Monday, May 7, 2012


    Have you ever been typing away and suddenly got stuck on where a character would go from that point? Character archetypes are a way for you to stay true to your character so they can be believable and relateable by digging deep into the heart of a character's personality. Learning why a character would or wouldn't react in a certain way that stays true to who she is on a deeper level.
   A quick search on google will turn up several web sites about the topic, but most of them differ from one another. Some say there are seven types, others say 16 and yet others have lists that seem to go on indefinitely.
   I will be talking about a few of them here. And remember there is always a dark side to every light side. A Cain to every Able, a Joker to very Batman or a wicked witch for every princess.
   The archetypes I will discuss will be based on Carl Jung's theory of psychology that suggests there are 16 personality types that fall under one of four temperaments.

  • Overseer                   
  • Supporter
  • Examiner
  • Defender   
  • Persuader
  • Entertainer
  • Craftsman
  • Artist
  • Chief
  • Originator
  • Strategist
  • Engineer
  • Mentor
  • Advocate
  • Confident
  • Dreamer
   We will start with the protector. The protector is observant, stable and has a need for security. They like people to behave accordingly and for tasks to be done correctly. Protectors don't need much of a reason to fight or overact in a situation. He may feel as if everyone is out to get him. He knows how to make women feel good and is protective of them. He is spontaneous and this can cause problems for serious relationships. His biggest fear is not being able to protect his loved ones.
   Overseers are responsible, logical  hard workers. They are more trusting of facts than theories. They are best when in charge and do well as supervisors.
   Famous overseers: Mrs. Rachel Lynde from Anne of Green Gables, Tony Soprano, Lucy Van Pelt of Peanuts and Princess Leia Organa of Star Wars.

   Supporters are people persons. They like having friends and have never met a stranger. They are responsible and follow rules. They care deeply for others and may end up as a caretaker. They need to be appreciated for all they do. Supporters are quick witted, generous and understanding.
   Famous supporters are: Monica Gellar from Friends, Donald Duck and Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh.

   Examiners are are responsible, loyal and hard working. They have a keen sense of right and wrong. They are dedicated and dependable and you can set your clock by them. They can be depended on to do the right thing for their families.
   Famous examiners are: Joe Friday from Dragnet, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh and Bruce Wayne from Batman.

   Defenders are traditional, loyal, quiet and kind. They have a need to be needed and are sensitive to other people's needs. They value stability and cultural norms. They are very adept at giving attention to detail. They do not seek positions of authority.
   Famous defenders are: Dr. John H. Watson from Sherlock Holmes, Melanie Hamilton from Gone with the Wind and David Copperfield from Charles Dickens.

   Stay tuned for the other archetypes. Here is a link to some character questions that might help to find where your character belongs.

   Until next time, Cheers!


  1. Hi, Jennifer! First, thanks so much for stopping by my blog today.

    Second, Jung's types closely mirror those I found in the book Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes. What I love about this book is that is it written for romance writers, showing how each type pairs with, clashes with, and changes with another, as well as giving great examples of each type from movies and television. It sure helped me hone in on character motivations and reactions.

  2. Erica, that book sounds like just what I need. I have no clue why it's not in my library already. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

    Thank you so much for stopping by!