Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Character Archetypes by Emily Hollenbaugh

Character Archetypes

By Emily Hollenbaugh

            All of the characters that you devise have a different role to play in your story. As you think about your cast, you might consider assigning its members some traits from the following archetypes.
            One of the most common and least specific archetypes is that of the hero. Often, the hero of your story will simply be your main protagonist, but as far as archetypes go, a hero is the character who saves the day, who solves the problem. The archetypal hero, then, is a hero with respect to whichever situation he or she faces, and any number of your characters might fill this role throughout your story.
            Other archetypes capitalize more on the personalities and habits of your characters than the particular situations of your story. The rebel, the explorer, or the jester might apply to your main protagonist or to some of your supporting characters. These are the characters who add either a little tension or comic relief to your cast of protagonists.
            Archetypes like the magician or the sage can introduce a little mystery to your story, while characters such as the child or the orphan will play parts entirely different from those of the adults in your cast (although an adult character might also be an orphan). You might also take inspiration from the archetypes of the lover or the caregiver, who contribute to the emotional register of the story. Characters who consciously affect the course of your story’s action might fall into the categories of the ruler or the creator.
            It is unlikely that a character will embody any one archetype completely. Understanding a host of archetypes and the general functions that they perform in a narrative is useful for keeping your characters consistent as they develop and the story progresses. Rather than attempt to write a character into an archetype, you can use a few relevant archetypes to guide the way you write each character.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Types of Villians by Emily Hollenbaugh

Types of Villians

By Emily Hollenbaugh, Publishing Assistant

            As you develop your antagonists, it can be helpful to keep a few common archetypes in mind. While it is unlikely that any character will fit the mold completely, determining which archetypes most accurately describe your antagonists can guide the way you write about them, keeping your portrayals of villainy consistent and compelling.
            Archetypes such as the mastermind, the dark lord, or the ruler suggest a certain amount of power. These are the villains who effect change in their surroundings and willfully direct the course of a story’s action. If the conflict in your story relies on a strong antagonist to propel the action, you might consider exploring one of these archetypes.
            Archetypes with similar energy, whose actions intensify the conflict but whose motivations are less complex, are the chaotic or the monster. Characters influenced by these archetypes may be unpredictable or downright cruel; other, less categorically villainous archetypes include the antihero, the bully, or the mirror. Whether with respect to their intentions or their origins, these sorts of antagonists take some inspiration from the protagonists with whom they share their stories.
            And if your plot includes a twist of some kind, your antagonist might be an unexpected or redeemed villain. In different ways, the roles of these characters change drastically throughout the course of a story. The unexpected villain will begin a story as an ally and eventually reveal an incompatibility with the protagonist’s goals, whereas the redeemed villain will initially exist as an obstacle in the protagonist’s path, only later experiencing a change of heart or motivation.
            However you decide to write your antagonists, they will almost certainly fall into one of these categories. Taking some time to figure them out can help you to develop your characters appropriately, so that no one antagonist is filling too many roles. Instead, each villain in your story will have a believable part to play.

Three Act Structures by Emily Hollenbaugh

Three Act Structures

By Emily Hollenbaugh, Publishing Assistant

There are a thousand different ways to tell a story, but any narrative can be broken down into three main parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. This three-act structure guides the action of a story as it builds in intensity and winds down to a conclusion.
The beginning is where you grab the reader’s attention with a good hook and develop the introduction, laying the groundwork for the story that you want to tell. This is likely where your characters will be called to action or faced with a significant decision, and this transitional action should carry your story into its middle stage.
            The middle of a story contains all the build up to the climax. Most of the action and character development will take place during this stage. The setting might change. Relationships might change. Your characters might explore a new world or meet an antagonist. You might decide to add a plot twist to your story, ushering readers into its final stage and setting off the climax of the action.
            The climax—the highest point of action or the tensest point of conflict—marks the beginning of the end. The end of a story resolves the conflict introduced in its beginning and ties up loose ends. The number of questions that you leave unanswered at this point is up to you; you might plan on writing a follow-up book, or you might just prefer to leave some things to the imagination. What matters most is that the conclusion you offer satisfies your readers.
            A good story relies on the natural progression from beginning, to middle, to end. The three-act structure is the foundation of strong writing, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, experimental or traditional, and remembering this as you write will keep your manuscript on the track toward publication.

Matter over Mind

Matter over Mind Fran Cook, Publishing Assistant Even if nothing comes from something, be pr...