I went to an awesome presentation by Christine Mehring at the Write Here in Ephraim writers conference this last week, and this class was amazing! I talked to Christine afterward to see if I could post the audio of it on my blog, and she said it was okay, so here it is!
She talked about the Hero’s Journey, and about archetypes in story. I found this image that reflects much of what was discussed:
She also talked about archetypal characters:
The Hero: Usually the protagonist
The Mentor: The mentor also gives the hero some kind of help to take with them to help them in their adventure. They teach and give a gift.
Threshold guardian: “This is a bad idea, don’t do it.” Their job is to try to stop the hero
The Herald: Someone who comes and says, “You’re normal life is over, and it will never be the same.”
Shapeshifter: The one who seems to change sides or positions.
Shadow: What the hero could have been if the hero had taken a different path (the evil twin)
Ally: The friend, sidekick, or assistant
Trickster: Comic relief
In any story, you’re likely to find most if not all of these roles. It’s fun to plug in characters from my own books.