Real Drama Starts With
Real Characters

By Tyrone Selby

In writing, you can have a perfect premise, but it will never come alive and become
interesting without great characters. Here is a list of types of characters to choose to
create when writing your story.

Protagonist – the principle character in a work of fiction.

This may seem like an elementary piece of the puzzle, but we’ve all seen movies
or shows that are hard to follow along because another “main character” has been
introduced. Ballooning a cast is an easy way to make your audience feel like their lost in
a crowd at a theme park, not knowing who to follow or what to pay attention to!

Antagonist – Someone who offers opposition.

Every story has a villain. If a story only had situational opposition, it would just
be life! This is fine for romance movies and such, but any other type of film and/or series
needs a character specifically made to halt the protagonist. More often times in this new
age of cinema, audience members will fall in love with the villain faster than the hero!

Best Friend/Confidant/Partner – Someone to whom private matters are confided.

This is a person that travels the same journey as the main character and promises
to be their rock of support. Unless your protagonist is strictly a “lone ranger”, this comes
in handy to introduce back story and other emotions that will give them more depth.
Mentor – A person who guides the character, providing insight on particular situations
that are foreign to the character. This gives your audience an understanding of the world
and its’ features because someone is verbally explaining it. When your viewers don’t
have to ask so many questions about the script setting, the more they can enjoy the story
plot.

Comic Relief – Someone who severs strict tension with shtick or jokes.

Sometimes, even in the most epic stories, it’s important to give a slight
distraction. They say you shouldn’t take life too seriously, so don’t take your script too
seriously either. Funny moments happen, but only if you as the writer let them.
To make a more interesting character, some of these traits can be combined, or even
traded to make secret motives and back story. Even try adding additional types of
characters such as a “Love Interest” or “Mentor”. Combining types of characters make
them more real and less one-dimensional. Is your main antagonist also the story’s comic
relief, and the best friend secretly the antagonist? With your next script, try this in some
character development before you actually start writing…it will help you get to know
the characters that much more and make lines more believable because they will fit the
personality and goal of the character.

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Tyrone SelbyAbout The Author

Tyrone Selby is the Associate Producer and writer of Spark-Flow Studios, LLC the multimedia house of animation and film, and Co-Director of the Soul 4 Reel Film Festival.

He was Director of Photography for the short film “Unspoken” directed by Rocky McKoy with Rockabye Entertainment, shown on BET’s: Lens On Talent, and accepted into several film festivals. Tyrone also produces “Pumpk & Cham and Pai” animated series, and writer of webcomic “Elements Of Light”, both with Spark-Flow Studios,.

He has written eight scripts, two of which are currently in pre-production, and his directing debut short film, currently in post-production.

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Real Drama Starts with Real Characters (Part 1)