Sunday, April 19, 2015


Characters that we care about are characters whose actions we can relate to - they compel our interest and affection not because they are like us but because we identify qualities in them that we find admirable. So what are the essential qualities of a dramatic character in serious drama that make us connect emotionally with them?
1. A sense of humour
2. Loyalty
3. Confidence
4. Resiliency
5. Honesty
6. Passionate
7. Curiosity
8. Level headed, grounded
9. Realistically optimistic
10. Physically fit
You'll notice how all these qualities promote an active engagement with other characters and tend towards stimulating or encouraging active involvement with the issues related to the dramatic problems that seek solution. Character qualities are revealed through what characters do and say. We have to be able to SEE and HEAR these qualities in ACTION.
Other important characteristics of actionable characters include
11. Candidness
12. Showing affection
13. Intelligence
14. Creative
15. Experimental
16. Ambitious
17. Courageous
18. Thoughtful
19. Empathetic
20. Talented
Check through the latest draft of your screenplay and see just how many of these qualities are evidenced by the actions of the characters - Everything that every major character does - in every scene - should provide evidence one or more of these, otherwise your audience probably isn't going to give a damn. Of course, they may not give a damn even if your characters are possessed of all these attributes, but that is another problem.

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