replied to your



If I were to tell an anecdote about how my parents…

Ah, but does either of them make the stereotypical dad jokes?

Neither of my parents make dad jokes. In fact, I don’t think I have ever heard a dad joke uttered by an actual parent, dad or otherwise. I have almost convinced myself that the dad joke is a Tumblr phenomenon and that the dad of the Tumblr post is a fictional character (or perhaps archetype) from a work I have not read.

Character archetypes exist even in real life. Like the “blue-collared middle-aged white man who’s rude about everything” character archetype.

Summary of review of Bone In the Throat from Ain’t It Cool News:

Even though the film opens far better than it closes, BONE IN THE THROAT is certainly no dud of a gangster flick. The dialogue is concise and often funny, the characters are archetypal but memorable, and the emphasis on food and restauranteurs gives it a very signature feeling… Not the best British gangster film I’ve ever seen, but ample evidence that there’s plenty of room in the genre for fresh, original takes.

Again minor spoiler warnings for the full review but at least this one seems to confirm that (under cut if you’re avoiding all details)…

Keep reading

41 Emotions as Expressed through Body Language

Found Here x

41 Emotions as Expressed through Body Language unique 
This list, while exhausting, is soooo not exhaustive; it barely scratches the surface. And each entry could easily become cliché (if it isn’t already). But, it should be enough to get you started. Want more? Start watching people (not in a creepy way), and take notes of what they seem to do when expressing different emotions. Your repertoire of expression will double in no time. PS—do not use these for actual, real-life body language reading; you will fail. These are strictly novelistic.

-jawed, raised eyebrows, staring 
-Frozen, slack body language (Self? What self? There is only Zuul.
-Take a step back and put a hand to his heart

-Smiling and throwing back her head laughing 
-Slapping her thighs, stamping her feet, clapping her hands 
-Shaking her head (That’s so wrong!)

-Sharp movements, like shaking a fist, pointing, slashing, or slamming a fist on a table 
-Flushed face, patchy red blotches 
-Tension in neck—chords standing out, veins throbbing—and jutting or tucked chin 
-Arms akimbo, or clenching fists 
-Entering someone else’s space and forcing them out 
-Poofing up with a wide stance (I am big! Very big!), arms wide (Bring it!
-Lowered eyebrows, squinting eyes 
-Teeth bared, jaw clenched, snarling

-Pressing lips together into a thin line 
-Narrowing eyes sometimes with slight head tilt (Why do you still exist?
-Rolling eyes, often paired with a long-suffering sigh

-Fidgeting, such as tearing grass into little pieces, playing with a ring, or chewing on a pencil 
-Biting lower lip, swallowing unnecessarily 
-Quickened breathing or holding breath 
-Darting eyes 
-Pallor, sweating, clammy palms 
-Unusually high-pitched, “nervous” laughter 
-Hunched shoulders 

-Slow head nodding with a furrowed brow 
-Leaning forward, toward the speaker, and sitting up 
-Taking notes 
-Looking over the top of her glasses

-Resting his head on his palm, peeking out between the fingers, maybe even slipping so his head “accidentally” hits the table 
-Tapping toes, twirling pencil, doodling, and otherwise fidgeting 
-Staring out a window, or at anything remotely more interesting (Which is everything …)

-Arms clasped behind body 
-Head lifted, chest out, standing tall 
-Walking briskly and making firm, precise movements

-Tilting head with narrowed eyes 
-A furrowed brow 

-Lifted chin (The better to look down the nose.
-Pursed lips, sneering, slight frown 
-Circling a shoulder, stretching her neck, turning away—anything to indicate she doesn’t see the person as a threat or worthy of her attention 
-Grabbing her lapels, or tucking her thumbs in her waistcoat (See this clothing? It is much nicer than yours.
-Dismissive hand-waving

-Twisted lips or a half-smile 
-Sneering, sometimes with shaking the head and other defensive body language 
-Pressed lips with a slight frown 
-Eye rolling

-Crossed arms, legs, crossed anything, really (Well, maybe not fingers … or eyes …
-Arms out, palms forward (Stop!
-Placing anything (sword, shield, book, backpack) in front of her body

-Crinkling his nose 
-Curling his lip and/or showing the tip of his tongue briefly 
-Flinching back and interposing a shoulder or turning away 
-Covering his nose, gagging, and squinting his eyes shut—hard—for a moment. (It assaults all the senses.)

