Archetypal Characters: their 8 functions
Question: Archetypal Characters: their 8 functions. Can you clarify how I could make the characters have all of these function in a different way?Answer:
To clarify, Dramatica identifies 16 character functions. Each function has its polar opposite, making the following pairs:
pursue vs. avoid
consider vs. reconsider
faith vs. doubt
support vs. oppose
help vs. hinder
conscience vs. temptation
feeling vs. logic
control vs. uncontrolled
The 8 archetypal characters are simply traditional ways of dividing up the 16 functions. Each of the archetypal characters possesses two functions:
Protagonist: pursue, consider
Antagonist: avoid, reconsider
Sidekick: faith, support
Skeptic: doubt, oppose
Guardian: help, conscience
Contagonist: hinder, temptation
Reason: control, logic
Emotion: uncontrolled, feeling
However, you don't have to use these archetypal groupings. You can give a character whatever function or functions you want, as long as you don't give any character functions that oppose each other. For instance, it would make no sense for a character to have both the faith and the doubt functions.
Let's say you have two characters, Bob and Doug who are the bad guys in your story. But instead of the archetypal antagonist and contagonist roles, you assign their functions this way:
Bob: avoid, hinder
Doug reconsider, temptation
Now these guys are a little different. One perhaps works more physically, the other psychologically.
Or you could mix it up even more:
Bob: avoid, logic
Doug: reconsider, feeling
Now Doug may come across as a wimpy character whose emotions hamper the other characters, while Bob becomes calculating in his effort to thwart the hero.
You don't have to give each character two functions: a character can theoretically have anywhere from zero to eight. However, between one and three would be typical for major characters.
The important thing is to make sure all the functions are represented to give balance to your cast.