1. Jessica
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    Jessica New Member

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    Favorite Character Archetypes

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Jessica, Nov 5, 2009.

    Personally, I always fall for the character who is calm and rational on the outside, but you can see in their eyes they have a deep, hidden, passionate core, only ever revealed to the trusted friends and lovers, or in the moments they lose control.

    You can imagine how thrilled I was with Spock in the latest Star Trek movie.

    The problem with this archetype is that they are generally emo/angsty. I can handle this to a certain degree, but it tends to get out-of-hand. Furthermore, it's been done badly so many times that the charm has begun to wear, even on the decent ones. However, I have noticed that even with the cheesiness and cliches, I can't help but enjoy the bad ones on one level or another.

    Then there is the femme fatale. Classic and captivating, the femme fatale will always be one of my favorites. I believe her best performances are the witty/comedic ones. Her deeper roles are interesting, but still second place.

    Which are your favorites?

    EDIT: By the way, I put this thread in the correct place, right?
     
  2. Smithy
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    Smithy Senior Member

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    My favourite has to be protective older siblings, especially when protection is taken to insane levels. I just can't get enough of them. Especially when paired with a vulnerably younger sibling, which offers great opportunity to show the switch from strong, protective bordering on sociopathic around others, to gentle and tender when in the presence of their younger brother/sister.
     
  3. Twisted Inversely
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    Twisted Inversely Senior Member

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    Initially weak naïve character who when confronted with some kind of seemingly insurmountable problem finds and thenthe strength within him/herself to keep going. At worst they can degenerate into wish fulfillment characters, which I suppose might be therapeutic for the author – them getting live vicariously their amazingly awesome avatar, for whom no problem is unsolvable– but gets pretty boring to read about. At best though these characters are inspiring, the type you can really cheer for.

    I also have a soft spot for edgy angsty anti-heroic characters, probably because they are so different from myself and anyone I know, even though if I did meet them someone like that one real life I would think of them as a bit of an arsehole (excuse my Frence).
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Locke from TV show Lost
    Christopher Snow and Sosha Goodall in Dean Koontz' Fear Nothing and Seize the Night
    Oricle and Neo from The Matrix.

    I also like the intelligent nerdy characters, both men and women, that are also cool.
     
  5. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Gay folk who are not saddled with stereotypes... oh, wait, those don't exist in literature? Poopdeck.

    I suppose, if I had to choose, I would probably say the tragic villain or hero. I want my characters, good or bad, to suffer horribly for my pleasure. I am a terrible human being. As for the personality of the character, I don't mind so long as he isn't all guilty and sad by it. There is not a single thing worse than someone who cries about their problems. Yes, yes, the world is going to explode, but there is clearly no use crying over it, the modishly decked out sixteen year old Japanese boy who wears more eyeliner than [insert reference here] is going to save the world anyhow.

    I will admit, however, I like a character with a good sense of humor.
     
  6. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ben Linus is the type of character I love. He starts off as this villian, but as the show progresses you learn he isn't quite as evil as you once thought. Yes he is willing to do just about anything to get his way. But he does most of it to try and do the right thing(atleast most of the time).

    These types of characters I just love.

    I also love the Underdog.

    Naruto *dodges the hate* is a great example of this. He comes from nothing. He grew up without friends and family and everyone is constantly putting him down and saying he is worthless. When he says he is going to be the next Hokage, everyone just laughs. Yet when pushed, he pushes back. He refuses to give in if he wants to protect someone. Alot of the time he does come out on top.

    These kind of characters I really enjoy.

    Its also just great to see everyone proven wrong by them. :p
     
  7. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love the eccentric anti-mentor. He presents his own wisdoms with no regard for anyone else's emotions, and often serves to point out things that others would find imprudent to talk about. He's also a great alternative to the sleep-inducing regular mentor archetype.

    I guess I generally favour archetypes with "anti-" appended in front. They put the stereotypical on the head, add surprise and humor.
     
  8. FiFace
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    FiFace New Member

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    the rebellious one that is actually a good guy/girl at heart. Like, to society seems a menace, but to the greater good (per se) is actually really good, so the antihero i guess. :) makes me all gooey inside:p
     
  9. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Sarcastic anti-hero with faith in nothing and nobody, soft speaking and individualistic.

    See my nick, Snake Plissken, Captain Herlock...
     
  10. Runaway
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    Runaway Member

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    One word: House.
    I love that guy.
     
  11. Fox Favinger
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    Fox Favinger Contributing Member

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    I want a guy who is passionate about what he does, as well as professional. I don't mind ego, so long as they have the skill to show it. I'm sick of reading about lost souls that don't know what they want to do. I am one of those souls, I don't need another being described to me!

    I like them to have a mature and perhaps sadistic sense of of humor. Don't crack childish jokes and don't be afraid to laugh at death. A character that doesn't take what they do seriously is a major turn off. I don't mind sarcasm, but a lot of authors fail at that aspect of humor and make the character come off as one dimensional and uncaring.

    I read novels with a lot of action, so if the MC is killing people he damn well better enjoy it! No more of that "war is terrible" dialogue coming from him. I want him to shut up and do his job.
     
  12. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    A villain with an uashamedly warped perspective on the world, that somehow kind of makes sense.

