Why Is Intuition So Important To Your Characters?

You’ve heard the term intuition before. What is it exactly and how can it improve your screenwriting?

A gut feeling, a sixth sense, a hunch, a premonition, a third eye astral projection, psychic awareness, guiding force, inner voice and instinct.

It’s a trait that can really make the characters in your screenplay pop. Their seemingly irrational decisions may be driven by intuition.

It heightens your characters’ responses and elevates the dramatic tension in your screenplay.

What is this elusive characteristic called intuition, anyway? How does intuition actually work? In short, it’s how your non conscious mind communicates with your conscious mind. Your intuition is a repository of your entire life experiences. However, it extends beyond objective facts, reasoning and logic. It is more powerful than emotions. Somewhere between a learned and impulsive reaction. This is really important given that non conscious behavior accounts for around 80% of brain activity.

Intuition is there to guide your decisions. Some anthropologists believe it is an evolutionary mechanism designed for the survival and self-preservation of humans. That is why you should always follow your intuition. Picture that date you have with someone who isn’t quite right. Something feels slightly off. Trust it.

Neuroscience has shown that our organs play a subtle yet pivotal role in how your characters respond to situations; both pleasurable and painful. Blood rushes to the heart and digestive organs.  This is real. Scientifically proven fact.

Picture a scene in a horror film where a character has a seemingly illogical response when a trip to a cabin in the woods is planned. That gut feeling; sometimes leading to vomiting. That’s their intuition warning them of impending danger.

Consider a scenario where a girl has two suitors, both of which has proposed and she must chose one (or genders reversed). Does this remind you of of the movie “This Means War.” Both suitors have positive and negative qualities, but Lauren can only chose one. She’s exhausted all discussions with her bestie and must make a choice.  At this point she must tap into her intuition to decide who will make her the best version of herself.

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