Tag Archive | Stereotype

Character Motivations by Archetype

Topic: Character Motivations by Archetype


I was reading the Summer 2013 issue of “Novel Writing” published by Writer’s Digest. One of the articles in this issue, ‘What’s The Motivation?’ by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, is about the motivations of characters based on gender archetype.

Below is an excerpt of each of the gender archetypes as listed in the article with a brief of description of each including characteristics, occupations and motivations…

Female Hero and Villain Archetypes

The Seductive Muse

• Physically centered, extroverted, great at listening.
• Occupations: artistic type (poet, sculptor, actress).
• Motivated by: self-actualization.

The Amazon

• Physically centered, extroverted, intuitive, evaluates situations via her emotional response.
• Occupations: realistic type (laborer, activist, gardener, soldier, store owner).
• Motivated by: survival.

The Matriarch

• Physically centered, extroverted, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening, evaluates situations via her emotional response.
• Occupations: enterprising type (politician, lawyer, judge).
• Motivated by: love, belonging and respect.

The Mystic

• Spiritually centered, introverted, evaluates situations via her emotional response, intuitive.
• Occupations: artistic type.
• Motivated by: aesthetic need for balance.

The Female Messiah

• Spiritually centered, introverted, intuitive.
• Occupations: enterprising type.
• Motivated by: aesthetic need to be connected to something greater.

The Maiden

• Emotionally centered, introverted, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: conventional type (cashier, flight attendant, bartender).
• Motivated by: safety and security.

Male Hero and Villain Archetypes

The Businessman

• Mentally centered, extroverted, receives information rationally or logically, intuitive.
• Occupations: investigative type.
• Motivated by: self-esteem.

The Protector

• Physically centered, extroverted, evaluates situations by his emotional response, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: realistic type.
• Motivated by: survival.

The Recluse

• Spiritually centered, introverted, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: artistic type.
• Motivated by: the need to know and understand.

The Artist

• Emotionally centered, typically extroverted (but can be introverted).
• Occupations: artistic and social type.
• Motivated by: survival.

The Male Messiah

• Spiritually centered, introverted, intuitive.
• Occupations: enterprising type.
• Motivated by: the aesthetic need to be connected to something greater than himself.

The King

• Mentally centered, extroverted, receives information rationally or logically or by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: enterprising type.
• Motivated by: self-esteem and self-respect.

Here are some of the question that came to mind while I read the article….

    Why do character stereotypes come to mind, when I read these archetypes by gender?
    Why are these archetypes based on gender and not by motivation or characteristics?
    Why are some male archetypes ‘mentally centered’, but not any of the female archetypes?
    Why cannot a female be a ‘king’ or ‘businessman’ archetypes?
    Why are there so many archetypes with ‘artistic’ characteristics?
    Where would a more complex character that has multiple motivations and characteristics fit within these archetypes?

In my opinion, the author of this article did not include any good answers to these questions of mine. Therefore, I would be interested to find out what any of you think of these archetypes and my questions.

Reader Request Week 2013 #9: Women and Geekdom

Thanks John for answering this question in a positive light for us geek girls who are trying to shatter the stereotypes, especially the negative ones. It is why this is The Year of the Fangirl #YOTFG and I wish more of the fanboys thought like you did. Hopefully, this post will help explain why we are making so much noise!


In e-mail, Brian asks:

Women in Geekdom. Why is this all exploding now? Where is it going?

I am assuming Brian means women in geek-related fields taking a stand against the both latent and overt sexism in those fields and having to deal with outsized, histrionic freakouts some geek dudes are having about it in response.

What’s happening? To explain, let me go to one of my favorite little bits in the film The American President, which I think these days is best known as writer Aaron Sorkin’s rough draft of The West Wing. The scene has President Andrew Shepherd navigating his way through a Christmas party at the White House and coming across a florid, very concerned man in a green jacket:

INT. RESIDENCE - NIGHT An informal Christmas party is underway with maybe 20 GUESTS, some of them familiar faces. SHEPHERD and a GREEN-BLAZERED MAN GREEN…

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#AtoZChallenge Librarians, Beyond the Stereotypes


A-Z Blog Challenge Topic: Librarians, Beyond the Stereotypes

A common belief in the general public, especially in North America, is that librarians have the following characteristics or stereotypes:
1) Quiet
2) Mean or Stern
3) Single/Unmarried
4) Stuffy
5) In Glasses

Like the definition for “fangirl” that I mentioned in a previous post, a “librarian” can have many different characteristics than the stereotypes listed above. There are many of those who are educated in the library sciences, both male and female, that can label themselves as “librarians”, even if they never worked in a library for one reason or another. I am one of those who were educated in the library sciences, but have not been fortunate enough to work in a traditional library setting. This is part of the reason I created this blog, I wanted to go beyond the stereotypes, not only in my fandom, but in my chosen profession as well. Therefore, as a self-proclaimed fangirl, I am always on the lookout for fictional characters that go beyond these stereotypes including those that can save the world. Fortunately, there are several of these fictional “librarians” including:


Name: Barbara Gordon aka “Batgirl
From: Batman Franchise
Characteristics: Has a PhD in Library Science, fights crime, has exceptional computer skills and may have glasses, but only uses it as part of her every day disguise.