-A plastered-on fake smile (You suck; but I can’t tell you that. So here: a fake smile! Enjoy.) 
-Pouting or frowning (I’ll cry if you don’t give me what I want—don’t test me, I will!
-Crossed arms and other defensive/frustrated body language (I will not let that terrible idea influence me!)

-Wide eyes and shallow, rapid breathing 
-Beating the walls, or huddling into a corner 
-Clasping hands over his head protectively 
-Rocking himself 
-Running his hands through his hair

-Leaning forward, nodding, wide eyes with strong eye contact and raised eyebrows 
-Hand on heart, or presented palms-up, or otherwise visible 
-A double-handed handshake (really want to make sure you understand me!)

-Covering her face with her hands or bowing her head (I’m so embarrassed, I can’t look!
-Difficulty maintaining eye contact, looking down and away

-Rubbing hands together (I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
-Licking lips (It’s so close I can taste it!
-A vigorous, pumping handshake (I can’t wait to get started!
-Jumping up and down (Look at me being literal here! I am jumping for joy.) 
-A wide and easy grin

-Eye play, like winking, looking up through the lashes, over the shoulder glances, and eye catching  
-Preening, like hair flipping or smooth, clothing straightening, spine straightening, etc. 
-Striking a cowboy pose, with his thumbs gripping his belt tight

-Shaking his head (You are so wrong!
-Massaging temples (My brain—it hurts.) 
-Clasping his wrist in his opposite hand, behind his back (Bad arm! No biscuit.
-Running his hands through his hair (All this frustration is making my hair mussy. I can feel it.) 
-Grabbing onto something like armrests, or white-knuckled interdigitation (Restrain yourself!)

-Smiling and laughing 
-Eyes and nose crinkling 
-Swinging her arms, spinning loosely, dancing, jumping

-Quick head nodding (Get on with it!
-Toe/finger tapping (Hear this? These are seconds. Wasted. Listening to you.
-Sighing, checking the clock/sundial/freckles (Time. It is moving so slowly.)

-Tight lips, or a sour expression 
-Narrow eyes locked on the perpetrator, to the point of a stare down 
-Crossed arms, and additional frustrated, angry, possessive, or bitter body language

-Scratching their nose, ear, neck, miscellaneous part of face 
-Sudden change in behavior or demeanor, including shifty eye contact, lots of long blinking, shrugging
-Ill-timed smiles or laughter (This is how I normally smile, right? Right???
-Additional anxiety body language 
-Shaking head no while saying “yes” (I can’t believe I just lied.
-Licking lips, covering mouth, touching mouth, etc.

-Both palms to forehead, fingers splayed (This gives me a headache.) 
-Covering eyes with one hand (If I can’t see the world, it can’t see me …
-Eyes wide and staring into space, hands gripping the table in front of her (… Woah.)

-Waggling eyebrows 
-Tiny shoves or nudge

-Head tilted back, lips parted slightly, eyes wide or closed 
-Slow, languorous movements, stretching (such as arching her neck or back) 
-Slight flush, quickened breath and pulse

-Handshake with arm clasp 
-Putting hands on or around someone’s shoulders, neck, waist, back, or even just the wall near them 
-Standing in someone’s personal space, body positioned toward that person 
-Any one-sided act of intimacy, like running a knuckle down someone’s cheek 
-Staring down any who get too close

-Chin up, chest out, shoulders back 
-A painfully hard handshake that not only squishes the bones, but also forces his hand on top 
-Leaning back with his hands behind his head, and his feet up 
-Strong, unblinking, focused eye contact

-Arms crossed, sometimes with fists (Not happening.) 
-Dragging feet (But I don’t wanna!) 
-Pinching nose (You want me to do what now?) 
-Clamping hands over ears (La la la la!)

-Droopy body (and anything held, like a sword), bowed in shoulders, wrapping arms around self 
-Slow movements with hesitation 
-Bottom lip jutting out and/or quivering 
-Crying, sobbing, body shaking, sniffling, wet eyes

-A tight-lipped smile (My lips are zipped.
-Hiding her hands in her pockets (What has it got in its nasty little pocket?) 
-Looking away

-Hunched shoulders, shrinking back from others (Don’t hurt me!
-Wide eyes and lifted eyebrows (The better to see them coming.
-Shaking, trembling, or freezing 
-Rocking from side to side, sometimes holding self (It’ll all be okay, self, it’ll all be okay.)

