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Did you know you’ve been watching and reading the same seven character archetypes over and over again?

Sometimes these characters can be combined, but it’s critical that your story includes all seven of these character functions. If it doesn’t, your readers will notice, even if they can’t explain what they’re noticing!

ASSIGNMENT: Brainstorm supporting characters for your three ideas that you’ve been developing.

What kind of help will the protagonist need? Who will oppose the protagonist’s goals?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: There’s more to this topic! All of these character archetypes actually have two functions, but we’ve only covered the first one in this video. It’s also very helpful to see how these archetypical functions are fulfilled in lots of different stories, across genres. Explore these ideas further with The Novel Matrix book at You can also take the Novel Matrix classes at Writers.Company.

Watch a movie and see if you can identify the seven character archetypes. Who is fulfilling these roles? Have the storytellers combined any of the roles? If an archetype was missing, how did that change your experience of the story?