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Creating Interesting Characters For Your Screenplay
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It is important to create compelling characters that your audience will want to invest their time in during the journey of your screenplay. Think about it, you are asking your audience to invest around one hour and ten minutes into your story; you better have something interesting to say while using intriguing characters to play out your story. Attention spans tend to be shorter these days so it is important to grab the attention of your audience as soon as possible and keep it until the finally scene. One way to do this is by creating compelling characters.
You can start by creating bios for all of your characters. Understand their personalities, their likes and dislikes, how they dress and interact with others should all be "fleshed" out when developing your characters. The term, "flesh out" means to fully develop a character. A character that seems one dimensional and not very interesting has not been fully fleshed out by the writer.
Really get to know the characters you are creating to tell your story until they are real in your mind. Some writers start off their characters based on people they know. Your characters can also be aspects of your personality. Make sure that the personal traits you are creating for your character properly serves the story you are trying to tell. For example, if you are writing a mystery, your main character that solves the case should have a keen sense for details that other people generally miss.
It is very important to add flaws to all of your characters, especially the main character, or hero of your story. No one in this world is perfect so in order to create realistic characters in your fictional world, you have to make them imperfect. Think about the people in your life, your family and friends, and make a list of what you like and dislike about them. You are sure to come up with a nice list of flaws. Use these flaws when building your characters.
And if you have an antagonist or villain in your story, you want to avoid making them 100% evil. You want your audience to be able to relate, on some level, to all of your characters. You can humanize your villain by giving them some traits that we all can relate to or understand like being insecure or overly ambitious.
You can also create characters that mirror each other. On the outside, they appear to be two separate people but deep down they really are the same person. This is an advanced screenwriting technique that many seasoned writers use. This is a great technique for young writers to incorporate in their scripts. Characters that mirror each other often butt heads because they are so similar.
The characters you create should also surprise your audience. You do not want to create predictable characters. I'm sure we've all met people that we thought we knew but they totally surprise us by something they do or say. Well, you want the same for the characters you create otherwise they are boring and predictable.
Of course you want to also consider what your character looks like and how their appearance lends itself to the story you want to tell. Use interesting adjectives that jump off of the page when describing your characters. This makes it more interesting and vivid for the reader and helps them to get more into your story. You want to make sure you have all of your characters fully fleshed out prior to starting your screenplay. After a while, they will talk to you, so to speak, and will teach you all you need to know about them.
Screenwriting Kids helps passionate, young screenwriters to achieve their dreams and write the stories they want to tell. We believe that with the proper tools and instruction, young people can create a professional Hollywood screenplay. Our online course will teach, inspire and encourage budding new writers to realize their goals.
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