by Lesley Bown and Ann Gawthorpe
Generate characters from people you know, plays, films, novels, TV, and stock characters. Get to know your characters fully, even the minor ones. Understand the influences that made them what they are at the time of the play. You are likely to draw on your own background for this, because it is what you know best.
Work out their back-story – this is the events leading up to the start of the play.
Have strong contrasts between characters and understand their motivation and psychology. Know what binds them together, and what’s at stake for each one.
Your main characters need to experience conflict, within themselves, with other characters and with the world at large. One of these will dominate, although the other two should also be present. No matter how heroic the main character, they should have a flaw;, minor characters can be more one-dimensional.
Most plays have one central character, or protagonist, and the play is really their story. If you find they need someone to talk to, give them a sidekick.
You will probably have a strong idea of what each character looks like and how they dress. This is fine while you are writing, but don’t overload your final script with this kind of detail.
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