Character tip: give them an essential nature, something that stays the same, even if everything else is different.

I recently read a horror script where the main character's only trait was "rape victim (1)." Her only character traits weThe other day I read a horror script where the main character's only trait was "rape victim (1)." Her only character traits were "suspicious, traumatized, didn't like being touched." Had she not been raped, she... Continue Reading →

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Dimensional characters have a true nature, and a false face they present to the world.

Writing characters is a varied art form and there's a million ways to develop characters that are "great" "dimensional," "original." Here's a simple trick I like to use: Who is this character, really? How do they present themselves to the world? These are also good questions for life. If you want to know how someone wants... Continue Reading →

Premise Test – Notes on Type

You'll often hear me talk about the premise of a movie. When I do, I'm usually talking about the premise test: An <ADJECTIVE> <PROTAGONIST TYPE> must <GOAL> or else <STAKES>. They do this by <DOING> and learns <THEME>. A type boils a character down into one word, an oversimplified conceptual handle so we get a grasp... Continue Reading →

CHARACTER ARCS 101

People often talk of "character arcs."  Arcs a fancy byword for "character change."  Think of your hero as a work in progress.  Protagonist 1.0 might be cool and handsome, but isn't in touch with his feminine side/greedy/can't skateboard.  Odds are that a series of amusing setpieces will turn him into Protagonist v2.0 who's very in... Continue Reading →

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