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Screenplay Character PART 2 - How to Write a Script
Screenplay writing is all about three major components - PLOT, THEME and CHARACTER. The following are notes on writing for CHARACTER and getting the best out of your script.
What makes a good character?
FILM IS BEHAVIOR
The purpose of dialogue in screenplay writing
"I find that when I am working on a screenplay I become like an antenna and suddenly, somewhat like a paranoid-schizophrenic, everything relates to my screenplay: a mentioned recipe, a joke somebody tells, a billboard that I see. It all becomes grist for whatever screenplay I'm working on."
The CHARACTERS' EMOTIONS define them as who they are; how they respond to things
EMOTIONS FALL INTO FOUR CATEGORIES
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THE MAIN CHARACTER NEEDS A GOAL
If you don't know why a character is doing something, then it's tough for the AUDIENCE to get involved in the story and tough for you to sell and produce your screenplay.
IN ORDER FOR A GOAL TO FUNCTION WELL, IT HAS TO HAVE THREE MAIN REQUIREMENTS
Characters FIGHT, SCRAP, ARGUE, PERSAUDE and try to force their point of view, their decisions, their actions on people who don't see things the same way.
INNER CONFLICT - Characters are unsure of themselves, or their actions, or even what they want. Can express through voice-over, and through talking with someone else.
SOCIETAL CONFLICT - Character is against a GROUP of people who represent society (political group, team, town leaders).
SITUATIONAL CONFLICT - Something happens suddenly. How to handle it - panic, become a leader. Could be a personal situation.
COSMIC CONFLICT - The character VS the supernatural force
Conflict is always used. It expresses power plays, disagreements, different points of view, different attitudes and philosophies and different overall objectives
Characters have attitudes about life. They take a stand about things.
ACTION is divided into two parts, the decision to act and the act itself
It is the job of the main character to drive the story forward with her actions.
She can SEARCH, INVESTIGATE, UNCOVER, OUTWIT, PLAN STATEGY, TRANSFORM OTHERS AND THEMSELVES, CREATE NEW ENVIRONMENTS, MANIPULATE, AVENGE THE RIGHT AND WRONG
"I think the first thing you should do before writing a screenplay is to sit down and write a biography of that person."
"One of the big things you have to learn is who to listen to and when; and you can't listen to everybody."