• Home
  • Sessions
  • Creating Compelling Characters Through Archetypes

The lynchpin of solid fiction, regardless of genre or literary scope, is well-rounded and compelling characters. Complex characters are never easy to create, but there are some techniques to help this process along. This workshop demonstrates how to craft an ensemble cast from basic personality archetypes and provides methods for turning those static figures into absorbing characters. We begin with an overview of archetypes, how they pertain to various genres, and how they can be used as the starting point for building a strong cast. We then explore the leading questions that allow the author to mold a truly engaging character from the clay of archetypes. (What are the emotional triggers for each archetype? What motivates a particular personality trait to act or remain indifferent?) We then delve into secondary personality traits and backstory that help round out each of our characters. The end result is a diverse group of characters who each serve a unique purpose in the story.