Which Archetype Is Your Male Protagonist?

By on December 5, 2016
Which Archetype Is Your Male Protagonist? - Writer's Life.org

Nobody wants to create a stereotypical leading male protagonist in their novel. However, saying that, understanding some of the main features of different archetypal male characters can be useful. You can use these as a base to build your character, ensure that they have traits that your reader can recognise and relate to, and then from here add details and quirks that make your character original and memorable.

So what are some of the archetypes of male protagonists commonly found in books? Let’s take a look.

The Brave Protector

A typical protector will be considered the hero of the story. They are usually good looking, athletic, hot-headed types who tend to act before they think. They care passionately about the things they love and will go to great lengths to protect them. They are usually good-hearted, but have a temper, a violent streak and beat themselves up about their actions when things go wrong.

Thy Shy Geek

This reclusive character tends to keep himself to himself. He likes to be alone, leads a solitary existence and is shy when faced with social situations. This character is one who readers get to know because of his desire to understand himself better, to change who he is, and to get to grips with his emotions. He is usually clever and thoughtful though when written in a negative way can be neurotic, psychotic and frightening.

The Joker

The Joker is everyone’s friend. He is reckless, carefree and the life and soul of every party. He is always seeking fun and adventure and fears loosing his freedom above all else. Because of this the joker finds it hard to commit to anything or to be tied down. He can be childish and foolish, and his gullibility can get him into sticky situations.

The Charmer

The Charmer is a ladies man. He is smooth suave and sexy. He is driven by his desire for pleasure and extravagance. He is decedent, flirtatious and pays great attention to his physical appearance and that of others. He loves beautiful things, brims with confidence and knows how to hold peoples attention. However, he can also be jealous, possessive and disloyal.

The Dreamer

The Dreamer is creative and artistic. He falls in love easily, knows how to express his emotions and cares deeply about how others perceive him. He wants to be loved and admired, generally see’s the world in a positive light and looks for the best in people. However, his desire to be liked can blind him and make him rather manipulative. He can be moody and find it hard to forgive those that have let him down.

These 5 typical male characters often appear in novels, and sometimes the leading male character is a combination of them. Can you identify with these male archetypes? Which one takes centre stage in your novel?!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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