Book Review – 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt


45 Master Characters will make your characters and their stories more compelling, complex and original than ever before.

You’ll explore the most common male and female archetypes–the mythic, cross-cultural models from which all characters originate–and learn how to use them as foundations for your own unique characters. Examples culled from literature, television and film illustrate how memorable and effective these archetypes can be–from “Gladiators” and “Kings” like Rocky Balboa and Captain Ahab to “Amazons” and “Maidens” like Xena and Guinevere.

The mythic journeys of heroes and heroines–the progression of events upon which each archetype’s character arc develops–are also examined. Building such a “journey” into your character’s story will enable you to stop worrying about what happens next and get on with telling your tale.


Like many other books, I’ve been meaning to 45 Master Characters for quite some time. I’ve owned it for a number of years, but my current drive to push my story ideas beyond my thoughts and into words (still slow going) inspired me to finally read it cover to cover. The book largely explores character archetypes, which it defines as the foundation that characters stand upon; a blueprint for the writer to build from that preserves their creative spark. The idea of discovering my characters within this book’s frameworks always seemed like a great way to understand them even more, as well as maybe point out contradictions that I hadn’t noticed to correct flaws in design.Read More »