo, madam, mayor, surgeon, editor, bank manager,
- an enchantress, she charms to get her way
Qualities: the SEDUCTRESS has a bad reputation with the girls, but that never bothers the
Virtues: Assertive, Strong, Clever
Flaws: Cynical, Driven, Manipulative
-the SEDUCTRESS came of age early
-the SEDUCTRESS valued friends for what they could bring her
-the SEDUCTRESS learned to use her charm to control others
the SEDUCTRESS might be the DARK LADY....
on the surface, this anti-heroine seems almost villainous. she manipulates to get her way
and has no shame fro the pain and anger she causes. but this SEDUCTRESS is not deceiving
and conniving because she wants to be. No, this woman is a survivor, using her skills to
get what she needs.
-the DARK LADY is a survivor
-the DARK LADY has an agenda
-the DARK LADY uses others as tools
...or else she is the SIREN
maybe she is without a dark secret, but somewhere along the way, this SEDUCTRESS learned
it is better to keep her emotions hidden than to trust the people around her.
-the SIREN plays a role
-the SIREN is savvy
Occupations: Spy, Model, mistress, saleswoman, singer, actress, trophy wife, coctail
waitress, stewardess, cosmetologist
The SPUNKY KID
-gutsy and true, she is loyal to the end
Qualities: a cheerleader in the truest sense of the word, she urges everyone she knows on
Virtues: Sense of Humor, Reliable, Supportive
Flaws: Sarcastic, Unassuming, Skeptical
-everyone loved the SPUNKY KID
-the SPUNKY KID was a neighborhood favourite
-the SPUNKY KID had plenty of team spirit
The SPUNKY KID might be the GIRL NEXT DOOR....
a sunny optimist, this SPUNKY KID is perky, upbeat and fun to be around.
-the GIRL NEXT DOOR always has a good word
-the GIRL NEXT DOOR is willing to lend a hand
...or else she is the WORKING GIRL
not quite as cheerful as the Girl Next Door, this SPUNKY KID has a tad more cynicism. of
course, she thinks of it as realism.
-the WORKING GIRL has game
-the WORKING GIRL maintains her sense of humor
Occupations: disc jockey, reporter, governess, wedding planner, high school teacher, hotel
manager, pet shopowner, human resource manager
The FREE SPIRIT
-an eternal optimist, she dances to unheard tunes
Qualities: She is ready to lend a hand to any project, but when the goin gets tough, she
is often out to lunch.
Virtues: Sincere, Upbeat, Imaginative
Flaws: Impulsive, Meddling, Undisciplined
-the FREE SPIRIT had a strong sense of individuality
-the FREE SPIRIT jumped from one prank to another
-the FREE SPIRIT followed her own path
the FREE SPIRIT might be the COMEDIAN...
this FREE SPIRIT bowls everyone over with her enthusiasm, concealing any troubled
-the COMEDIAN is always good for a laugh
-the COMEDIAN is hard to pin down
...or else she is the DARLING
this FREE SPIRIT grew up loved and adored by everyone around her. unlike her sister, the
Comedian, she is too self-assured and overly optimistic.
-the DARLING believes in what she is doing
-the DARLING is the world's greatest promoter
Occupation: beautician, kindergarten teacher, showgirl, actress, fashion designer,
florist, receptionist, travel agent, jazz singer
-controlled and clever, she holds back
Qualities: the LIBRARIAN knows the location of every book--except the book of love
Virtues: Efficient, Serious, Dependable
Flaws: Rigid, Repressed, Perfectionist
the LIBRARIAN's family was probably bewildered by her early displays of bright inquiry. if
her family valued beauty over brains, she suffered, but if born to an intellectual family,
she was in her element.
-the LIBRARIAN's gifts set her apart
-the LIBRARIAN thirsted for knowledge
the LIBRARIAN might be the KNOW-IT-ALL...
bright and confident, this LIBRARIAN has lots of facts at her fingertips. she has no
problem demonstrating her superior intelligence and is not afraid to show her disdain for
those who fail to measure up
-the KNOW-IT-ALL has hidden passions
-the KNOW-IT-ALL holds her own in any argument
...or else she is the BOOKWORM
like her more outspoken sister, this LIBRARIAN has a lot of book learning and a sparkling
-the BOOKWORM takes note of the details
-the BOOKWORM is uncertain of her physical charms
Occupations: research scientist, accountant, schoolmarm, muscian, professor, astronaut,
loan processor, chemist, irs agent, computer analyst
-a distressed damsel, she bends, but does not break
Qualities: the WAIF is the two faces of every man's fantasy. She is both Madonna and
Virtues: Pure, Trusting, Kind
Flaws: Impressionable, Passive, Insecure
-the WAIF was molded by her sense of isolation.
-the WAIF escaped one disaster after another
-the WAIF accepted everyone and everything
the WAIF might be the INNOCENT....
cloistered and sheltered, she has been given everything on a silver platter, but this
child-woman lacks experience and street smarts
-the INNOCENT always falls for the wrong man
-the INNOCENT is smarter than she looks
...or else she is the ORPHAN
this is a woman with a painful past, her spirit has been buffeted to the breaking point by
the blows she has suffered, making her as fragile on the inside as the Innocent is on the
-the ORPHAN needs a knight in shining armor
-the ORPHAN defends herself only out of desperation
Occupation: waitress, actress, indentured servant, maid, teacher's aide, bus driver, file
clerk, bank teller, cashier, cleaning lady
-a dedicated fighter, she meets commitments
Qualities: the CRUSADER believes in commitment, but is much more commited to a cause than
to her loved ones
Virtues: Courageous, Resolute, Persuasive
Flaws: Ostinate, Rash, Opinionated
the CRUSADER has always fought for her cause, whether she personally experienced the wrong
or merely witnessed it, it was a defining moment in her life
-the CRUSADER made a difference
-the CRUSADER never eased up
the CRUSADER might be the ZEALOT...
this CRUSADER moves unswervingly towards her goal, and heaven help anyone who gets in the
-the ZEALOT has a mission
-the ZEALOT does not let personal matters interfere with her goals
...or else she is the RESCUER
this CRUSADER is not out to save the whole universe--just that piece of it that belongs to
-the RESCUER rights wrongs
-the RESCUER pushes back
Occupations: park ranger, firefighter, missionary, social worker, union organizer,
environmetnal activist, feminist, revolutionary
-serene and capable, she nourishes the spirit
Qualities: No sacrifice is too great for the NURTURER, and she never lets anyone forget
Virtues: Altruistic, Optimistic, Capable
Flaws: Idealistic, Self-Sacrificing, Compromising
the NURTURER needed to be needed. from an early age, the NURTURER found satisfaction in
take care of other people.
-the NURTURER reveled in the experience of caring for others
-the NURTURER loved to be with people
the NURTURER might be the CAREGIVER...
this kind of NURTURER is confident in her role. she is laid back and secure
-the CAREGIVER always creates a home wherever she is
-the CAREGIVER is happiest at home
...or else she is the WISE WOMAN
bound by duty and love, this NURTURER cares for family and friends with a steely
determination. she is a woman who has seen it all and knows just what advice to dispense.
-the WISE WOMAN has "been there, done that"
-the WISE WOMAN is efficient and in control
Occupation: paramedic, social worker, lady of the manor, homemaker, pediatric doctor,
defense lawyer, nanny, special ed teacher, nun,