Name: Yomiko Readman aka “The Paper”
From: Read or Die Franchise
Characteristics: Can bend and manipulate paper into a variety of shapes including bulletproof shields and durable weapons. She is obsessed with books, but also fights evil and saves the world.


Name: Rupert Giles aka “Watcher”
From: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Franchise
Characteristics: Not only a male school librarian, but has a side job training and fighting with Buffy Summers, The Slayer, against many evil creatures who want to destroy the world!


Name: Flynn Carsen aka “The Librarian”
From: The Librarian TV Movie Franchise
Characteristics: Another male librarian, who is an awesome translator, a keeper and acquirer of ancient artifacts and can fight the bad guys like Indiana Jones!

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Name: Jedi Master Jocasta Nu
From: Star Wars Franchise
Characteristics: She may be the closest to the stereotype when she appeared in Star Wars: Episode II, but when she appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV Series she is seen wielding a lightsaber!

#AtoZChallenge Fangirl of the Day initiative & Me


A to Z Blog Challenge Topic: Fangirl of the Day initiative & Me

First in order to better understand the Fangirl of the Day initiative, I thought it would be important to define what is a Fangirl. I found many different definitions of a Fangirl using Google search. Many of these definitions look upon the term “Fangirl” in a bad light including:

From Urban Dictionary

A rabid breed of human female who is obsessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Similar to the breed of fanboy. Fangirls congregate at anime conventions and livejournal. Have been known to glomp, grope, and tackle when encountering said obsessions.

Found within the Fan_(Person) article on Wikipedia.

A fangirl is a female member of a fandom community (counterpart to the masculine “fanboy”). Fangirls may be more devoted to emotional and romantic aspects of their fandom, especially (relation-)shipping. However, it is commonly used in a derogatory sense to denote a girl’s obsession with something, most commonly a male teen idol or an aspect of Japanese pop culture. Fangirl behavior can vary in intensity. On one end of the scale are those that, while harboring a crush on a particular actor or character, are perfectly capable of understanding that the fulfillment of the crush is never going to happen. On the other end are the girls who are said to be obsessive in their claims on a fictional character, even fighting with other fangirls over who ‘owns’ the character in question.

From Oxford English Dictionary

“fangirl” (noun)
informal derogatory an obsessive female fan (usually of movies, comic books, or science fiction).

I personally do not agree with ANY of these definitions because they focus on the stereotypes and the negative or derogatory aspects of term. I am very disappointed that each of these definitions, especially the Oxford English Dictionary version, do not paint a true picture of what a fangirl is. Fortunately, one person is trying to change the stereotypes and negative aspects of the term “Fangirl”. Her name is Ashley Eckstein and she has started “The Year of the Fangirl” campaign through the Her Universe website. The goal of this is campaign is to highlight all kinds of Fangirls and show that they are not like the stereotypes at all!


Each day throughout the rest of 2013, Ashley along with a team of writers, will highlight one “Fangirl” on the Her Universe blog every day. As Ashley mentioned in the video that introduces the campaign and the Fangirl of the Day initiative, The Fangirl Of The Day can be of any age from 2 to 80 and come from anywhere in the world. Each of these posts will then be shared on both the Her Universe official Facebook and Twitter accounts to let others, throughout the world, know that Fangirls do not fit into any of the common stereotypes or definitions.

Most importantly, these posts let other Fangirls know that there are many others, like them, that think and feel the same way they do! They, like me, can be inspired by the stories of these Fangirls.

How have these stories already inspired me?

Well, I was inspired to start talking online to the writing contributors and some of the Fangirls highlighted during the first week of this initiative. It was through these discussions, that I was encouraged to take the plunge and start a blog of my own. Therefore, this blog was born as a direct result of the Fangirl of the Day initiative! Thank you so much Ashley for starting The Year of The Fangirl campaign and the Fangirl of the Day initiative. You and all the others highlighted so far are giving all of us who consider ourselves fangirls an opportunity to proudly proclaim ourselves as such without worrying about the negative aspects or the stereotypes!

An Adventure in Stereotypes: Careers for Fan Girls


Recently, a popular scientific blogger caused a stir when creating a Twitter account. The reason for the stir is because readers found out, through a picture attached to the new Twitter account, that this popular “scientific” blog has been created and maintained by a woman.

As a fan girl, I am surprised about the amount of negative response related to this reveal. This made me realize that there are still many stereotypes that exist on what types of careers are deemed “appropriate” or “typical” for women. What I did not understand is “why” these stereotypes still exist, even in the 21st Century. I did some quick research and found some interesting theories:

– A recent article on the time.com mentions that a recent study conducted indicated that it is the cultural stereotypes that lure women away from Careers in Science.

– Another theory suggests that young girls are not exposed to atypical career paths and if exposed this will give them more information to understand and encourage them to pursue one of these potential careers.

– Yet another theory suggests that women in general did not have the math skills to pursue these careers, but that theory was not supported by a recent study

– Finally, someone suggests that women are just too awesome at all kinds of skills and do not want “settle” for scientific, engineering or technical careers when they qualify for other exciting careers as well.

I am sure there are many more theories on why these stereotypes still exist. No matter what or how many reasons there are for these stereotypes. Efforts like the Her Universe Year of the Fan Girl are a great start on putting us on the path of a future where these stereotypes do not exist. I hope, as time passes, all women, not just fan girls like me, will be able to put these stereotypes behind us and can choose any career they want without causing a stir!

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