For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about writing archetypes for our characters and how they also apply to the real life humans we used to meet and interact with before Covid-19.
There are lists out there all over the place about this. Most have slight variations on the number of archetypes or the names of the archetypes.
Oh! If you haven’t heard in our past episodes, an archetype is according to MasterClass:
An archetype is an emotion, character type, or event that is notably recurrent across the human experience. In the arts, an archetype creates an immediate sense of familiarity, allowing an audience member to relate to an event or character without having to necessarily ponder why they relate. Thanks to our instincts and life experiences, we’re able to recognize archetypes without any need for explanation.MasterClass People
Last week we talked about the seducers, the week before we talked about the misfits and mavericks. This week, we’re going easy on you with the creator.
According to MasterClass, the creator is, “A motivated visionary who creates art or structures during the narrative.”
They make things! Like writers! They usually have willpower. They are sometimes self-involved. Or they suck at practical things.
Over on ArielHudnel.com, it says (all bold their emphasis),
“Also known as the artist, innovator, inventor, architect, musician, and dreamer, the Creator is solely focused on examining the boundaries or our reality and perception. As a character, they often take the position of the well-meaning scientist, or savant artist.
The Creator carries an inexhaustible imagination, often excelling at their chosen vocation. When presenting as a mortal character in a reality-based world, he is often portrayed as a man ahead of his time. There are often better examples of this archetype in the real world (Galileo, Einstein, Mozart, Steve Jobs) than in fiction!
Mediocrity is the Creator’s worst fear. Whether this result comes from concept or execution doesn’t matter. The creator wishes to be an authentic voice in a world of white noise. They gain rivals easily, answering those challenges with innovation in their work, and their personal outlook.”ArielHudnel
Zeus. Dr. Frankenstein. Iron Man. All creators.
Phoebe in Friends. Jo in Little Women. Creators.
All of these characters are white. When researching this, we were overwhelmed by the lack of examples of BIPOC. It’s another glaring example of a lack of diversity in books and movies. And it’s super frustrating.
Over on the Character Therapist, they list the creator’s goals and fears:
To create things of enduring value
To see a vision realized
To hone artistic control and skill
To create culture through self-expression
To have a mediocre vision
To only execute a vision half-way
To believe all is an illusion
To remain unchanged/unmoved by beauty
We need all types of stories. When you create, think about who your archetypes are. If you are creating and expressing yourself, are you doing so in a way that is beautiful, clear, and fair to the rest of the world?
Single minded obsession is never good unless it’s about making bacon.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
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Another episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.
Last week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars.
A bonus episode with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez about cosplay, book boyfriends, and being brave enough to get rid of people who hurt you.
A bonus episode about being a cop's daughter in Maine and a dance mom in Pennsylvania with Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller.
And this week's episode link if you're reading this via email.
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I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should.
And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter!
And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.
So, here on the podcast we try to be helpful sometimes. I know! I know! It’s hard to believe, but we thought this week, we’d give you a little insight about the writing life and writers. And lay down some truths. WE WRITERS ARE EVERYWHERE LIKE DUST MITES There are a butt ton of posts on what writers need to know. And you know why that is? Because there are a lot of us. Chuck Wendig wrote, “The internet is 55 percent porn and 45 percent writers.” And that means we aren’t alone. But it also means that we should freaking support each other. Don’t have your whole Twitter feed be “buy my book, buy my book, sweet mother of all things holy buy my book.” Writing is communication that’s actually two-way. We write. Others read. Sometimes they write back. It’s good to remember that writing isn’t a solo gig. NO TWO WRITERS MAKE IT THE SAME WAY Well, they might. But everyone’s journey is different. I got a publishing contract one year after entering my MFA program at Vermont College and 18 months after quitting my newspaper editor job. I was lucky. But I was also working on my skills. I have clients and friends who worked for ten years before breaking into traditional publishing. They are great authors. It just took them a bit longer to get there. But they might stay publishing longer than I do. Or not. Who knows? That’s the thing. We all take different times and routes to get our books out there and get readers. Similarly, in the world of independent publishing, there are people whose books are absolutely awful making $10,000 a month and some whose amazing and ...
If you are the kind of writer who wants clicks and readers, this is the podcast for you. Yes! A helpful podcast from us weirdos. I know, right? Here’s the first one. Get Rid of The Crap Seriously. Get rid of the words, the repetition, the flowery language that exists JUST to be flowery but has nothing to do with your message, your character or your plot. Don’t have people nod and say yes at the same time. One is enough. Don’t have people think to themselves. We know they are thinking to themselves. Unnecessary words are blah. Nobody wants to be blah. Nobody wants to read blah either except maybe that one fourth grade teacher and maybe your honors freshman English teacher, the one who yelled about James Joyce a lot. Let Your Title Be a Promise and a Gift. That’s right. Give your readers something. Your title is a promise and a gift. Think to yourself: Why would anyone care about reading this? For this podcast, the answer to that would be that people care because they want the tools to be a better writer. Figure out why you’re writing what you’re writing and give that to the reader. This goes for books too. Even if your answer is just – I want to provide readers an escape. It works. Actually Write Your Story Don’t just talk about writing. Write. Don’t stare ...
A lot of writers will worry that their stories seem flat. There’s a reason that they are worrying about that and it’s one of the core elements of good writing. Ready? You want to vary your sentence structure. Take a bit of writing that you’ve done that feels flat—or maybe even one that doesn’t. Count the words in your sentences for two or three paragraphs. Are they all five words? Twelve? Twenty-seven? That robotic sameness in sentence length is one of the main reasons that writing can feel flat. It’s like those ancient Dick and Jane books. See Dick run. See Jane skip. See Dick wave. The other big bugger is when all of your sentences are simple and declarative. I walk to the forest. The trees are gracious, tall. I inhale the pine scent. There is actually a whole, entire world of different sentence styles that writers can use and when you use them? That’s when you make your writing shiny and sexy and all the good things. The names for these structures are pretty boring, honestly, but we’ll try to look beyond that, right? Simple – You have one main clause. Carrie is the best wife. Compound – You have more than one independent clause. You probably use a conjunction. Carrie wants to get another dog, but Shaun keeps saying no. Complex – Oh, the sentence that probably has to pay for a therapist or is reading Foucault obviously in the park. This sentence has an independent clause and a subordinate clause. It’st the BDSM of sentences. When hell freezes over, we will allegedly get another dog. Compound-Complex – It sounds like a place with a cult, right? But it’s just a sentence with at least two independent clauses and one subordinate clause. Carrie really ...