Let's start with the bottom line: without characters, you don't have a story, theme, plot or marketable script.
Movies about inanimate objects remaining inanimate, meaning without character, just don't get made because you need characters through whom to tell your story.
But not just any characters. You need characters who need or want something; who have clear goals. If your protagonist hero doesn't have clear goals, your script has a serious problem.
If you want to sell a script, your reader needs to know who, what and why. Who's the protagonist? What is his or her goal? And why does he or she need to accomplish the goal?
Without clear goals for each of your characters, your script will never be made.
Here are 5 danger signs that indicate your main characters lack a clear goal:
1--You're having a hard time knowing what your next scene should be.
2--Your story suffers from repeat beats and too much expositional dialogue.
3--Your characters are floating through the narrative without a clear resolution.
4--Your story feels stuck.
5--You have no idea how to get through your 3rd act and finish the script.
So how do you create clear goals for your characters? Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Come back next week for The Secret to Writing Active Characters Part II, and learn exactly how to write compelling, active characters with clear goals.
The overabundance of scripts circulating within the independent marketplace can make a producer’s head spin. In fact, producers today are more unwilling to read a script than ever before. Why? Lack of quality control.
This was what prompted our collective of seasoned, award winning producers, directors and screenwriters to launch the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards. Our initial goal with the contest was to adapt to the ever-changing film industry and, in the best possible way, to disrupt the traditional screenplay review process.
Our next goal was to identify hungry, emerging screenwriting talent. These screenwriters--you—are a major asset to the film industry. Working with these emerging writers in our 1-to-1 development workshop has proven to be a great boon for screenwriters and personally rewarding for our producers.
Our analysis workflow is designed to be the best quality control process in the industry and is the reason why we appeal to so many producers. If we can find talented screenwriters and get them in a professional workshop setting with development professionals, we can put them in a position to succeed.
The results for our past winners and finalists in the industry is our greatest reward, and now that success inspires us to continue our search and development of the next generation of great screenwriters. Past winners and finalists have gone on to earn paying writing gigs. We even have a prior winner and finalist who have earned writing credits on a feature film currently being produced by judges on our decorated panel, based on scripts that were facilitated through those judges.
This is the new model that we believe will revolutionize the screenplay competition market--and the film industry as a whole. It is not just about winning, it is about working.