Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing



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  • Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

    Do you find that certain character types and relationships tend to crop up in your writing consistently? For instance, some people might gravitate toward prodigal son stories, some might always write ugly duckling stories, etc. What are some of yours?

    I tend to think these reflect larger personal issues in the writer's psyche. Thoughts?
    "Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.-
    ― Ray Bradbury

  • #2
    Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

    I don't know. I write a lot of different stories.

    Then again, I have a lot of issues.
    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you"
    "If I didn't have inner peace I'd totally go psycho on you guys all the time." - Carl Carlson


    • #3
      Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

      Yes, raven, I do.


      • #4
        Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

        i've noticed a lot of transexual midget circus performers running rampant in my scripts...

        actually, mine deal mostly with familial relationships and overwhelming inability to communicate with one another
        People are always writing, but not always thinking.


        • #5
          Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

          Faster would be better! ~ Capt. Malcolm Reynolds


          • #6
            Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

            I've noticed that most of my stories have a male and female who hate each other but are forced to work together.


            • #7
              Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

              Isolation and abandonment appear in one form or another in everything I write.



              • #8
                Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

                I agree Raven. I do believe that these recurrent archetypes tend to stem from personal values and beliefs. Writers and filmmakers with a strong voice tend to follow distinct themes with their characters' interpersonal relationships, because those types of stories are something that the storyteller can relate to. Steven Spielberg has strong values about family.


                • #9
                  Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

                  Flawed heros. Because I'm a badly flawed wanabee hero.


                  • #10
                    Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

                    i write alot about nice people doing nice things for people in need. often my characters help old ladies across the road.

                    they bring apples to teachers. they find lost children. they are charitable as much as possible and they never swear. i love my characters cause they are so nice.



                    • #11
                      Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

                      This thread isn't doing well.
                      Give it all and ask for no return/And very soon you'll see and you'll begin to learn/That it's alright, yes, it's alright...


                      • #12
                        Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing


                        Of course I do, don't we all? It's part and parcel of
                        the 'write what you know' adage, isn't it?

                        I often put things my ex-husband had said and done
                        into my comedy scripts. His passive aggressive stunts
                        were just so extradordinary, they must be preserved
                        in some way other than the flashbacks I have, now
                        and again. In one script, a marriage couseling scene
                        opens with a stunt he pulled in our own marriage

                        And I've been thinking about a new script opening with
                        a scene that duplicates the moment I realized I married
                        the wrong guy. Of course, my female character will have
                        the benefit of my 20-20 hindsight, causing her dump him
                        by page 10, rather than spending the next eight years of
                        her life trying to make it work. It's all very cathartic on
                        some level. Maybe. I hope.

                        I also have a couple of unfinished metaphysical/supernatural
                        scripts in which I wrestle with my own spiritual beliefs or lack
                        thereof. And they'll probably remain unfinished until I sort it out.

                        My female characters tend to be like me: complex women who
                        turn out to be far less tough than they appear on the surface.
                        Oh, and I'm currently writing a female buddy comedy in which
                        I've intentionally made one 'buddy' the tough, no nonsense "me"
                        and the other, the softer side of "me." These contradictory aspects
                        of "me" get to work it out on the page. It's all very Jungian as
                        well as cathartic. Maybe. I hope.

                        Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-


                        • #13
                          Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

                          I like to write about the dark, horrible things that happen to us. The things that we wouldn't want our mothers to know happened to us. The kind of things we only admit to ourselves at 2 a.m.


                          • #14
                            Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

                            my stuff tends to have country folk/rednecks/hillbillies in them. and somebody is sure to wet a fishing line at some point. not sure why. they might not even catch anything.

                            that's the way fishing is so i try to be truthful about it.

                            people who like to fish, like to fish and like to fish barge right into my stories. people who will squint at a line under a terrible sun like the world would shake if they got a nibble.

                            dirt in their veins and under their fingernails, but they like to fish. feel a fish under that far rock across the creek. feel him.

                            jesus was quite the fisherman. could haul them in with a wave of his hand and like good fishermen, he knew you catch the most when the weather is surly. he could even wade across rough water without getting his feet wet.

                            that dude could fish.

                            he told some pretty good stories too, i hear.

                            and was a carpenter, or the son of one or something like that. blue collar sort.

                            if he were alive today, i suspect he would live in a trailer somewhere or could be found on the bottom floor of some job site for somebody's future deam beach house keeping the rain off him underneath an empty carboard window box between pounding nails the next day framing that third story and his speaking engagements

                            a man's got to do what he needs to to eat and have some time to study a fishing line with the sun beating on his neck but his legs finding footing in the cool water to preach a good story the next day.

                            pound a nail, try to catch a fish, and tell a story.

                            best stories are fishing stories.
                            Last edited by AnconRanger; 06-27-2005, 10:51 PM.


                            • #15
                              Re: Running Themes/Archetypes In Your Writing

                              I tend to write social commentary. I don't mean to. It just seems to come out that way.

                              I tend to include multigenerational relationships. Complex characters who are frustrated with family or friends but who love them, too. Well-intentioned, basically good people who struggle with life and their own choices. Even the ones without good intentions have their reasons. Perhaps an awareness of an inner code that they must uphold or break, a recognition that events shape us but we retain the power of choice, usually. At least a touch of humor in some character, even if it's a serious subject. Some character is bound to be socially awkward and finding some reward for facing that or some lack of reward for not facing it, probably in recognition of my awkward early years and the perspective I have now. And there will likely be someone who is mean, selfish, superior ... and reviled because of it.