Antonya Nelson on Archetypes
“A person goes on a journey” or “a stranger comes to town”: these are two oft-cited plot archetypes. Then there are characters: the hero, the explorer, the outlaw, the lover, etc. But we shouldn’t confuse archetypes for clichés. Antonya Nelson, author of four novels and six short-story collections — most recently Bound (Bloomsbury, 2010) and Nothing Right (Bloomsbury, 2009) — will show you why archetypes are important to our writing.
“‘I have choir and then work,’ Suzanne called to her father as she rushed out the back door. These days, she spent more time apart from her family than with them. That would be the story from now on, Richard thought, the incremental move away.”
— Antonya Nelson, “Literally,” The New Yorker, December 2012