Screenplay Character


Find the love in your story, and the hate, too. Love and hate are powerful motivators, and are much of what the audience shows up to see. Love like as not drives your characters' actions. Make your characters love or hate somebody or something, enough to kill or die for. Indifference is the middle ground, and will leave your audience indifferent.

  • What does your main character love enough to die for? To kill for?
  • Is your character even capable of love? Will he go from being incapable of it to being capable during your story? How?
  • What type of love does your main character have? Is it . .
    • lust
    • love of friends
    • love of family
    • spiritualized love?
  • How does love transform him throughout the story?

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  1. View the classic The Night of the Hunter (1955) with Robert Mitchum. How are love and hate counterposed (as symbolized by the famous tattoos)? To what effect?
  2. Review the Richard Gere Julia Roberts vehicle Pretty Woman (1990). What types of love are exhibited? Is the central character capable of real love at the beginning of the story? How is she transformed throughout?
  3. Review Leonardo DiCaprio in William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (1996), a story of love turned inferno. What makes this the classic love story of all time? What is it about youthful characters that makes this sort of story possible? What are the dangers as a storyteller of setting the stakes this high?
  4. View the film Shakespeare in Love (1998) with Gwyneth Paltrow. How does love drive the story? How does it transform the characters?