Secondary Characters: Techniques for Writing Unforgettable Supporting Characters
ABOUT THE WEBINAR
Imagine Bridesmaids without Megan (Melissa McCarthy), Her without Samantha, The King’s Speech without Logue, or The Dark Knight without The Joker. These movies simply wouldn’t be the same without these well-crafted secondary characters.
While it’s easy to see what role the protagonist plays in the story secondary characters are often given a backseat and left underdeveloped. This is a missed opportunity to take your screenplay to the next level. Knowing how to create unforgettable secondary characters starts with understanding that their main role in the story is to shed light on the protagonist in some way. They do this by interacting with the protagonist in one of five archetypal ways - as the antagonist, the best friend, the love interest, the mentor, or the fool.
These archetypal secondary characters create conflict, move the plot forward and are the catalyst for the protagonist’s transformation. The relationship the protagonist forms with these secondary characters is the basis for their overall arc and how these relationships are resolved is a key element of the story. This is some pretty heavy lifting for characters that are often relegated to the sidelines.
LA based story editor and script consultant, Ruth Atkinson, will use examples of secondary characters from recent films to illustrate the five archetypes and the corresponding elements needed to craft the kind of unique, three dimensional characters that elevate your story and feel anything but minor.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
- The five main secondary character archetypes
- How secondary characters shed light on the protagonist
- How to give secondary characters a meaningful relationship with the protagonist
- How to use secondary characters to create conflict, move the plot forward and be catalysts for change
- How to properly introduce a secondary character
- How to give secondary characters unique attributes
- The difference between a secondary character and a minor character
- When and how to give secondary characters an arc of their own
- Secondary characters in buddy films (Heat) and ensembles (Guardians of the Galaxy)
- How to avoid stereotype and cliché
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
- Writers who are struggling with what secondary characters they need to have in their story
- Writers who want to give their protagonist a meaningful emotional transformation via a relationship with a best friend, mentor or love interest
- Writers who want to create a powerful antagonist
- Writers who want to see examples of well-crafted secondary characters in current films
- Writers whose scripts have been rejected due to weak secondary characters
- Writers who are in the process of outlining, writing their first draft or rewriting their screenplay
- Writers at all levels
- Writers who want to take their screenplay to the next level by having unforgettable secondary characters
Participate Live or Watch Later
This webinar includes both access to the live webinar where you may interact with the presenter and the recorded, on-demand edition for your video library. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for one year. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation. In all webinars, no question goes unanswered. Attendees have the ability to chat with the instructor during the live event and ask questions. You will receive a copy of the webinar presentation in an e-mail that goes out one week after the live event. The answers to questions not covered in the live presentation will be included in this e-mail as well.
BONUS: With purchase of this webinar, you will receive special discount off of a subscription to the Screenwriting Tutorials website, which has specialized tutorials from experts that explore screenwriting topics covered nowhere else on the web!
- Date available: 10/03/2014
- Publication date: 10/03/2014
- Return policy: This item is not eligible for return.
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Meet the Author: Ruth Atkinson
Ruth Atkinson is a Los Angeles-based script consultant and story editor with over 20 years of experience in the film/television business. Ruth has story edited and consulted on many films that have won awards and been distributed internationally including Jonas Chernick’s My Awkward Sexual Adventure, multi-award winning short film Lil Toyko Reporter with Chris Tashima, The Perfect Family starring Kathleen Turner celebrated indie The People I’ve Slept With, Genie-nominated Who Loves the Sun starring Molly Parker and Adam Scott, and the New Zealand hit Predicament with Jemaine Clement. Ruth is also a...