Basic Character Models

What are they?

A basic character model is a familiar type of character that appears in numerous stories.

Not all characters fit into a basic character model.

Russian scholar Vladimir Propp devised an outline of common basic characters.

Hero The main protagonist. This is the person who is sent on the quest or must fulfil the tasks.
 False Hero A character who is stealing the protagonist’s prize. The protagonist must remove this person in order claim rightful credit.
 Villain An evil character who the protagonist must fight or overcome.
 Dispatcher The character who needs the hero to undergo their quest or mission.
 Helper An assistant or magical presence who helps the protagonist in their mission.
 Donor A character who gives the protagonist something they need, from materials to training or knowledge, in order to fulfill their quest.
 The Prize A character, usually a romantic interest, that the protagonist hopes to gain through completing their tasks.