--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, scribbler@... wrote:
> I understand the point Alana is making here, but as a specialist in mythic
> motifs and structures, I REALLY wish people would stop using the word
> "archetypes" when they really do mean "stereotype".
> An archetype is a template of deep meaning. How well the archetype is
> manifested is dependant on the writer's ability. But the use of an
> archetype is neither good nor bad, neither shallow nor deep. An archetype
> carries a particular meaning.
> A stereotype, on the other hand, is a flattened out version of anything,
> generalized, conforming to some easy pattern, and most often lacking in
> depth of any sort. A stereotype feels like cardboard.
> Just because a character is a mentor, for instance, that does not make him
> a stereotype. The archetype - functioning as a mentor - has significance
> to the story overall. An pseudo-Gandalf who only does whizbang in the
> immediate story, THAT is a stereotype. Or if you want to be specific - a
> stereotype OF the archetype.
> Archetypes are things you WANT in your story -- especially if they are
> well written. Sometimes you even NEED them. Stereotypes, on the other
> hand, nobody wants.
> Here endeth the lesson from the crazed mythographer. :D
Thank you, thank you, thank you! That needed to be said.