2 Keys to Write Compelling Characters for Your Film

May 30, 2022

How to write characters with more depth and believability.

Today we’re talking about 2 key elements you need to be writing characters with more depth.  

This is a bit of a teaser and quick-win-type of episode. Let me know in a review or comment if you’d love for me to expound on this. Hope it gets you thinking!

Where is your story lacking?

For me, the depth of my characters and their arc in the story lack the most.

My screenplays used to just be a longline of events happening to “characters” who were really just random individuals who fell prey to said events.

These 2 keys helped me write better characters, and therefore more impactful stories:

1. Give every character an outer goal
2. Give every character an INNER goal

The second one is crucial to help you later on in writing your story.

An outer goal is what your character desires. The definition of the one thing they consciously know they want.

An inner goal is what your character needs to happen to them in order for their character to experience restoration and completion to their arc.

The outer goal is necessary for the viewer (or reader) to have a clear understanding of where that character is heading.

The inner goal is what makes a character arc possible.

When you have a character’s inner goal written down, you can understand how to build toward unlocking that inner goal when having other characters interact with this character. You can build obstacles and resolutions for each character.

This will give your characters depth and make your story more impactful.