Here we are with the next group, which are the archetypes that fall under the ‘Soul’ category. These characters pursue fulfillment of the spirit and all have some sense- of freedom within their core. This may be physical, emotional, or mental freedom depending on the archetype. As before, there is one per cardinal orientation that helps further define them. Let’s check them out.
Motto– Don’t fence me in.
Being in the ‘Freedom’ orientation, the Explorer is one who sets out to evolve and discover themselves through adventure and activity. It might not be crossing the Sahara or battling ogres, but they seek to build themselves through big experiences. Characters under this archetype don’t always have a clear goal, so you can find them within the primary and secondary cast. It can be a braver adventuring hero or a risk-taking partner. You will see an exaggeration here in the area of risk-taking because the Explorer typically has a fear of boredom and becoming trapped in a rut. This can lead to them wandering away from a quiet period in the story, which will lead to problems. While not necessary, you typically do need them to be full of energy and curious.
Now, the Explorer can work very well as a companion for other archetypes. It would be a secondary drive in the primary category. For example, a Hero Explorer could be a character that sets off to be a hero through great acts. A Lover Explorer is one that takes romantic risks. I’ve found that this is one of the better archetypes to slide under the surface because it has a versatile level of degrees and use.
Motto– Rules are made to be broken.
Can we say anti-hero? Thriving under the ordinal of leaving a mark on the world, the Rebel/Outlaw is what you might expect. They act against the system either for attention or because they truly want to change the world. Some even do it out of a grudge, which adds a level of irrationality to the archetype. That’s rather rare because while these characters tend to be angry or negative, they usually have a clear idea of what they are doing. You can reason with them to a point as well. Emotions run pretty high with them and there are trust issues, especially towards those that still support or are part of the hated system. Development here is gained by winning even the smallest battle against whatever they are rallying against. As such, failure can result in a rise in rage or a severe crumbling of the psyche.
Aside from anti-heroes, you can get anarchist villains from this archetype too. They are further along the negative spectrum, but they share the hatred of a system. Unlike the former, the villains have less concern about others. They may only want to shatter their target and don’t care about innocents. Anti-heroes usually have some level of concern for innocents, which is what differentiates them from the villains.
Motto– You’re the only one.
Much like the previous two, the Lover is pretty familiar to people. It’s just as common as the Hero archetype. Obviously, these characters seek to make connections with others and they do it through intimacy. Not only physical, but emotional. That’s an important part of these characters because going only for sex can make them feel two-dimensional. Even if they are more interested in the physical side of things, you need to show the emotional or somewhat explain the lack thereof. On the less lustful side, these characters can be very attentive and doting on those that they have connected to. They define and evolve themselves by the love they both give and receive. It creates a very fragile balance because going too far to one side can be detrimental. Give too much and the Lover becomes used and possibly manipulated. Receive too much and they can become addicted to the attention then become a manipulator. So, you need to work both sides to keep these characters in the middle.
As with the Explorer, the Lover can work very well as a secondary. It does possess a challenge though. The Lover side can override the primary if the story focuses too much on it. Basically, a romantic plot line in a non-romance story runs the risk of overshadowing everything if too much attention is given to the Lover archetype. This might actually go back to the ‘receive too much’ issue, but this is by the author.
Motto– If you can imagine it, it can be done.
Seeking to create some structure in the world, the Creator is probably an archetype that many of us can relate to. After all, we write stories and seek to design some structure through them. The funny thing is that I thought it would be under the ordinal of leaving a mark, but that’s not the main drive for artists. It is really the act to create and legacy is secondary. Characters can be concerned with that part, but they need to focus more on the former. Examples of this could be an architect designing a building, someone building a boat for a race, a wizard specializing in conjuration spells, and anything else where something is being made. Creators can be difficult to deal with since they dislike mediocrity and might pursue perfection to the point of self-destruction. There is a high level of eccentricity and not the best social skills that can go with these characters, but that isn’t necessary. We like to do this to enhance the sense of their imagination, but there are plenty of real-world artists who don’t stand out like awkward thumbs in society.
You can be fairly passive with this archetype. They don’t have to be bold and out there like the Explorer, Rebel/Outlaw, and Lover. Creators can work fairly well in low-key stories and evolve at a more mellow pace. They don’t need to fight anyone, face a nerve-wracking challenge, or make a deep social connection. All they need is a dream and a story arc of them pursuing it.