This week the peonies burst open, gorgeous Festiva Maxima, white with a hint of pink in its throat, Duchesse de Nemours , deep cream at the centre of white petals, and others, deep pink, that I planted so long ago I’ve forgotten their names. The new ones are still hiding their colour although one has a hint of the promised yellow. I planted a Japanese tree peony two years ago. As I write its candy-pink blossoms are folded in waiting for the sun to encourage them to spread their petals.
Today the peony rains have come, but not so heavily as to shatter the blossoms and smash them to the ground. Ah, even if they are broken, they are worth the heartache of their early loss for the beauty and the scent that perfumes the entire garden.
The OAC application is on its way. Of course I thought, almost at once, of an alternative beginning and a fresh point of view. Too late.
At the last Writescape Writers retreat I attended and again at the Ontario Writer’s Conference, I listened to lectures about archetypes in fiction. I’ve been looking for more information as I had questions. When did one consider archetypes: at the onset of writing, when the book was in first draft, at the end when all would be clear? The books that I have talk about the subject but not enough to satisfy my curiosity so I turned to the internet and the blogosphere.
More confusion ensued. Are there five or twenty-five or a cast of thousands. Some writers seemed to be confusing archetype with stereotype. As I understand it(so far) archetypal characters are found in all eras, across all cultures and express why a character behaves the way he does.
This site is a list of other sites that deal with archetypes, symbols, motifs, etc.
Jordan McCollom’s site has a basic description of archetypes and a download of interesting articles on Plotting. Find it here: http://jordanmccollum.com/2009/10/archetypal-characters-heros-journey/
There are many more, hundreds more, sites and essays and university course materials that deal with the subject. And there are always Jung and Northrop Frye to consult.
I’m at the end of writing the first draft of my current work in progress. It will be an interesting and useful exercise, I think, to review my characters with archetypes in mind) as well as symbols, motifs, etc. I see opportunity to strengthen the characters in their various roles, bearing in mind that the characters, like the rest of us, are complex and contradictory and not content to stay where i have slotted them.