Screenwriting Tips

Read these 4 Screenwriting Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Writer tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Can the hero and the bad guy be one and the same?

The Hero/Bad Guy

Sometimes the central character is both the hero and the bad guy. This is fine. However, be aware that the entire movie hinges on this character, and his or her personality, actions, and dialog are really the most vital part of the screenplay. Develop this person carefully and fully. The hero/bad guy should be larger than life - a strong and solid character.

   
How do I make my hero interesting?

Hero's Flaw

What makes a hero interesting? His flaw. He has a crush on the dumb, unreachable cheerleader and can't see that the wonderful girl next door is in love with him. She wants power but she can't see that she is losing the one thing that really matters to her: her son. The flaw is what makes us continue to watch the movie, and what makes us want the hero to win.

   
How do I make my characters believable?

Character Development Offscreen

Work on your characters before you even start to fill out your story. Your characters should be comprehensive and multi-level. Develop your character's offscreen personality and life. Write about his or her childhood. Fill in the blanks about the friends and family that the audience will never see. Write a page or two about the character's dreams and hopes, nightmares and demons, or day-to-day thoughts. This character development will help you decide what the characters should do or say when you go to write the screenplay, and it will make your audience believe in the characters.

   
What makes an interesting bad guy?

The Bad Guy

Although you might have a team of baddies, there is always only one BAD GUY, the evilist of the evil, the one you want to face off with the hero and lose. You can make a bad guy 100% evil, but I always find that the most interesting bad guys are those with whom the audience can relate. You see a little good or you have a little empathy with the bad guy, and suddenly you are drawn into the character.

   
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Mary White