    <---------
     
  13. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then my other three favourite characters:

    Alan Shore from Boston Legal (liked him even better in The Practice)

    Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl

    Tyrion Lanister of ASOIAF

    House would probably be fourth
     
  14. Nackl of Gilmed
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    Nackl of Gilmed Member

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    I like a protagonist with a dash of insanity. Not clawing-out-their-own-eyes insane, just a little unpredictable. The only example I can think of is John Crichton, from the tv series Farscape.
     
  15. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    I've always enjoyed the lovable sociopath. The villain you can't help but like, even if only a little.
     
  16. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    I like the young boy who becomes a hero.

    Luke Skywalker, for instance. Every RPG I play seems to involve the character starting out as some naive farmboy. I love even more when that gets subverted. I played a character in a Dogs in the Vineyard game once. He was a cocky kid, who'd never actually been in a gunfight. Then, one night our wagon got attacked by bandits, and he was clipped in the leg. He ended up hiding behind a rock, shooting blindly into the night. When it was all over, he just sobbed into the drunk's shirt, wanting his big sister to hug him. He was barely even injured.

    The other character trope I love is the person who used to be the naive farmboy hero. Someone who thought he could save the world, but in the end he had to do things that went against his personality to the point where he's killed so many people and led to the death of so many friends that he's just jaded and hard and old. And then he meets the farmboy hero, who's just like he was, and he tries to tell him how the world is cold and there's no room for people like him. Only to have the young hero warm the old man's heart.
    With his death. Because it's ironic, and if he dies but still gets his message of idealism across, then it's even sadder.
     
  17. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not trying to sound sexist or anything, but seriously, strong female characters have always been my absolute favorite. In the stories that I've worked on it's known that I need to have a strong female character/heroine/antagonist somewhere in there, whether it be a bit part or a main character. I guess I'm just attracted to the damaged, tough girls, but whatever. Hell, I'm not afraid to admit it. haha

    As for other roles though, I do really enjoy a character who is lost in themselves. The ones who are trying to find a deeper meaning, with or without telling the characters around him of this. They are off-kilter, hard to write (if done wrongly turn into annoying reader-death characters ever), interesting people. I've only met a few people like this in my life and they amused me for hours on end.

    - Steve
     
  18. Joran Selemis
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    Joran Selemis Member

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    I love the hero whose motive is unclear. Kind of like Wolverine outta X-Men; he has no real purpose for what he does and could in fact just sit down and let the world pass him by, but he fights regardless. Also characters who are taciturn (unexpressive and unemotional) and have their tempers ignited easily. It helps if they're somewhat nuts too.

    Other than that, the sociopathic villain has to be my second favourite. There's just something beautiful about seeing Batman and co in the Dark Knight foil the Joker's plans only to realise it was a metaplan and he had everything worked out. Intelligence is something I value greatly, and it would seem the Joker, for all his psychological issues, is smarter than all of them combined.
     
  19. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh... I love those.

    Every Terry Gilliam movie got one of those and that's why I love them.
     
  20. Forgotten_Memories
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    Forgotten_Memories Active Member

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    My favourite is the cocky, arrogant, pretty boy, who's full of angst.

    Or just the amazingly cool, older guy, who isn't really a main character, but helps the main character a lot and is extremely bad ass!!

    Or, tough female character.
     
  21. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    Depends on my mood but I can't help but be swayed by the character that's in complete control. Be it boisterous or angsty, energetic or pensive. Its the ones that know more then everyone else and know what needs to be done.

    I also love deep complicated female roles rather then the boring stereotypes of strong 'women=act like a man with boobs' or 'feminine type= artsy and constantly fainting'. These people drive me mad and I'm so relieved to find a female character with a few more dimensions.
     
  22. Silverman
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    Silverman New Member

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    I'm into the character that is all-powerful and next to impossible to beat. They are the good guys that go up against the impossible odds and destroy all the enemies. The thing is, the only two I like that are the ones I have created,:D and that I plan to write books on someday. I guess you could consider them semi-superhero-esque.

    But generally, I like heros of stories. As a scifi fan, you may understand why I like the Dune series.

    Silverman
     
  23. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    I like a lot of different characters since I tend to like to create quite a number of them.

    But if I had to pick I really like the hero that starts off unsure of his own destiny and works hard to do the right thing. They're not instinctively knowledgeable about what is right and wrong, but they trust in their loved ones to help them figure it out. He or she is a "good guy" but not because a book or movie says so but because they show it.

    I also love the villian that's on a knife's edge between redemption and utter destruction and in the end fails to do the right thing and ends up as the first person's nemesis. He or she believes what they're doing is right and decides to ignore good advice and being strong and instead ends up defeated (or wins!) their ill-gotten war.

    Oh, and I adore some of the funny characters. Not the stupid cutesy ten year old but the characters that are mature but have an intelligent (and oftentime sardonic) sense of humor.
     
  24. Newnonel
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    Newnonel New Member

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    Don't we all like intelligent heroes? *Grins*
     
  25. CajunSunrise
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    CajunSunrise New Member

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    My favorite archetype..

    I think I'll have to agree with Runaway and say House.

    The abrasive character that is more likely to offend than anything, purposely alienating people so that he can hide his insecurities beneath his rude demeanour. His insecurities justify his anger, and so he continues to be rude, and it continues on in a vicious cycle.

    I also like characters like Caris from World Without End, by Ken Follet. Strong, intelligent women in eras dominated by patriarchal systems, but only if they are fully developed characters in a well-written plot.
     

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