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The writer's guide to character archetype creation. A companion to the book by the same name.

Literally, billions of character archetypes at your control.

All tools available for download here.

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ABOUT THIS SITE


THE SCIENCE OF CHARACTERIZATION
 
This site is a reference source for my book ~ Morphology of the Character Archetype. If you have not bought a copy I urge you to do so when it is available, as use of this website is meant in conjunction with it. On this website you will find each and every primal archetype that I extrapolated from many works by Jung (there will be more to come if there is a demand for it). They are here for your download in high resolution PDF files displayed as ‘periodic-style’ tables, of which there are four so far. Also, for a definition of each archetype (of which there are thousands) I publish here my academic papers, which only the intrepid will read from top to tail. For quick reference on any of the archetypes I have listed, go to the index section at the back of each of the four papers and search for it by name. This will link you directly to the section where it is described. (I might be adding a search function later, however HTML and all of the extras that go with it are not my forte.) Hopefully despite my crude programming skills you will find this site easy enough to use.
While I also publish here extrapolations on five broad character types, which I have defined and built a system to create ‘character archetypes’ with (see below for some examples) these matrices are all explained best in my book. Peruse this site at your leisure but to do it justice, read the book first – that explains it all concisely. You will not find my book published online as it took me four years to write and I honestly need to make a living from it. However, it is currently seeking a home with a good publisher. Hopefully – fingers crossed – that is something that will transpire soon as I am eager to share what I have discovered with you.
Jung defined quaternity and the triad, and I went one step further and said what they could consist of at an atomic or molecular level. This is done by taking primal archetypes from my tables and inserting them into a matrix. The combinations of which literally run into tens of billions. But have no fear, this for the writer – keeps your characters unique, however there is a method to putting ultimate ‘character archetypes’ together. I also went a couple of steps sideways from Jung’s work and created three more matrices – the amoeba, the cartoon character and the hexagon. The suite of five types all use the same system of plucking primal archetypes (or atoms, if you will) from my tables and giving the resulting character primal motivations. An amoeba has only one and this is usually a type of monster in narrative. A two-dimensional character (or cartoon character) pulls in only two directions – and you skilfully decide the two atomic elements that it consists of. So rather than willy-nilly urges, there is a rhyme and reason to why the character does things based on his/her molecular makeup.
There are rules to selecting atoms from my tables, many of which boil down to common sense – things that repel one another aren’t good pairings. But opposites, as Jung points out, often create harmony in a Zen state of quaternity (four atoms). For more on this – be patient and watch this space for when my book gets published, I elaborate and do my best to keep it in layman’s terms. Jung, after all, claimed that he wrote most of his work for the layman, so this is not a put down at all. However, I have done so in twenty-first century language which I hope you will enjoy. My findings obviously will not be for everyone and if it’s not your cup of tea, please move on and don’t give me abuse. For those of you who stick with me, I’ve tried to open up a much-ignored vacuum on how to flesh out characterisation. There is tons out there on narrative, paradigms, syntagmatic patterns and intricate systems for creating plots – which are fantastic avenues to go down. I seek to compliment those tools with refreshing choices for creating characters to populate such stories with.
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Why study the archetypes?

Actually there is a lot to benefit all types of writers from this exploration.

Download the Periodic Tables Based on Jung's Work
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Quaternity - Inner Zen

This character is at one with the universe. His/her conscious mind has unified with her unconscious mind.

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The Triad

The triad is a common character who is always seeking a sense of quaternity.

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Hexagon - Overload

Too many character traits overwhelm this character so that she cannot achieve quaternity.

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Amoeba

Amoeba's are one-dimensional and are usually monsters.

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Spiritual Quaternity

Only God-like, or Saintly characters achieve this.

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Cartoon Character

The cartoon character, or two-dimensional character has two fundamental ways in which he pulls. Pitting a two-dimensional character against a three-dimensional character has some interesting ramifications for both the writer and the reader.

David Tickner
Galway
Ireland
Email
david@archetype.la

Copyright © 2018 David Tickner. All rights reserved. (Some library images used by licence.) No part of the works contained on this website may be reproduced without written consent from the author.