When it comes to writing blog posts, I’ve noticed so many writer personalities within myself. Some days I feel like lecturing on and on about the state of the world–yak yak yak, while on other days, I just feel like writing a fun and simple blog post about whatever happened to pop up in my mind, trying to be nice and not lecture somebody’s ear off.

So I’ve concocted a detailed but simplified archetype chart for the various books and writers I enjoy, just for fun. Of course I haven’t read everything in this huge wide world, so this chart likely won’t be a universally encompassing standard.

1. The Erudite Professor

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J.R.R. Tolkien

The wordy and academic Professor crafts beautifully complex sentences, all the while informing the reader on the big, philosophical ideas. Doesn’t like to “dumb it down.” The Professor leans towards either the essay-ic or history book writing style in their aim to provide a well-developed and thorough discussion. Main focus = to convey or educate, and to show off their academic prowess at the same time.

Examples: The Sound and the Fury, Grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Rings, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables, The Once and Future King, Wicked

2. The Thoughtful Brooder

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Chaim Potok

The Brooder appears to mull over complex ideas during the writing process, thus traveling on the same path of discovery and revelation as the reader. For this reason, while still a deeply thoughtful archetype, this kind of writer is injected with a certain relatable accessibility that sets it apart from the Professors. Main focus = to  convey concise morals and raise good questions for debate. Readily offers opinion and attempts to convey clear takeaway(s).

Examples: 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, The Alchemist, Lord of the Flies, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Chosen

3. The Simple Buddhist

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Buddhist focuses on matter-of-fact simplicity over complex wordcraft. Though tending to deliver restrained statements on life through neutral observations, this archetype does not lack depth nor complexity, for its often elusive morals broadens the door to multi-faceted interpretations.The Buddhist also focuses more on story-telling and delivering the tools for discerning a moral or conclusion, rather than a pre-determined one; doesn’t “spell it out” for you. Main focus = to tell it like it is without bias, but still offering enough detail and observation.

Examples: The Great Gatsby, Farewell to Arms, Great Expectations, For Whom The Bells Toll

4. The Humorous Craftsman

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Kurt Vonnegut

A relatively rare (and modest) species, the Craftsman doesn’t let the audience know how fully capable of complex wordcraft he or she is, but rather resorts to offhand humor as to avoid intimidating the reader. The Craftsman also tends to weave together artful pieces that only in hindsight a reader could realize how elaborate they were. The stitching of carefully placed words convey the intent of a self-assured master, the complexity evident in the balance of quirk and insight. Main focus = the play between the whole and the nuance, the emotion and the humor.

Examples: Kurt Vonnegut, Voltaire, Shakespeare, Shel Silverstein, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Catcher and the Rye, Maniac Magee, To Kill A Mockingbird

5. The Instinctive Toiler

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J.K. Rowling

The “Taylor Swift” category. While Toilers may not be necessarily stars in terms of technicality, their amazing instinct and ability to provoke strong reactions from the audience qualify them as great writers. They “make it work,” so to say, and their attentiveness will be certainly be acknowledged by readers. Main focus = to provoke enthusiasm through smart story-telling, well thought-out plot twists, pacing, emotional appeal, and all of the above.

Examples: Harry Potter, Roald Dahl, The Bartimaeus Trilogy, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Percy Jackson series, Artemis Fowl series


So which category would you place yourself as an author if you’d ever write something in the future?