Character Writing 101
Think about a few characters from your favorite movies. Could you find a reason or two why you like them? I bet you said yes.
You see, when it comes to script writing, you have to develop your characters to bring them to life, make them personable and ensure that the audience can relate to them as much as possible.
Creating a compelling screenplay starts with how well you write your characters. They are what bring life, color, and emotion to the entire show. Even with a great story and structure to your script, if your characters are boring and flat, your entire film falls apart.
So to put you on the right track, here are some tips on how to write characters into a script:
Tip 1: Create a likable character early into the script
The need to have a character the audience will root for can never be overemphasized. Without one, they quickly lose interest. And it's highly essential that they identify this character early on into the script.
However, you may wrongly think your characters are interesting because you generally made them over-witty or callous. But people want to see a character who doesn't feel like a negative force; one who is immediately likable through their actions, selflessness, or charming dialogue. By writing your protagonist in such a way early into the movie, the audience is quickly drawn in.
Tip 2: Give your characters strengths and flaws
An overly perfect character is never very appealing. It would actually be unrealistic. Giving your characters strengths and flaws will make them even more likable. Say, you can make your character a superhero...it would be helpful to give them a flaw such as depression, relationship woes, family challenges or any weakness that gets the audience rooting more for them.
Tip 3: Write your characters with compelling dialogue
Your character needs to have original and captivating dialogue. This doesn't apply to only your protagonist but down to the last character on screen. From the first speech to the last, your audience should be able to discern the character's personality and how smart, blunt, or humorous they are. Even accent comes into play. You may give your protagonist a good sense of humor in their dialogue, but everyone shouldn't be funny even when you, the screenwriter, are naturally humorous. Write each character with a unique style of dialogue as it gives individuality and depth to that character.
Tip 4: Give your characters a point of view
For the actor to be able to relax into the role, they need to know the character's point of view. What exactly is the character's outlook in life? Is it based on emotions, realism, or saving the world? This is what will guide their decisions. Thus, defining your character's point of view helps the audience to understand the character's actions and follow them till the end.
Furthermore, it enables the actor to develop an inherent understanding of where the character is coming from and where they're headed. This helps them to use their own skills to tap into every scene.
The Bottom Line
This list isn't exhaustive. There's so much more you can do to create great characters for your script. Whether it's to give them a past, an external/internal conflict, or simply to eavesdrop at a bar to get some natural dialogue, paying attention to your character is critical to creating an epic script.
Want to learn more? Join us at Script School. We believe everyone has a story, but we also understand not everyone finds it easy to tell theirs in the most appealing way possible.
And that's why we want to help you up your game, to become the professional scriptwriter that seduces their audience into their world.
Join us today and take the steps to writing your masterpiece.