Introduction to Archetypes

Archetypes are not inventions, but representations of elemental human qualities.  In fact each embodies a family of qualities not unlike families of elements in the periodic table.  It is as if we put all the Rare Earth elements into one character and all the Noble Gasses into another.

This means that while each archetype has many component pieces, they all work in harmony to create a character of singular identity that we recognize as a facet of ourselves, made tangible, so that we might understand that aspect of our inner narrative.

Historically, students of story have identified a multitude of characters based on personality types that they have labeled as archetypes.  As useful as these are for creating characters based on relationships, or subject matter, true archetypes have no personality.  Rather, they are the fundamental processes of our own hearts and minds made manifest, incarnate as functions within a narrative just as they are functions within us.

As an example, there is a Reason archetype to illustrate how our intellect approaches the problem at the core of a story.  And in opposition, there is an Emotion archetype to exemplify how our passion comes to bear on the issue at hand.  In totality, there are eight archetypes, each composed of eight individual elements, working in concert to illustrate the broad stroke primary colors of our psyches.

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