by James k morrow
(Hamilton Ontario canada)

Question: I would love to read a piece on different types of characters and where certain types of characters could fit in a story or where you see a pattern of the use of these characters in stories example. (The guardian, the trickster, ect.)

Answer: I'm assuming you've looked at my article on the Dramatica's 8 Archetypal Characters?


If you want an example, here's an article regarding the Disney film Frozen.


Towards the bottom I identify how the archetypal characters work in that story.

Another example, if you've ever seen the short-lived but hugely popular TV series Firefly, most of the regular characters are archetypal. (If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching.)

Here's how they look to me...

Protagonist: Malcolm Reynolds
Antagonist: The Alliance (particularly the group within it who created the Reavers and are tracking down River)
Guardian: Inara (help), Shepherd Book (conscience)
Contagonist: Jayne Cobb
Sidekick: Zoey Washburne
Skeptic: Hoban "Wash" Washburne
Reason: Simon Tam
Emotion: River Tam (uncontrolled), Kayley (feeling)

As I mention in the first article, the archetypal characters are traditional ways to group dramatic functions. You will find them most clearly delineated in plot or action-driven stories.

In a character or decision-driven story, the functions may be grouped differently to create non-archetypal characters who are less recognizable.

It's also perfectly acceptable to divide an archetype's functions between two or more characters (as in the Firefly example above).

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