An archetype is a symbol or pattern that stands as a prototype or “typical example” of a set of characters or stories. You’ll come across the term in many places including the psychology of Jung. Joseph Campbell wrote about stories and archetypes in his work on “The Hero’s Journey”.
Now some people will tell you that certain archetypes are universal, others will tell you there are only 7 types of story- or 21- or 64 or … you get the picture.
I’m interested in archetypes because they can be a useful way of summarising the skeleton of a story- those essential features that have to be in place for the story to work. When you have that skeleton it’s much easier to 1) remember the story and improvise around it as you’re going along and 2) establish what the story is for, and how you can use it practically as a metaphor.
Any questions or comments, do leave them below.
Til next time