Basic Plot Types and Archetypes Plot Structure Based Upon Conflict (wo)man v. (wo)man (wo)man v. nature (wo)man v. self (wo)man v. the environment/society (wo)man v. machine/technology (wo)man v. the supernatural (wo)man v. god/religion Basic Story Types Based Upon Situation Quest Adventure Pursuit Rescue Escape Revenge Riddle Rivalry Underdog Temptation Metamorphosis Transformation Maturation Love Forbidden Love Sacrifice Discovery Wretched Excess Ascension Descension Archetype Symbolic Figures The original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based. A collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., that has universal relevance. Synonyms for Archetype Classic exemplar Form Ideal Model Original Paradigm Pattern Perfect Specimen Prime example Prototype Standard Traditional Archetypes in Literature The Hero The Innocent The Father/Mother The Alter Ego/Double Figure Wise Old The Fatal (Wo)Man/Animal Woman/Temptress The Trickster/Fool The Witch The Underdog Monster/Villain The Hero A larger-than-life character that often goes on some kind of journey or quest. In the course of his journey, the hero demonstrates the qualities and abilities valued by his culture The Mother/Father Figure Father - The protector and leader Mother - The protective nurturer and gentle provider The Fatal Woman/Temptress A woman who uses her power (intellect, magic, or most of all, beauty) to make men, especially the Hero, weak The Witch A woman, often a hag (though she may be disguised as a beautiful young woman), who attempts to trap and destroy the protagonist Monster/Villain The antagonist, especially in opposition to the hero The Innocent An inexperienced male or female character that is exposed to the evils in the world The Alter Ego/Double Reveals the dual nature of man The Wise Old (Wo)Man/Animal Characters that assist or guide the protagonist The Trickster/Fool Characters who trick others to get them to do what s/he wants – they can be both virtuous and nefarious The Underdog Characters who are always in the wrong place at the wrong time, but who usually win something of value in the end Traditional Archetypes in Literature The Hero The Innocent The Father/Mother The Alter Ego/Double Figure Wise Old The Fatal (Wo)Man/Animal Woman/Temptress The Trickster/Fool The Witch The Underdog Monster/Villain Traditional Archetypes in Literature and Stories Situational Archetypes Character Archetypes Symbolic Archetypes Traditional Archetypes in Literature and Stories Most stories utilize a combination of situational, character, and symbolic archetypes… this is what makes a story rich and complete. When you like a story, you are most likely, whether you realize it or not, tapping into the archetypes present in the story.