June 12, 2024
Writing the Novel: Do You Use Archetypes In Your Writing?

Writing the Novel: Do You Use Archetypes In Your Writing?


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 archetype 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 .

Photo by Ronu00ea Ferreira on Pexels.com

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:

Photo by Daisa TJ on Pexels.com

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.    

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Dresden Files

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 

Leader: Cristan

Lance:   Adrian

Heart/The Smart Guy: Imani

The Strong Guy: Bastian

The Sixth Ranger (MC) Sirena

At  the  End of  the book

Leader: Cristan

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 join the werewolfpack today and keep up to date with the latest content through a newsletter


 I  want to know so let me know in the comments below.

 Who is the five man band team dynamic in your novel ?  

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