Archetypes are recurrent themes in literature and films. You can use these tropes to inspire your characters when writing a novel.
AMNESIA: Is he/she married, a parent, a missing bride/groom, presumed dead? Did she kill someone? Did someone try to kill her? Is she a witness to a violent crime? Is he an undercover agent who got hurt by the bad guys? American Dreamer, The Bourne Identity
BRIDES: marriage of convenience, fake fiancé, mail order bride, virgin bride, runaway brides/grooms, green-card, royal, shot gun, jilted, terms of the will, mismatch. Runaway Bride, Father of the Bride, Wedding Crashers, Sleepless in Seattle
CHILDREN: abandoned, lost, adopted, biological, inherited, stolen, secret baby, true identity unknown, switched-at-birth, kids playing matchmaker for single parents.
DISGUISE: secret identity, switching places: True Lies, The Prince and the Pauper, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Freaky Friday
FISH OUT OF WATER: Enchanted, City Slickers
MAKEOVER: The Ugly Duckling, The Princess Diaries, My Fair Lady
MISMATCHED COUPLES: Bad boy/Good girl, Cowboy/Lady, Pirate/Princess, Wanderer/Homemaker, May/December, Duke/Governess, mentor/protegé, opposing occupations, boss/employee. Romeo & Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, Six Days Seven Nights.
RAGS TO RICHES: Cinderella, Pretty Woman, Ever After
REUNION: former lovers, estranged spouses, lost love, thwarted romance, divorced but still in love. Sweet Home Alabama.
SINGLE PARENTS: struggling unwed mothers, clueless divorced dads, inexperienced surrogate. Three Men and a Baby, Baby Boom
TWINS: switched identities, mistaken identities, trading places to fool people and having the tables turned on them instead. Parent Trap, New York Minute
Think about the books on your shelves at home. Do you tend to repeatedly buy the same types of stories? Does this tell you something about the plot devices that appeal to you?
Try picking out a couple of your favorite archetypes and mix them to create a new story.Creating Characters from Archetypes Click To Tweet