Archetypal Characters Introduction to Archetypes

Archetypes exist as a form of storytelling shorthand. Because they are instantly recognizable, an author may choose to use archetypal characters for a variety of reasons -- because of limited storytelling time or space, to emphasize other aspects of story such as Plot or Theme, to play on audience familiarity, etc. The main advantage of Archetypes is their basic simplicity, although this can sometimes work as a disadvantage if the characters are not developed fully enough to make them seem real.

There are eight Archetypal Characters: Protagonist, Antagonist, Reason, Emotion, Sidekick, Skeptic, Guardian, and Contagonist.

Several of these are familiar to most authors. Some are a bit more obscure. One is unique to Dramatica. We will introduce all eight, show how they interact, then explore each in greater detail.


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