Whether you pen sci-fi, detective
mysteries, historical romance or anything in-between, one undeniable
element drives your story and compels readers to, well, read:
characters. Uninteresting characters equal uninterested readers, plain
If creating dimensional, engaging
characters gives you fits, or if you're just interested in finding out
what makes people tick, check out The Complete Writer's Guide to
Heroes & Heroines.
After a brief introduction of the
history of character archetypes, the authors dive headfirst into the
eight main types of hero archetypes. With each archetype is an in-depth
explanation of that type of character, possibilities and reasons he may
have become that type of hero (for example, the CHIEF character may
appear unemotional but in reality is a much more sympathetic guy than he
lets on). From that, we learn about that archetype's qualities, virtues,
flaws and backgrounds, broken into two possible styles, or ways, that
character might interact with others in your story based on their life
experiences. Several career suggestions are also listed for each
archetype, and in the margins, the authors list a variety of movie
characters who also embody that archetype.
The heroine archetypes are
presented mirroring the same structure. Following the hero and heroine
archetype section is information on how precisely to use the dynamic
traits of the character archetypes to create unforgettable characters.
The authors elaborate upon and delineate between core, evolving and
layered archetypes when creating characters and provide a wealth of
information on each type based again on characters in film.
The book wraps up with perhaps the
most interesting section: archetype interactions. For example, what
happens when you put a BEST FRIEND hero and a BOSS heroine together?
Each combination is examined and the reader presented with possibilities
for how the characters clash, how they mesh and how they ultimately
change as a result of their interactions. Rounded out by an appendix
listing the movies upon which their archetype research was based, the
authors provide a comprehensive view inside the inner workings of
character to help writers struggling with character.
Like any well-written book on
writing craft, The Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines doesn't attempt
to answer all questions for writers--instead, it informs and serves as a
springboard for inspiring creativity. Don't wait until you're stuck to
pick it up.
author: Beth Morrow is a multi-published nonfiction
writer always interested in what makes people tick in both fiction and
real-life. She's currently working on her fourth novel and researching
male and female speech patterns for an article coming to a national
writer's magazine near you this fall. . Beth can be contacted through her