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

Don’t Write Generic Dialogue. Speak to the specific complaint.

I hate generic stuff, moments that show something basic: the kid loves his mom! The cop works at a precinct! The couple is fighting! Any hack could write that, and it’s the screenplay’s job to show off what’s special about your writing style. You want to sell people on the idea of you. Here’s aContinue reading “Don’t Write Generic Dialogue. Speak to the specific complaint.”

The difference between world building and story: Character

A world-building script is a script that is heavily reliant on its setting. These are commonly genre scripts, but not always. A script that’s got an esoteric historical setting or relies on a densely woven political backstory has the same strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with world building scripts, indeed many great storiesContinue reading “The difference between world building and story: Character”

Dark Mirror – Arcs and the advantages of hero and villain sharing the same flaw.

QUESTION:  In Big Hero 6, and I was surprised to see that the protagonist’s flaw (Hiro coping with the loss of his brother) and the antagonist’s flaw (Professor Robert Callaghan coping with the death of his wife) were essentially the same. Are a lot of movies like this? It actually may help to pretend that all moviesContinue reading “Dark Mirror – Arcs and the advantages of hero and villain sharing the same flaw.”

Everything in a dream is actually you. The same goes for your characters.

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Heretics I read this quote when I was a teenager, and I never really got it.  I’m not advocating for characters that are obvious stand-ins for their authors, but it’s very difficultContinue reading “Everything in a dream is actually you. The same goes for your characters.”

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 inContinue reading “CHARACTER ARCS 101”