8 Key Female Archetypes to Consider for Your Novel

WritersWednesday

I found two awesome articles about Archetypes on C.S. Lakin’s blog and with her permission am sharing them for all you lovely people to see! Thank you so much C.S. for your insight and great resource! Here is the second article!

8 Key Female Archetypes to Consider for Your Novel

Last week we took a look at a number of diverse male archetypes that might inspire the characters in your fiction. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the female archetypes.

Archetypes can spark great ideas for characters because they are classic “types.” While one character might wear a particular archetypal “mask” throughout a story, sometimes characters will switch masks, depending on the situation and relationship involved.

You may think that fashioning a character to match all the qualities of a particular archetype might be like stereotyping, but that’s not necessarily so.  Within a “type,” there is room for much originality in personality and traits.

The idea here, when borrowing archetypal characteristics, is to look at the purpose as it relates to your premise, protagonist’s goal, and themes of your story.

We want to populate our novels with a diverse cast of characters, all of whom have a specific—purposeful—role to play. It may feel like generalization to turn an ally character into a Magi or Mentor archetype, but try to look at the markers of these types and see who might embody them and when and why and how.

I mentioned in a prior post that as I fleshed out my idea for my new novel that I just released, Colorado Dream, I’d already worked out who my hero and heroine already were—what personalities they’d have and what things were important to them.

After I’d done that important work (so that my characters would be just right for my premise), I researched archetypes to see just which ones might fit best. All in order to get deeper insights and spark plot and conflict ideas.

I found that my hero, Brett Hendricks was a perfect representation of The Protector (described in last week’s post). And it wasn’t hard to come up with the best archetype for my heroine, Angela, an aspiring musician.

Just knowing music was the center of her life made it easy to link her to the Mystic, who has a rich internal world, is extremely sensitive, and can feel the emotions of others.

The Mystic fears not having a place in the world, doesn’t want to depend on others, and covets her privacy and solitude. She needs to connect with something greater than herself.

Choosing this archetype for Angela promised much conflict, for Brett, as a Protector, would clash in many ways with his focus on his physicality, heedless to danger, and lack of creativity.

The challenge for me (as always, and one I love) was to find common ground between two seemingly unalike characters. When it comes to writing romance, to me, the trick is to make the hero and heroine as different as possible in many ways, but find common ground. Usually this is tied in with past trauma, and the big “fear” each has, as well as core need, is the same.

With my characters, both have abusive, domineering fathers. They both know what it’s like to yearn for parental love and instead get a slap instead of encouragement. They are both passionate about their gifts, and they see and respect the passion they see in the other.

So I hope you’re starting to whirl with ideas for your characters as you read these posts on archetypes. Let’s now take a look at the 8 key female archetypes.

8 Female Archetypes

1) The Seducer (Aphrodite): She cares about men, but loves being in control. This type rarely has true female friends. Women are competition. She is all about her body and appearance. She fears losing her beauty, being passed over. She is motivated by wanting to experience life sensually, to the full. She isn’t always “bad.” She can embody the powerful attractive woman who is seeking true love, but an extreme of this archetype can be a very vicious, backstabbing, manipulative woman.

2) The Amazon (Artemis): This type is the outdoors gal. She, in contrast to the Seducer, loves the company of her female friends. She is supportive of women and children, sometimes a feminist, one who stands up for causes, likes being self-sufficient. In extreme, this type can be headstrong, pushy, want instant gratification with no regard for others’ needs. She might be reckless, easily enraged, stubborn, or boastful.

3) The Father’s Daughter (Athena): This woman aligns herself with powerful men and supports them. She yearns for male approval and wants to be accepted into their circle. She values work, dresses professionally, is smart, but often can’t see or accept her female side (which she might consider weakness). She fears loss of control and might feel trapped in relationships. In extreme, she’s wholly self-centered, caring only about her needs and advancement, and because of that might lie, cheat, or destroy another to get to her goal.