-Slumped shoulders (Don’t look at me.
-Trouble meeting your gaze, looking down and away 
-Burying her face in her hands or bowing her head (I can’t face the world right now.)

-Hands covering her mouth, or mouth hanging open, sometimes with a gasp (If I had words, I would be saying them.)
-Freezing and staring with wide eyes and eyebrows raised (Diverting all resources toward staring.) 
-Smacking a palm into his forehead (Clearly, my head isn’t working right, or I wouldn’t have seen that)

-Avoids eye contact, or has only fleeting eye contact (Eye contact means you might speak to me.) 
-Keeps a fair distance from everyone, and will back away if someone steps closer (Space invaders!
-Folded arms, head down, and other defensive body language (If I make myself small, they can’t see me.)

-Slight, close-lipped smile (occasionally one-sided) and sometimes one raised eyebrow (I know something you don’t know.
-Chin slightly tucked, Mona Lisa smile, raised eyebrows (I know better.) 
-Finger steepling (I am so smaaaht.)

-Narrowed eyes, sometimes with a sidelong glance or raised eyebrow (Perhaps if I look at it out of the corner of my eye, I will catch it unawares.
-Rubbing his eyes (I can’t believe what I’m metaphorically or literally seeing!
-Shaking his head (I—I don’t believe it.
-Blowing out cheeks (Well , I don’t know …)

-Rubbing his eyes, eyes staring into space, raised eyebrows (Raising my eyebrows helps keep my eyes open.
-Yawning and/or stretching (I am tired—see? Tired! Too tired to care!
-Almost nodding off and jerking awake (Cannot. Stay. Awa—snnnnurzzzz.) 
-Gritting teeth to stay awake (Cannot—yawn—dang it!)

-Steepling fingers (I will think better if I center myself and focus.) 
-Pinching nose, sometimes with closed eyes (Focus, focus—I just need to focus.
-Tugging on an ear (This will help me remember!
-Stroking a real or imaginary beard (People with beards look smart.) 
-Furrowed brow, narrowed eyes, sometimes tilted head and pressing lips together (I can’t see it—I will try harder!
-Resting his chin on his hand (Thinking makes my head heavy.)

-Hands clenched and held above head while grimacing (She is invincible!) 
-Head tilted back with a yell (She is fierce!
-Arm pumping in the air, jumping (Woohoo!)

Archetypes | THE WRITER 

Words pour from the darkest reaches of their mind. The life force of every poetic sentence strung together stems from their very soul. Every punctuation, or lack thereof, leaks another piece of their being. From another world, from another dimension entirely, comes the fractured bits they need; ripping themselves apart in search of the perfect phrasing. Small miracles are made on napkins worldwide. It begins with a doodle of words held together by the hopes of something magnificent. Something that will change the lives of millions. It begins with a doodle, and ends in the adventurer we so emphatically followed reaching their goal after all the painful monoliths in their way. We are writers, and we are the saviors of the every hero inside of us. 

harsh realm; a mix for the pure ophelia, who was driven mad by love and sought peace in the depths of an eternal slumber

i. apparat, goodbye feat. soap&skin | ii. how to destroy angels, a drowning | iii. m83, wait | iv. sóley, i’ll drown | v. fever ray, if i had a heart | vi. florence + the machine, heavy in your arms | vii. dead man’s bones, flowers grow out of my grave | viii. emily wells, fountain of youth | ix. ane brun, undertow | x. daughter, shallows | xi. widowspeak, harsh realm | xii. mazzy star, into dust

fanmix challenge » 1/2 character archetypes


Sociopathy is typically characterized as something being wrong with a person’s conscience. Sociopaths only care about fulfilling their own needs and desires: they are selfish and egocentric to the extreme. They see others as objects to be used in fulfilling their own needs and desires. They fail to see they are causing any harm and in fact will typically believe they are doing something good for society.  

Some people believe the term psychopathy is interchangeable with sociopathy, but field professionals make a distinction between the two.  A psychopath is marked by aggressive, violent, antisocial thought and behavior.  Like sociopaths, they lack empathy or remorse; unlike sociopaths, they often seek to fulfill their desires through violence. A sociopath prefers to play games and prove his cunning over society.  That is not to suggest that a sociopath will always choose not to engage in violence.  On the contrary, because their willingness to fulfill their own desires and their lack of emotional connection with others, they are much more likely to commit a violent act against another than most people in society.

