Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes
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Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  201 ratings  ·  34 reviews
All fiction writers want to write stories with great heroes and heroines--characters who leap off the page and capture the reader's imagination.
ebook, 216 pages
Published May 19th 2010 by Lone Eagle (first published June 19th 2000)
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Flaneurette
Given the size of this book, 200 pages, this cannot be what it claims to be, a complete guide. And it is not. Neither is it an overview. It is an introduction, and for that purpose it is not totally useless. It is rather superficial, and quite frankly, the examples on how the different archetypes interact taught me nothing new, it rather confirmed what I have known since I created my characters. I had hoped for some more depth and hence inspiration. Also the examples are vague, from films almost...more
Ann Brown
This book was very interesting. The authors presented the material in a reference book sort of way, a way in which the reader can go back and review material repeatedly. I prefer to use the enneagram, but this book reflects enneagram ideas regarding character personality types.
H.
Jun 11, 2009 H. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like astrology
Recommended to H. by: amazon reviews
Shelves: film, dont-own, research
The first and main part of this book seems superfluous to the average reader's or movie-goer's knowledge. Most astrological profile books are more informative in terms of picking apart human archetypes. I suppose there was some interest in terms of comparing the characters of seemingly disparate works, but the simplicity and superficiality of the coverage rendered it mostly useless. At the tail-end of The Complete Writer's Guide there is a section where they use movie examples to pit the previou...more
Femmy
This book does a great job of dividing characters into eight male and eight female archetypes, as well as explaining how to use and combine them to create unique characters. It gives examples from popular literature or movies or television. There is also a very helpful description of the *relationship* between each pair of male and female archetypes.

I feel like my characters are already distinctly different from one another, but this book helps me explore other types of characters I might otherw...more
Heather
I couldn't help but be disappointed in this book; if this is what society is telling our writers to produce, no wonder there's nothing original and I very rarely read fiction: it's cookie-cutter, boring and bland. I was hoping for some great insights into using archetypes, but this was extremely shallow.
Jennie
This book is really helpful for character creation; if you're trying to interview your characters and getting nowhere, it provides a ton of jumping-off points. I wish I could find my copy; if it doesn't turn up soon, I'll probably buy it again. It's that valuable as a reference.
Danielle Thorne
Awesome reference book. Puts into words something you know by instinct when you create characters. I recommend it to any writer, regardless of experience. You'll think harder about your traits and tags and how to use them.
Jennifer Griffith
I serendipitously came across a copy of this book and it was fantastic. I read it a few weeks ago and have thought about it dozens of times a day ever since. Great stuff for us struggling writers! Kudos to the authors!
Patricia
Sixteen master archetypes of characters and how they mix with each other. very useful. I've used it to pair my characters and it's helped me discover how they interact.
Dee's Reading nook
I really enjoyed reading "The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines" by Tami D. Cowden. Cowden's writing style was not difficult to understand which brought about an interesting yet fun good read for me. In the book Cowden immediately identified 16 stereotypical archetypes (eight male and eight females) with descriptions on their strengths, flaws, and even occupations. As I was reading the book, I was able to relate better to so many of the characters in the books I'd just read as of la...more
Judith Kohnen
This book was recommended to me by a writer friend and I found it to be a wonderful source for character development. It specifically identifies 16 "master archetypes," complete with thumbnail sketches and descriptions of specific qualities, flaws, background, styles, and possible occupations.
Kevin
THE COMPLETE WRITERS GUIDE TO HEROS AND HEROINES

I received this book as a gift, I was immediately disturbed by the title. Every time I see a reference book labeled as the “complete” anything, a red flag goes up in my mind.

This book contains some very useful information about heroes and heroines laying out the possible quality and virtues of each type along with occupations they may use.

The problem with this book is in its claim to being the COMPLETE GUIDE to heroes and heroines. Much of the info...more
Sheri Ferguson Edmondson
This is a useful reference book for understanding the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. It provides an overview of the sixteen major character archetypes and discusses how these types interact with each other. It also points out the character strengths and weaknesses of those archetypes. It has some similarities with the Myers-Briggs personality profiling, but they types are different and don't quite match.

