What the heck is an archetype? 

By Jacob Krueger

Just about every screenwriting teacher since Joseph Campbell has talked about the vital importance of creating archetypal characters in a screenplay. So why is it that writers attempting to capture these archetypal characters so often end up inadvertently creating paper thin stereotypes again? Much of the confusion comes from the way these archetypes are taught. From the intellectual musings of James Bonnett’s Stealing Fire From The Gods to the uber-commercial formulas of Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat, everyone writing on the subject seems to have their own contradictory approach to naming and categorizing these archetypes, and their own formula for how these archetypes should come together to shape your character’s “hero’s journey.” So what exactly is an archetype? And how are you supposed to make sense of all these conflicting theories, so you can get the most out of the archetypal characters in your story? In this new video, Award Winning Screenwriter Jacob Krueger tracks the concept of archetypes back to their psychological source: Jung’s theory of the Collective Unconscious. You’ll learn how to get beyond the confusing intellectual theories of archetypes, and connect to the archetypal characters in your own story in a visceral, emotional way. Rather than focusing on naming and categorizing archetypes, or rigid formulas for building an archetypal journey, you’ll discover an approach to connect to the compelling archetypes in yourself, and bring them to the page in the way that only you could write them.


  1. KillerJoes 9 years ago

    This is really helpful thank you!!!

  2. Johanna B. 9 years ago

    Brilliant Concept! We are as a society, gagged to prevent the whole, possibly, the unsavory thoughts/actions or sweetness & hope from surfacing.
    Everyone can relate to “The parts of me never expressed.” This gives me a huge barn of fodder for the future.
    Many thanks.

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