Dramatic Characters

This post should inspire you to think creatively in relation to the following prompt and is especially targeted at stage and screen script writers.

Write a detailed bio for two opposing characters. Make sure you clearly know what they want and need! Once you have done this, try placing your characters in an everyday situation. What does each one want and need in this moment? Now play with how these two people might interact. If you think they wouldn’t, then what circumstance forces them to communicate and how do they help or hinder each other’s wants and needs?

Suggestions for Script Writers

All major characters should be distinct and are therefore always, to some extent, opposing, but it is especially fun to create characters whose desires and needs are so diametrically opposed that their interactions with each other will be charged with tension. Let your characters motivations drive their voice and the plot and you might find yourself with a very successful script developing underneath your hands.

The following character desire ideas and recommended reading should provide you with some useful starting points upon which to explore the dialogue of your characters.

Potential character desires:

  • wanting to be acquitted from a crime they didn’t commit
  • wanting to change their identity and flee the country
  • wanting to see again after becoming blind
  • wanting someone to know that they love them
  • wanting to find an answer to a riddle

Recommended reading:

  • Tennessee Williams is the master of high tension dialogue between characters
  • William Shakespeare is the master of witty quips and thoughtful monologues
  • Samuel Beckett is the master of postmodernist strangeness
  • Eugene O’Neill is the master of heart-wrenching scenes which will bring tears to your eyes
  • Oscar Wilde is the master of comedy

We would love to read anything you produce on this theme.

Amber Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

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