This is a great starting point for an author who is trying to develop the character...more
Holly
I love clearly defined ideas. This book offers distinct and clear-cut archetypes. It is the one-stop reference for understanding the motivations, foibles, and strenghts of character development.

My favorite part of the book is the description of how one archetype would interact with another archetype. For example, how does the Waif perceive the Warrior? How would the Bad Boy intermingle with the Seductress? What impression does the Charmer make on the Chief?

This is a book I will keep on my shel...more
Diane Hester
A fun writer's resource. Story ideas emerge from mixing and matching the various character archetypes.
Amanda Stevens
The usefulness of this book depends on using it well. I would never start character creation with this and wouldn't recommend anyone else do so, either, especially main characters. But once the character is developed, archetype is one way to explore further. It's also fun to try fitting film and literary characters into these types (best way to see that the greatest characters won't fit perfectly into any single type).

Awareness of character types is definitely useful to a writer, as long as one...more
Melanie
This is a great guide to character archetypes. It gives an overall look at the basic archetypes and how they interact together. It gave me some great ideas and is fantastic for writers.
Brett Buckley
Interesting but not ultimately useful.
Emily
Jul 19, 2010 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in writing a novel
Recommended to Emily by: Holly Snyder
Shelves: nonfiction
Heroes and Heroines is such a helpful book. I say this, keep in mind, as I'm in the process of completing my novel. Everything becomes so much clearer when characters are specifically defined.

Cowden, LaFever and Viders spell everything out perfectly. I felt like I got to know my characters even more with the help of this book.

If you're needing some inspiration, read through the character examples. You may find that writing comes easier afterward.
Nayad Monroe
I had mixed reactions to this book. Some ideas made sense to me and some didn't, but even when I disagreed with parts of it, I got ideas from thinking about how (in my opinion) the authors were getting it wrong. I think it's useful as a starting point for creating characters, or for developing characters in progress. It could also suggest conflicts for story plots. I intend to create characters that oppose many of the gender roles listed here!
Ashley Zacharias
Okay. Not earthshaking but, if you're stuck for a character, then you could use this to create one that is fairly interesting. In particular this book could help by suggesting faults for characters because it is always tempting for authors to create perfect, flawless, invincible, boring heroes. Are you listening, Tom Clancy? Even Superman needed kryptonite to make him interesting.
Marji Laine
I can't say that I actually read this book from cover to cover, but I jumped all over it, inhaling each archetype and analyzing their personality profiles. Then I played with it during an all-day movie marathon. What fun!

Tami Cowden's book has a permanent place on my reference shelf and I find I'm checking it almost daily as I'm planning my next novel! Not to be missed!
Lauren
It is a comprehensive, cohesive way of explaining how character's can be formed from a writer's perspective. This guide is chalked full of interesting examples from extremely famous pop culture and classical literary references to help the reader fully understand the concept of each separate archetype. Personally, I would say this is a must have guide for aspiring writers.
Susabelle
I liked the detailing of the archetypes, but then was disappointed when I could not apply the archetypes to any of the characters in the books I've written. So, I'm not putting too much stock into forcing each of my heroes/heroines into these 16 archetypes as they don't really "fit." It was a good exercise, though.
T.M. Carper
An easy to read and understand text on archetypes. It even does samples of mixing the archetypes together to create a character or develop one throughout a story or how two different archetypes might interact with each other.



A good reference for a writer.
Cassandra Sells bushman
This is a fantastic book for writers looking to create characters for their stories that have more depth, and helps the writer to establish mini biographies of their characters. Loved reading it, and look forward to using it as part of my character profiles.
Antica
A fantastic book for writer, it gives good refences and examples which are mostly after giving a description of each charecters traits, flaws and which female category do they fall perfectly with

definate place in my shelf for reference
Sarah Belliston
Great breakdown of types and ways they can work together, though when I was 'typing' my main characters, my girls always fit the 'male' molds more than the 'female'. I felt like they could have type names kept the gender out of it.
Shelley
This was a nice overview, but a little limiting. I feel that individual characteristics combine to create a myriad of unique personalities. More than what's listed here, but still a good guide nonetheless.
J.D.
A very useful book. The only problem is its limitations. If they could come up with another version with more character combinations, that would be awesome!
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