Writing Masterclass: The Explorer Archetype

Star Lord, Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider all have one thing in common, their determination to explore. Today I would like to write about the Explorer archetype and what it means to have a character that fits into this role and how your story can develop because of it.

The explorer archetype is very close to my heart, it’s a character that is suffering from an extreme case of wanderlust and wants to climb every mountain, explore every crevice. They crave adventure and often actively search for it, making your stories progress quicker which is especially enjoyable to write if you like writing action scenes.

They are the extroverts, the “I’ll speak to anyone” bold and brazen characters but they are not without flaw. The explorers are unable to commit to any one place or person and find it difficult to work with people as a part of a team which makes their stories simple and predictable.

A young man from England cannot settle down in one place so goes travelling to find adventure. He finds adventure and an unexpected love which he has to put aside his selfish and carefree nature in order to defeat the antagonist and consequently develop as a person. 

There are many stories which use this type of narrative, including one of my favourite films, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which puts a spin on the archetype by having him give up everything to save a hesitant Gabi, wife of a nefarious gangster.

By now, you should know I like original films that don’t conform to traditional narratives or take a new spin on an old classic. It’s these fresh ideas that make stories interesting and vibrant and should be explored.

This week I would like you to write a short piece about an adventure you’ve had, maybe on holiday or on a walk to the local park. I want you to really dive into the role, write about how it feels to instigate adventure, how exciting it feels to explore. From this exercise I would like you to get in touch with your internal explorer and learn what it means to have a character with this archetype in your novel.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Why not let me know what you thought in the comments below or, alternatively, drop me a line on my twitter page: @kirstyawriter

 

 

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