I cannot stretch this enough, be very very precise in choosing your protagonist. The journey will only matter if the lesson a character has to learn is related to inner need.
If it isn’t then it will not be a satisfying experience for the reader/audience.
Make sure that the protagonist’s scar matches the outer goal, or in other words the outer goal has to force the protagonist to deal with his/her scar.
One other thing. Do not make the protagonist too nice. We like imperfect, flawed and struggling characters, that are forced to make descisions, but do not always make the right choices. You can also create an amoral character if you make sure that the motivation, the why, is clear from the get go. We as a reader do not need to approve of the action, but we need to understand the why.
I often get scripts where the protagonist doesn’t change, doesn’t transform, but another supporting character does change a lot and therefore immediately becomes more compelling. Two reasons for this can be, that the writer did not choose the right protagonist for the story he/she wants to tell, or the journey isn’t forcing the protagonist to be active and to deal with his/her scar.
Also you want to be looking at a redemption arc of the protagonist. Something where this characters needs to redeem him/herself from past sins. This will make the transformation even more compelling, because it gives the character an edge and and urge.
A fun thing to also include is the fatal flaw. Something that always causes trouble for the protagonist, like for instance the character being a sex addict, but wanting to hold onto his/her true love.
And last but not least, give your protagonist a skill. We like to watch people that are skillful. It also gives the character a sense of meaning and purpose.
Whatever story you create you better make sure that the protagonist fits the story and that it becomes his/her journey, otherwise you will get the note that your script feels plot driven, because the motivation and the choices the protagonist makes, aren’t born from the character, but are forced onto him/her by the plot.
#storyteller #screenplay #screenwriting #writing #writer #amwriting