HOW TO WRITE THE FIVE MAN BAND IN YOUR NOVEL
We use affiliate links. If you purchase something using one of these links, we may receive compensation or commission.
Do you use archetypes in your writing? Well you know archetypes get a bad rep because it is said to be over used tropes. But as a writer I feel like they are important to your novel.
I learned about these archetypes in-depth when I was still in college years ago in my film classes. We had to read and learn about Carl Jung and the 12 archetypes also about Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s journey. Those are each an individual post on it’s own and I will eventually write about them later .
This is the thing that I have learned about writing novels and screenplays is even if you don’t like using them and hate the analysis of the tropes and architypes you are still using them whether you know it or not . It’s like subconsciously in grained into you if you are a true writer . And there is a such thing called a true writer . Like you know if you are a writer if you do so and so. (that’s a whole other posts) but you get what I’m trying to say.
So you use these tropes without really knowing.
One type of architype or trope I’m going to talk about today is the five man band . No not the band group of the 80s/90s that this phrases is usually confused with but a literature/ gaming term/ trope that was first coined in the 70s by a superhero franchise. The reason I’m talking about this is because I’m using it in my current work in progress novel During the Blue Hour without really knowing.
So let’s figure out what a five man band is ? Who usually uses it in their novels ? And How to use it in our novels?
The five man band is usually a set or group of characters within a hierarchal system that form an actual team with skills that can contribute to the group itself . The five man ban has to be at least 5 characters and have a literature architype . I think since my novel is about a pack of werewolves I can put a clear check mark on that with having a story involving the five man band trope.
Let’s go even further .
The first character is:
the HERO or LEADER – of the group. He is usually the one who has a clear head and is very charismatic that anyone would want to follow them.
The 2nd character is:
The LANCER or 2ND IN COMMAND– they are usually a contrast to the hero or leader of the group . In some cases he is much of a foil to the leader. If the leader is nice and compassionate. The Lancer is usually a Jerk or opinionated. They may also be a rival for the Leader when it comes to the love interest.
The 3rd character is:
The SMART GUY– and is usually physically weak but clever in everything else. Also not having any active powers. Is usually a buddy to the big guy .
The 4th character is:
The BIG GUY– is the strongest person physically to the group. He is usually the muscle. And one who is more loyal to the hero and lancer. They usually will be the ones to distract the villains.
The 5th character is:
The HEART – the peacekeeper of the group.
Oh yeah and sometimes there is a sixth member of the group that has to prove themselves to the rest of the group.
Okay so my research came at a stall when I tried to find which books used the five man band because it’s usually used in tv and movies. But I’m going to take a guess from the books I know about and read.
Example of literature uses of the five man band includes:
- The Wizard of OZ
- LORD OF THE RINGS
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- The Dresden Files
- HUNGER GAMES
- HARRY POTTER
These are just a few examples but these are some famous titles who have the five man band woven into their stories.
So how can we use it?
As a writer you just have to play around with the characters and their architypes. Sometimes they will overlapp. The roles are what matter. Another thing to remember is that in order for you to have the five man band in your novel your characters must form a team dynamic.
Try to figure it out. It might be fun.
Here is example of my five man band for my current work in progress , DURING THE BLUE HOUR.
At the Beginning of the book
Heart/The Smart Guy: Imani
The Strong Guy: Bastian
The Sixth Ranger (MC) Sirena
At the End of the book
Lance/Smart Guy: Imani
Heart: (MC) Sirena
The Strong Guy: Bastian
The Sixth Ranger Chemsen
If you liked this blog post and you want to see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share . But first LET’S START A DIALOGUE
Who is the five man band team dynamic in your novel ?
I want to know so let me know in the comments below.
You can also interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour