Are you tired of watching movies with cliched female characters? Stereotypes exist for a reason, so you can’t avoid them altogether. Otherwise you’ll confuse your audience.
The trick to writing better screenplays is to add more complexity and texture to women to make them more attractive to actors and audiences alike.
Here are 3 ways to boost your female characters and really make them leap off the page (or screen):
ADD MALE TRAITS
It takes a lot more to create stronger female roles than giving them “male” traits such as being fierce, strong-willed, determined and alpha. Sure you can subvert the typical “girly” female character, but they are still be women and should be written as they are generally perceived in wider society. They can still be mothers, carers, nurturers and homemakers. But how many female actors will clamor for the role if this one of these characters is the commander in chief? All you need to do is add one unusual characteristic to really make them pop.
Don’t be afraid to sexualize a female character. Tales of females seducing men to their downfall have been told since biblical times. Don’t be afraid to exploit them. Just use them wisely. Steer away from hackneyed scenarios like the woman who sleeps her way to the top of a company or the female cop who unbuttons her blouse to get vital information. Why not make your female character seduce someone we least expect, such as female colleague (okay it’s probably not so shocking these days) or a priest. That’ll surely set your screenplay on fire.
We’ve all heard the well worn adage of women being more emotional than men. Maybe this homily holds true on many occasions, but not always. How might your female characters look if she is “out emotioned” by a man? Imagine a scene if a man and woman go out on a date and the man is the one who articulates his emotions better than the man?
How about women’s intuition? Or one of my personal favorites; a mother always knows. Don’t balk. Mother’s often know. Once again, try subverting the gender roles by making the female intuition radar infallible.
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