Writing Masterclass: The Rebel Archetype

The first person you might think of when you think of rebel characters may be Han Solo, the space anarchist of the century. But what makes Han Solo’s character so damn likeable and how can we emulate this within our own writing?

When we think of rebels we think of people who are actively looking to break the rules to see what will happen. It’s commonly seen in “naughty” children and loveable characters across the world. It’s an almost childlike state that is continued into adulthood, a raw energy that is not dissimilar to the explorer archetype.

Usually, rebellious characters are put into a situation where causing chaos is a welcome change to the equilibrium, concealing their true nature by placing them in a heroic position. This is the norm for story telling and allows readers to root for the underdog because maybe they can empathise in some way.

Han Solo’s character is successful because he’s relatable. He has charm and a dry wit that makes readers want to go with him on an adventure because he’s fun and ready to jump at the word go. He’s the character that instigates adventure, entices danger and offers excitement. He’s the personification of breaking the habit.

To have your very own Han Solo in your novel all you need are the following:

*A setting where you dislike the current leaders and are desperate for things to change.

*Motivation for your rebellious character to break the rules and help break the same old patterns.

*An awesome sidekick that maybe isn’t so enthusiastic about the adventure and offers the word of reason (Or in Chewie’s case, growls in dissatisfaction).

What did you think about this article? Did it inspire you to write your very own rebellious character? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @kirstyawriter!

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