The distinction between a sociopath and psychopath by field professionals is usually more based on the (lack of) nurturing by parents than heredity.  Lykken (1995), for example, clearly distinguishes between the sociopath (who is socialized into becoming a psychopath) and a “true” psychopath (who is born that way).  However, this may only describe the “common sociopath,” as there are at least four (4) different subtypes:

  • common – characterized mostly by their lack of conscience
  • alienated – characterized by their inability to love or be loved
  • aggressive – characterized by a consistent sadistic streak
  • dissocial – characterized by an ability to abide by gang rules, as long as those rules are the wrong rules.
  • Egocentricity
  • Callousness
  • Impulsivity
  • Conscience defect
  • Exaggerated sexuality
  • Excessive boasting
  • Risk taking
  • Inability to resist temptation
  • Antagonistic
  • Deprecating attitude toward the opposite sex
  • Lack of interest in bonding with a mate.
  • Ezra Miller
  • Caleb Landry Jones
  • Evan Peters
  • Adelaide Kane
  • Sofia Black D’elia
  • Brittany Snow

I made a thing to help create Character Personalities for all you writers out there. you can either read through and pick and choose the character traits you want, or you can let these GIFs choose for you!

based on the 12 Archetypes, and the Myers-Briggs personality types

for added fun, try making a character from Both a random Archetype and MBPT!


1. The Innocent

Motto: Free to be you and me

Core desire: to get to paradise

Goal: to be happy

Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong

Strategy: to do things right

Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence

Talent: faith and optimism

The Innocent is also known as: Utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer.

2. The Everyman

Motto: All men and women are created equal

Core Desire: connecting with others

Goal: to belong

Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd

Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch

Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships

Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense

The Regular Person is also known as: The good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority.

3. The Hero

Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Core desire: to prove one’s worth through courageous acts

Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world

Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a “chicken”

Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible

Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight

Talent: competence and courage

The Hero is also known as: The warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, the soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player.

4. The Caregiver

Motto: Love your neighbour as yourself

Core desire: to protect and care for others

Goal: to help others

Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude

Strategy: doing things for others

Weakness: martyrdom and being exploited

Talent: compassion, generosity

The Caregiver is also known as: The saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter.

5. The Explorer

Motto: Don’t fence me in

Core desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world

Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life

Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness

Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom

Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit

Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul

The explorer is also known as: The seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim.

6. The Outlaw

Motto: Rules are made to be broken

Core desire: revenge or revolution

Goal: to overturn what isn’t working

Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual

Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock

Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime

Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom

The Outlaw is also known as: The rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast.

7. The Lover

Motto: You’re the only one

Core desire: intimacy and experience

Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love

Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved

Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive

Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity

Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment

The Lover is also known as: The partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder.

8. The Creator

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done

Core desire: to create things of enduring value

Goal: to realize a vision

Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution

Strategy: develop artistic control and skill

Task: to create culture, express own vision

Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions

Talent: creativity and imagination

The Creator is also known as: The artist, inventor, innovator, musician, writer or dreamer.

9. The Jester

Motto: You only live once

Core desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment

Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world

Greatest fear: being bored or boring others

Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny

Weakness: frivolity, wasting time

Talent: joy

The Jester is also known as: The fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian.

10. The Sage

Motto: The truth will set you free

Core desire: to find the truth.

Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world.

Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.

Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes.

Weakness: can study details forever and never act.

Talent: wisdom, intelligence.

The Sage is also known as: The expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative.

11. The Magician

Motto: I make things happen.

Core desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe

Goal: to make dreams come true

Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences

Strategy: develop a vision and live by it

Weakness: becoming manipulative

Talent: finding win-win solutions

The Magician is also known as:The visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man.

12. The Ruler

Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

Core desire: control

Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community

Strategy: exercise power

Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown

Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate

Talent: responsibility, leadership

The Ruler is also known as: The boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator.


ISTJ- inspector

Responsible, Sincere, Analytical, Reserved, Realistic, Systematic. 

Hardworking and Trustworthy with sound practical judgment


Warm, Considerate, Gentle, Responsible, Pragmatic, Thorough.

 Devoted Caretakers who enjoy being helpful to others.


Idealistic, Organized, Insightful, Dependable, Compassionate, Gentle.

Seek harmony and cooperation, and enjoy intellectual stimulation.


