Personalities to Archetypes
By Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley
Co-creators of the Dramatica Theory
There is much to be gained by populating a story with interesting
personalities, but personalities are not necessarily functioning characters. You
can have as many “window dressing” characters as you want. Make sure,
however, that each of the eight
archetypes is represented by one of your characters.
For a given character, why would you pick one archetypal function over
another? Simple: the archetypal functions are essentially descriptions of
different personality types. Take the Sidekick archetype, for example. The
Sidekick is described as a “faithful supporter.” If you select a character
as the Sidekick, you have already said a lot about the kind of person it will
Note that the archetypal description says nothing about in what the character
has faith or what it supports. This is why Toto in The Wizard of Oz can be a
sidekick, but so can Renfield in Dracula. The Sidekick is not necessarily the
faithful supporter of the Protagonist, but simply fulfills the dramatic function
of illustrating how the qualities of faith and support fare in regard to solving
the story’s central problem.
So, in choosing which archetypes you want to assign to which characters,
select the one that best reflects its personality.
Excerpted from Dramatica
Story Development Software
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About Dramatica and
What They Do
Dramatica is a tool to help you
build a perfect story structure. StoryWeaver is a tool to help you build
your story's world.
Dramatica focuses on the underlying logic of your
story, making sure there are no holes or inconsistencies.
focuses on the creative process, boosting your inspiration and guiding it to add
depth, detail and passion to your story.
How They Do It
Dramatica has the world's only
patented interactive Story Engine™ which cross-references your answers to
questions about your dramatic intent, then finds any weaknesses in your
structure and even suggests the best ways to strengthen them.
StoryWeaver uses a revolutionary new
creative format as you follow more than 200 Story Cards™ step by step through
the story development process. You'll design the people who'll inhabit
your story's world, what happens to them, and what it all means.
How They Work Alone
By itself Dramatica appeals to
structural writers who like to work out all the details of their stories
logically before they write a word.
By itself, StoryWeaver appeals to
intuitive writers who like to follow their Muse and develop their stories as
How They Work
But, the finished work of a
structural writer can often lack passion, which is where StoryWeaver can help.
And the finished work of an intuitive writer can often lack direction, which is
where Dramatica can help.
So, while each kind of writer will
find one program or the other the most initially appealing, both kinds of
writers can benefit from both programs.
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