Shape Shifter and Sidekicks

Question: I have three quick questions to ask in this helpful website. Number one is can a dog-a none talking dog be a sidekick? Two is what character is usually the shape shifter and is it important to have one in your book?


1. Dogs can certainly be sidekicks, even if they don't talk. (Remember Toto in The Wizard of Oz? He was Dorothy's sidekick.) All that is required is that sidekicks show support and faith. For that matter, sidekicks can be any species, a sentient machine, an angel or spirit, etc. If the Earth was a character in a story, the Moon could be its sidekick.

2. A shape-shifter can be any character archetype, just like any ordinary human being can take on an archetypal role.

3. No, obviously. Of the millions of novels that have been published, very few have shape-shifters. You're probably used to reading in a particular sub-genre where they are common. If so, you should know there is a whole universe of other literature to explore. Sample some.

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The Shape Shifter
by: Psyphi

I think the shape shifter being referred to in the question is the archetypal shape shifter, not the literal shape shifter. As in the Joseph Campbell "Hero's Journey" archetypes.


Glad for your help. Since long I been wanting those questions answered. Thanx again! Stay helping!

Resonpse to Psyphi
by: Glen

Serves me right. I've been fielding questions from genre writers for so long.

However, I believe Campbell's shapeshifter bears resemblance to the impact character in Dramatica, in that he/she pressures the main character to change or doubt himself. Like the impact character, the shapeshifter can be any of the archetypcal characters and is often the love interest.

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