Innovative, Independant, Strategic, Logical, Reserved, Insightful.

Driven by their own original ideas to achieve improvements. 


Action-oriented, Logical, Analytical, Spontaneous, Reserved, Independant.

Enjoy adventure, skilled at understanding how mechanical things work.


Gentle, Sensitive, Nurturing, Helpful, Flexible, Realistic.

Seek to create a personal enviroment that is both beautiful and practical.


Sensitive, Creative, Idealistic, Perceptive, Caring, Loyal.

Value inner harmony and personal growth, Focus on dreams and possibilities.


Intellectual, Logical, Precise, Reserved, Flexible, Imaginative.

Original thinkers who enjoy speculation and creative problem solving.


Outgoing, Realistic, Action-Oriented, Curious, Versatile, Spontaneous.

Pragmatic problem solvers and skillful negotiators


Playful, Enthusiastic, Friendly, Spontaneous, Tactful, Flexible.

Have strong common sense, enjoy helping people in tangible ways.


Enthusiastic, Creative, Spontaneous, Optimistic, Supportive, Playful.

Value inspiration, enjoy starting new projects, see potential in others.


Inventive, Enthusiastic, Strategic, Enterprising, Inquisitive, Versatile.

Enjoy new ideas and challenges, Value inspiration.


Efficient, Outgoing, Analytical, Systematic, Dependable, Realistic.

Like to run the show and get things done in an orderly fashion.


Friendly, Outgoing, Reliable, Conscientious, Organized, Practical.

Seek to be helpful and please others, enjoy being active and productive.


Caring, Enthusiastic, Idealistic, Organized, Diplomatic, Responsible.

Skilled communicators who value connection with people.


Strategic, Logical, Efficient, Outgoing. Ambitious, Independent.

Effective organizers of people and long-range planners.

Archetypes | THE STARS

We look to the twinkling lights that hang in the darkness, drawing us out of ourselves and up into a higher place with their peculiar glow. We turn our eyes heavenward, no longer feeling the distress of earth. A weight instantly lifted by their calming presence. All the harshness and density of this life is refined away, leaving only the purest essence in its wake. And, in this moment, we learn we are not the sum of earthly bounds. We find a humbled sense of who we are, what we are, in contrast to the world outside our delicate atmosphere — beyond the thin gas separating us. We were born of those lights. Their essence is ours. And for a few moments, as our gaze falls on theirs, we are blessed.

Writing Archetypes: The Chessmaster

The Chessmaster is very simple in concept, but ends up being one of the most difficult characters to do right. This is because they are heavily reliant on the author having the firmest grasp they can on the inner workings of the societies in their setting both social, military, and political. They need a firm grasp on the actual landscape of the setting such as where the mountains are, what towns are situated where, maps, and such. They need an understanding of scope. Most importantly, they have to be able to keep an eye on the bigger picture.

Keep reading

Character Building: Understanding Archetypes

I’ve said this before, but nothing you write will ever be completely original. I’m not trying to discourage you; I’m just trying to share some important information with you. There will always be someone who says “This sounds like [insert any novel written in the history of the universe]. Did you get your ideas from that??” You have to realize that EVERYTHING sounds like SOMETHING. Even if you do all you can to avoid all stereotypes, clichés, plots, etc.—you’ll never be entirely successful. Most of the things we right fit into certain categories because THOSE CATEGORIES WORK.

When it comes to character building, generally all characters fit into a basic archetype. Now, you can switch up these archetypes, but it really depends on how your characters develop. That’s what makes your story interesting. You want your readers to care about where they’re going and what happens to them. Don’t worry about a character not feeling “original” enough because that’s such an unattainable concept. Work on developing how your character will grow and making them feel like a real person. That will get you much farther.

Anyway, I wanted to jot down some basic character archetypes that will hopefully help you develop your own characters. Use these archetypes to build your characters. If you know the general categories, you might be able to flesh out or combine them to create something really great.

[REMINDER:] this is my take on character archetypes. Different people might call them different things, but they mean the same thing. These are also very basic definitions.

The Brains: the smart one, the one with the plans, the scientist, etc.

Anti-Hero: the hero who is reluctant to get involves or doesn’t exactly display “heroic” traits

Bully: the antagonist who does not tolerate weakness, preys on the weak.

