Powerful Characters To Make Your Screenwriting Shine


Types Of Powerful Characters 

Characters with power relates to kings, queens, politicians, religious leaders, celebrities or other characters of prominence. These are usually the main character of indomitable strength who battle formidable NEMESES against seemingly insurmountable odds.

They can be loathed or loved. Revered or ridiculed.

Characters with power can be good or bad. They either serve their communities, are effete, or become drunk with greed. There may also be treachery involved by the main character; destroying everything that affects their greatness; either through betrayal, killing or dislocation.

Epic character movies can be executed in a variety of ways. The easiest is a cradle to grave biography. They typically show the

  • birth
  • rise
  • fall, and
  • death of their lives.

There are those characters who earn power, born into power or inherit it. They may or may not be worthy of their power and must grow into their role or perish.

Characters with earned power often have humble beginnings of poverty, humility and great hardship. Then, they receive their calling and follow their destined paths. After the initial reticence and obstacles, they may decide greatness isn’t what they truly want.

However, a MENTOR will convince them that the rocky path to greatness will be worth it in the end.

Alternatively, characters of power are born into an exalted position and must grow into it. Stories such as child princes, superstars or prodigies who are too naive or immature to appreciate their greatness fall into this category. Even if they initially lack leadership skills, they quickly learn to acquire them or face death.

Characters with inherited power have often been waiting patiently in the wings as the subordinate of a great leader. The leader either resigns, dies otherwise steps aside to create a power vacuum.

Once the scope of character status is established, there must be a rise to the pinnacle of success; becoming a political leader, sporting hero or the son of God.

There are also PEOPLE BEHIND THE POWER lurking in the background. They assist the main character achieve their greatness, but usually have something personal to gain as well. These secondary power players may control the key decisions without having to face the public.

The people behind the power may also be the real power holders who want to appoint a puppet for the public eye and depose them when they no longer suit their needs.

The role of powerful female characters is also fascinating in these stories. Far from being the nurturing earth mother, they can be ruthless plotters who’ll stop at nothing to retain their male ruler’s power base.

There are often dark forces who counteract the main character. Such characters either covet the main character’s role and seek to unseat them, or make their greatness as uncomfortable as possible.

There may also be a TRAITOR who is a venerable ally in the main character’s inner circle. This often results in death or expulsion.

There main character’s power is constantly tested either by a villain or external circumstances such as a lack of resources or a natural disaster.

There is also a staunch ALLY, who will take the bullet for the main character. They act as their adviser, security and confidante.

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