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 HERO OR MASCULINE ARCHETYPES
I. The CHIEF
a dynamic leader, he has time for nothing but work.
Qualities: Once the Chief locks his eyes on the prize, nothing stops him from grasping the
Virtues: Goal Oriented, Decisive, Responsible
Flaws: Stubborn, Unsympathetic, Dominating
-The Chief has always needed to control his environment
-The Chief would rather lead than communicate
the CHIEF might be a BORN LEADER
-the Born Leader was born to assume his leadership position, through right or nobility
-only loss of control scares the Born Leader
-the Born Leader has always been aware of his destiny
...or else he is the CONQUEROR
-this is a CHIEF who has had to fight for everything. His sense of destiny does not come
from his family's position, but rather from deep inside of himself.
-the Conqueror demands respect
-the Conqueror uses the establishment
Occupations: CEO, Surgeon, Nobleman, Editor, Sherriff, Pilot, Bank President, Quaterback,
Movie Director, etc.
II. The BAD BOY
dangerous to know, he walks on the wild side
Quatlities: The BAD BOY is every schoolgirl's fantasy and every father's nightmare
Virtues: Charismatic, Street Smart, Intuitive
Flaws: Pessimistic, Bitter, Volatile
-Secrets from his past formed the Bad Boy. A Bad Boy, grew up on the streets, even if he
lived in a mansion
-The Bad Boy never had to go looking for trouble
-The Bad Boy alway got the blame
A BAD BOY might be the BOY FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS....
This Bad Boy fights tooth and nail to escape his past circumstances.
-he never lets anyone inside his skin
-he became a man early
...or else he is a REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
lashing out, this Bad Boy adamantly refuses to play by other people's rules
-the Rebel's bad attitude is a form of protection
-the Rebel hides his inner goodness
Occupations: Motorcycle mechanic, hacker, outlaw, actor, cowboy, artist, mercenary,
writer, chauffer, gang leader, sports star
III. The BEST FRIEND
sweet and safe, he never lets anyone down
Qualities: The BEST FRIEND is there to lend a hand, but sometimes he fails to realize that
he needs to take the lead.
Virtues: Stable, Supportive, Tolerant
Flaws: Complacent, Myopic, Unassertive
-the BEST FRIEND has always been there to lenda helping hand
-the BEST FRIEND kept the peace
-the BEST FRIEND never rebelled
The BEST FRIEND might be a MR. NICE GUY
-everyone can count on MR. NICE GUY
-MR. NICE GUY follows the course society has set for him
-MR. NICE GUY is torn between his friends and his dreams
...or else he is the CONFIDANT
-people matter to this BEST FRIEND and not because of some misplaced sense of duty. He
genuinely likes them.
-the CONFIDANT brings out the best in others
-the CONFIDANT is secure about himself
Occupations: Veternarian, Psychologist, Vicar, barber, policeman, baker, teacher,
counselor, small business owner
IV. The LOST SOUL
a tormented being, he lives in solitude
Qualities:The LOST SOUL endlessly relives his mistakes, but still dreams of a better
Virtues: Devoted, Vulnerable, Discerning
Flaws: Brooding, Unforgiving, Fatalistic
-an isolating event in his past defined the LOST SOUL
-the LOST SOUL never joined in the reindeer games
-the LOST SOUL was a loner
The LOST SOUL might be the WANDERER...
This is a LOST SOUL that walks outside of mainstream society, unwilling to fit in, he has
resigned himself to a life of endless driftign.
-the WANDERER never finds contentment in one place
-the WANDERER cannot seem to "attach" or "put down roots"
...or else he is the OUTCAST
this is a LOST SOUL that creates his own kingdom, either literally or inside of hmself.
-the OUTCAST wants to be left alone
-The OUTCAST aches for what he cannot have
Occupations: undercover cop, photographer, gunfighter, artist, musician, singer, cook,
writer, guide, bounty hunter
V. The CHARMER
a smooth talker, he creates fantasies
Qualities: the CHARMER makes you believe in fairy tales and happily ever-after.
unfortunately, he is not always there in the ever-after.
Virtues: Creative, Witty, Smooth
Flaws: Manipulative, Irresponsible, Elusive
-the CHARMER needs everyone to love him. He quicily learned to manipulate the people
around him without raising any hackles. Confrontation was never on his agenda. Rather, he
sweet-talked people into doing what he wanted.
-the CHARMER knew how to please
-the CHARMER was the quintessential golden boy
The CHARMER might be the PLAYBOY....
-his life is filled with elegance, wit and style
-the PLAYBOY never loses his cool
-the PLAYBOY is the star of his own show
VI. The PROFESSOR
coolly analytical, he knows every answer
Qualities: Trust the PROFESSOR to find the solution, but do not expect any explanations.
They would be too hard to understand anyway.
Virtues: Expert, Analytical, Genuine
Flaws: Insular, Inhibited, Inflexible
-the PROFESSOR special gifts rule his life
-academics were the PROFESSOR'S forte
-the PROFESSOR was the Nerd
The PROFESSOR might be ABSENT-MINDED....
-the lovable klutz, he cant find his pocket protector, oh there it is, in his pocket
-the ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR is at the top of his field
-the ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR may chance upon the solution
...or else he is MR. ORGANIZED
-This PROFESSOR not only knows his pocket protector, he has one for each day of the week
-MR. ORGANIZED is a slave to logic
-MR. ORGANIZED wants things just so
Occupations: Engineer, computer programmer, professor, scientist, dentist, accountant,
economist, loan officer, pharmacist
VII. The SWASHBUCKLER
Mr. Excitiement, he's an adventurer
Qualities: the SWASHBUCKLER roller-coasters through life, and he rarely stops to let dizzy
Virtues: Fearless, Exciting, Capable
Flaws: Unreliable, Foolhardy, Selfish
-the SWASHBUCKLER loved excitement
-the SWASHBUCKLER has to see over the next horizon
-no commitments stood in the SWASHBUCKLER's way
The SWASHBUCKLER might be the DAREDEVIL....
He courts danger and embraces excitement. A rebellious chord sounds deep in this
-The DAREDEVIL knows no fear
-Nothing fazes the DAREDEVIL
...or else he is the EXPLORER
Unlike his counterpart who lives for the race, this man loves the finish line.
-The EXPLORER never contemplates losing
-The EXPLORER knows where he is headed
Occupations: Archeologist, bush pilot, pirate, body guard, jockey, investigative
journalist, race car driver
VIII. The WARRIOR
a noble champion, he acts with honor
Qualities: the WARRIOR is a man of mettle who carries a sword of justice, but that sword
cuts both ways
Virtues: Tenancious, Principled, Nobile
Flaws: Self-righteous, Relentless, Merciless
-the WARRIOR needed to see justice done
-the WARRIOR stepped in when others were afraid to
-money and power did not hold appeal for the WARRIOR
The WARRIOR might be the AVENGER...
this man wants nothing more than to live his own life free from the cares of an unjust
-the AVENGER is a reluctant hero
-the AVENGER believes in an eye for an eye
...or else he is the KNIGHT
this WARRIOR embraces his destiny, accepting his mission in life with pleasure
-the KNIGHT is a saviour
-Honor is paramount to the KNIGHT
Occupations: FBI agent, environmental activist, cavalier, navy SEAL, missionary,
detective, vigilante, spy, musketeer, prosecutor