4) The Nurturer (Demeter): As the name implies, she’s all about caring about others, often to her own detriment. She might work for children, charities, rarely considering her own needs. She’s a good listener and is generous. She fears losing those she cares for, and she just wants to be loved and have a sense of belonging. In extreme, this type might be passive-aggressive, angrily codependent, manipulative to appear unselfish and nurturing. The over-controlling mother.

5) The Matriarch (Hera): Being a wife is her life, and everything she does is to please her husband and family. Family is everything. She might be highly controlling of her “empire,” and enjoys entertaining to a fault. He biggest fear is losing her husband or children, or losing their love. She fears being alone in the world, being abandoned. In the extreme, this character type might become suicidal, threatening, paranoid, doing everything to save face—even destroy her family—in order to keep up appearances.

6) The Mystic (Hestia): The Mystic likes to be alone, and often doesn’t want to marry or have a family. She is very sensitive, creative, and fears constriction on her freedom and creativity. She longs to connect with something greater than herself. She is spiritual and fears not having time to be alone and pursue her creativity. She’s motivated by a need for balance and order in her life, and she’s sensitive to the plight of others, but she tends to live in a dream world. In the extreme, she is a loner or sociopath, is socially inept, afraid to take risks or make friends, feels so inadequate that she tries to please everyone around her.

7) The Female Messiah (Isis): This type of character is concerned about the plight of women and all living things. She wants to help others grow spiritually, find their path, be healed in body and soul. She fears being persecuted or misunderstood. She’s motivated by a sense of purpose, and in extreme, she’s dogmatic and unbendable, heartless at times, pushes others and punishes them.

8) The Maiden (Persephone): This type of woman cares about fun, not worrying about daily affairs. She feels carefree and invulnerable to trouble, and her self-confidence rubs off on others. She’s the party girl, regardless of her age, and hasn’t grown up. But she can have a big heart and helps others. She’s your BFF that stands by your side. She likes to meet new people and she takes care of her mother. She fears being trapped in a job or relationship, and she doesn’t want to appear naïve. She’s motivated by a need for safety and being different, and in the extreme, she might oppose authority (rebellious teen), get depressed, act out with bad behavior, and can’t seem to love anyone.

A Seducer might charm people to get her way. She might be a cool, calculating nemesis or a siren who entices.

The Amazon might be your boss, someone trying to climb the ladder, a confident and dynamic woman who seems to take charge and achieves big goals.

The Father’s Daughter might be a fun, loyal friend, team player, the one who sticks by your side and tells everyone else where they can go. She might be the girl next door or a coworker.

The Nurturer is ever the optimistic, telling you that you can do it. She might be the trend-setter, impulsive (let’s stop moping and go shopping!), and is often funny.

The Matriarch, controlled and clever, is analytical, detail-oriented, and often rigid in her manner and beliefs. She can be a know-it-all or a bookworm, a perfectionist that can drive you crazy.

The Mystic is sensitive and gentle. She might be that quiet, trusting, encouraging friend or someone who is just plain innocent and naïve.

The Female Messiah fights for your cause, meets her commitments. She is the stubborn sister or friend who is determined, quick-tempered, and says it like it is. She will tell you what you need to do in no uncertain terms.

The Maiden is the woman who brings peace and calm to a crazy situation. She is all about making peace, helping others get along. She inspires by her example of being capable, optimistic, and selfless. She might be a caregiver or a teacher.

Do any of these types sound like your characters? Can you find a place in your novel for a few of these female archetypes to make your story richer and push your conflict higher? Which type do you especially like?

Very Cool Article: 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Back in April of 2012 The World Observer Online posted an article about 15 things you should give up to be happy.

So I was on Facebook and a friend posted the article on their feed.  I usually don’t look at these kinds of articles, because I always feel like, “Oh I know that!”  But for some unknown reason I felt the need to click on this link and read the article.

This was a great article, and though I did say, “Yes, I know that one.”  To a lot of these, I found them all to be true and very helpful.  I have decided to print them out and post them in my room so I can remember them.

So here is the link and here it is:
http://worldobserveronline.com/2012/04/25/15-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-happy/

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.