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Character Archetypes

This character archetype resource has been collated with authors in mind - in order to give writers a reference when creating and developing characters.

We have researched the most popular personality type categories that exist across mythology, business, psychology and spirituality.

For each of the categories, we have put together a brief summary of the origins and basis of the archetypes, then summary paragraphs detailing the traits of each personality type.

Unlike many resources which may feel the need to be more sensitive to people's feelings about their own personality type, we have tried to get a good balance of positive and negative traits, rather than having a strong skew towards the positive - because as we know, flawed characters are the more interesting ones.

In most cases we have also created an infographic.

Naturally, character archetypes and personality types are only ever meant to be used for inspiration, as a starting point for creating a character. They are not intended to be used as complete copy and paste characters.

It is up to the writer to use the information given and develop each archetype in their own unique way.

Click on the links below to view the various categories of personality types:

Jungian Character Archetypes

Jungian Character ArchetypesSwiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung introduced the concept of archetypes as models of people, behaviours or personalities. He suggested archetypes were inborn tendancies that play a role in influencing human behaviour.

The archetypes represent universal patterns that cross eras, borders and cultures, but are expressed in different ways across various stories, art, myths, dreams and religions.

Click here for succinct summaries of Jungian personality types to inspire and inform character development - including both positive and negative traits for more interesting, realistic characters.

 

Enneagram Character ArchetypesEnneagram Character Archetypes

The Enneagram is a model of human pschology based on nine interconnected personality types.

Its ideas are said to be found as long ago as the 4th Century, in the work of a Christian Mystic called Evagrius Ponticus, but the contemporary theories have been developed by various academics since the 1950s.

Click here to read succinct summaries of Enneagram personality types to inspire and inform character development - including both the positive and the negative.

 

Western Zodiac Character ArchetypesWestern Zodiac / Starsign Personality Types (Character Archetypes)

Western astrology has its roots in Ancient Greece. Horoscopes are a form of divination based on an exact moment in time, such as a person's birth, with that person's characteristics said to be influenced by the positions of the various cosmic bodies at that moment.

The central principle of astrology is integration with the cosmos. The individual, earth and the universe are all parts ofthe same single organism, with all parts correllated and interdependent.

The western zodiac is based on a twelve monthly cycle, with a person's 'starsign' designated by which period their date of birth falls in (these do not align with the calendar months). 

Click here to read succinct summaries of Western Zodiac Horoscope personality types to inspire and inform character development - including both the positive and the negative.

 

Chinese Zodiac Character Archetypes InfrographicChinese Zodiac animals as Character Archetypes

The Chinese zodiac was invented during the Han Dynasty, around 200AD. It is based on a twelve year cycle, with each year representing an animal that took part in an ancient race. The order of the animals is based on where they placed in the race, and their approach to the race reflects each animal's personality.

The characteristics of the animals are said to influence the personalities and behaviour of the people born in the year that animal represents.

Click here to read succinct summaries of Chinese Zodiac Animal personality types to inspire and inform character development - including both the positive and the negative.

 

Myers-Briggs Character Archetypes InfographicMyers-Briggs Character Archetypes

The Myers-Briggs theory of personality types was developed by the mother-daughter partnership of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, and is an adaptation of the theory of psychological types produced by Jung (see Jungian character archetypes). 

The premise of Myers-Briggs begins with four preferences.  The four preferences could be simplified and rephrased as:

  • People
  • Facts
  • Logic
  • Lifestyle

Each of us is said to respond to the preferences in one of two ways (again, rephrased for simplification):

  • People: introvert / extrovert
  • Facts: data / intuition
  • Logic: thinking / feeling
  • Lifestyle: strutured / free flowing

The 16 Myers-Briggs personality types are constructed from the various options created by combining the choices above. For example:

Introvert, Data, Thinking, Strutured would be called ESTJ (the actual terminoloy being Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgement).

Click here to read succinct summaries of Myers-Briggs personality types to inspire and inform character development - including both the positive and the negative.

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