Coward: afraid of everything, difficulty with standing up to others

Guardian: watches over the protagonist and protects

Mentor: helps the hero understand and work toward his or her goals

The Hermit: usually wants to be left alone, but will help for the greater good

Soldier: strong, muscle type character

Politician: usually a manipulative character who acts in his or her best interest

Artist/Creator: huge imagination, visionary, creative

Victim: was hurt by someone and lives in fear of another character or characters

Visionary: sees how things should be, understands, thoughtful

The Child: Obviously this is very broad, but it usually means a character that brings on new beginnings.

Manipulator: knows how to control others through their emotions and uses it to his or her advantage

Rebel: part of a resistance or revolution, refuses to be part of the status quo

Leader: in charge, competent, people follow him or her

Comic Relief: provides laughter in a story and breaks up the tension

Hero: the main character, always tries to do what’s best, usually has admirable qualities

Unwilling Hero: the hero that never wanted to get involved, but always does

Villain: stands in the way of the hero and wants to thwart the hero’s plans

Instigator: the cause of tension between characters, is usually manipulative

Dreamer/Innocent: head in the clouds, longs to be somewhere else

Adventurer/Explorer: wants to see everything and has very little-to-no fear

Scholar: intelligent, always trying to learn and understand

Perfectionist: always wants to get everything right, looks down on people who don’t

The Orphan: learned how to live without family, strong, survivalist

Nee does a Guide : 'Strong Women' Archetypes, Pt. 1

A long time ago, (okay, maybe 50 or 60 years) to be a strong female you had to emulate everything a man was, independent and self sustaining, to be a ‘strong’ woman you had to throw away all femininity and all chances at romance. Ever question DC’s hesitance to give Wonder Woman a love interest? So, maybe it wasn’t so long ago, maybe this is something we’re still struggling with today. So let me break down the Eight Strong Female Archetypes, and how they can be modified to make a real, 3 dimensional character, no misogyny required.

The Boss

You see this character all the time, it’s especially predominant with eastern asian women, but isn’t limited to them. She demands the respect of every man and woman she comes into contact with, her goal is the most important thing to her and anyone and everyone who gets in her way is collateral damage. If we were talking Harry Potter she’d be a Slytherin, but since this is featuring comics, let me give you a comic book example Black Widow. She’s a bold, authoritative and goal oriented woman, capable of taking charge in difficult situations and never backing down from what she believes in, she’s capable of solving situations on her own, but knows she doesn’t have to.

There are tons of directions the Boss has gone as an archetype, stepping over your corpses in her sensible shoes, on her way to the top is generally
the most accepted version of this archetype, however, as stated before, Natasha is a notable example of this archetype because they haven’t made her into a card board cut out. Her goal isn’t business oriented at all, but personal, she’s got red in her ledger that she wants to wipe out. Natasha didn’t become the best in the business because she took down the competition, no she became the best in the business by joining it. She was already amazing and it just took the others too long to see. This shows more about her character than you know, she wanted to prove to SHIELD, but more importantly to Clint that his judgement call was worth it, so she worked and she did her best until even people who didn’t trust her had to admit that she was the best thing since Barton himself. It shows that she wants to get by on her own merit, that she doesn’t want to rely on someone else, and that, is something all Bosses have in common. Her single-mindedness, another trait that all characters in this archetype share, often leads to her ignoring the finer things in life, or even pausing in her step out the door. Natasha is also notable because unlike others in the archetype she managed to have a love life, no small feat in this trope where cut throats who bow to no one and commanders who give orders as easy as breathing abound. No, I’m not talking about Hawkeye as much as we all may want it (we do) I’m talking about Daredevil, yes, the blind, red suited batman with considerably less issues all things considered.

The issue with this trope and what one must be aware of going into writing this character, what will ultimately help you create a full bodied character, s that there’s a lot of pressure on woman who intend to have “serious” careers to be this archetype, throwing away everything for the job, and if you can’t your weak. But why not be like this archetype? After all a strong, dominant and independent woman, isn’t that every ‘feminist’s’ dream? Ask yourself this, is your character doing this because they’ve been ‘told’ or because of their own insecurities?

Strong characters are the most relate-able when they’re feeling weak, when we can see a part of ourselves in them, the appeal of watching them grow and step out of a mold to become infinite. Every character has a weakness and a low point, even this one.

The Seductress

You see this Archetype even more frequently, and just because some fuckwit writers don’t know what they’re doing doesn’t mean that she isn’t every bit as strong as the others. The Seductress will be described as mysterious and alluring, manipulative, cynical and distrusting, hiding all of her plans and all of her faults behind a facade of femininity and charm. Seductresses use their gender and their bodies as weapon’s though not to cause bruises, they intend, in most cases to completely ruin someone without so much as having to throw a punch. She’ll have wit and street smarts, a con artist of sorts the Seductress is good at getting what she wants without all the hard work. In most cases the seductress is jaded to love having already been hurt once or even twice in the past, in ways that helped her to become the woman she is today, this love, can be either romantic or familial.

A prime example of this archetype is Emma Frost, who, well, she had a rocky life, betrayed by her father on more than one occasion and almost killed by multiple men she trusted and cared for, well, she became jaded. She is very much a Seductress, having worked as a dancer at the Hellfire Club she used her wits to become the The White Queen, leader, owner and CEO of the Hellfire Club and Frost International. Her character is exactly what it sounds like, she seduces people, with ideas, with words, with her body. If you’re wondering how this makes her strong, I’m gonna need you to sit down and buckle up for the ride ahead of you.

The Seductress archetype is ‘strong’ because she can take care of her self and because like the old saying goes, ‘discretion is the better part of valor’ instead of using her fists she finds a way to settle a situation with her mind, and sometimes yes, her body, but that makes her strong too, using whatever means possible to get what you want. Especially in this day and age, and even more so in the past where women showing sexuality was a big taboo. In a world rife with slut shaming and even prude shaming the Seductress straddles the line. Letting other’s underestimate her as just another mindless warm body, or air headed girl, before turning all their misconceptions against them. It’s a dangerous game and she’s a master at it. A few notable traits that usually hitch a ride with this archetype include: vengeful, wrathful, conniving, dubious morals, pride, and sensitivity. Yes, sensitivity, they work a game of shadows and manipulation, they need to be able to read a situation. Another notable Seductress is Sansa Stark, just think about that for a moment will you? There’s a reason this archetype was once labeled the Survivor.

Food for thought, the Seductress is fragile, by her very nature she’s been hurt, she’s been abused, whether once or plenty of times, what is her motivation? Always ask yourself what her end game is, always ask yourself why is she doing this, or saying that, because she’s been playing this game for too long to be able to just make a rookie mistake. A tip, the one’s who’ve gone through hell are the ones who seem the most carefree. Remember that not all men are lead by their dicks, they’re not diving rods they are capable of higher thought, the seductress will try to resolve things without sex, but won’t shy away from it. Don’t make the mistake of believing sex will cure all of the character problems.

The Spunky Kid:

A team player, usually not the main focus of a novel and more a side characters, usually ‘tom boyish,’ she has plenty of friends. The underdog character she’s meant to make the audience fall in love, full of moxie and attitude she isn’t concerned with being the best of the best, top of the heap, she’s concerned about being the best her she can be, carving out her own niche. This character is usually played as a little kooky, an off the wall sense of humor paired with a sarcastic wit and rapier tongue. As I said, they’re not the main characters, not the strongest, but they are plenty smart, thinking out of the box and working with what they’ve got because they want to be self-reliant.

A Great example of this archetype is Jubilee from the x-men, not particularly powerful she burst into the group lacking a particularly tragic backstory but drawing in the audience without it. She’s the perfect example of showing that a tragic past doesn’t make your character the most interesting. Her character is loud and at time obnoxious lacking a verbal filter, or just not caring, in real life these are the down to earth girls that talk too loud and feel too much, the ones you watch from afar as they hold the entire section of the room captive with a funny story or a playful argument. Another notable character in this archetype is Ginny Weasley, novel Ginny of course, who spoke her mind with no fear.

Things to Remember when writing this archetype, it’s important that the character carry their own weight, their personality is the brunt of the archetype, while with others it may be a combination of backstory, mannerisms and personality, this archetype focuses on just one of these traits. Most people get caught trying to make their character a ‘special little snowflake,’ everything about them has to be original and unique, the way they dress, the way they talk, the faces they make and that does nothing but serve to alienate the audience. Remember to show the social repercussions of such a character, a young girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind or mouth off to elders. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to fall in love with your character and that some may even find them annoying. Ask yourself this, why do they feel no fear when speaking their mind? Or do they feel fear and ignore it? The allure of this character is that we all want to be able to speak our mind, to have the courage to do so, what gives your character that strength?