Richly layered characters form the basis of every quality screenplay.
Characters have distinct learning and processing styles which influences their knowledge. Their knowledge also informs their moral codes and personality types.
Intelligence is both a function of what someone knows, but also how they can best learn it. There is a distinct difference between intelligence and wisdom. The latter is more innate and relates more to emotional factors such as maturity and temperatment. Intelligence is a way external information is imbibed and maintained.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common types of intelligence screenwriters can consider for your characters:
Such characters tends to make binary decisions, with situations and their correspoding solutions being either black or white. This is a mathemetical type of intelligence. There is no gray area. Such film characters are pragmatic, acquire information and form opinions quickly. They are highly organized and always need an explanation for every observation. They thrive on order, routine and maintaining the status quo.
These characters are meticulous. They are acute with concepts of time, space, dimensions and numbers. The rapidly add numbers in their heads or know how many bricks they need to build a house. They make great engineers and scientists. These characters are three-dimensional thinkers who are good with puzzles.
These are the opposite of logical characters. They wander into the unknown and relish it. In fact, many prefer it. They are comfortable with not knowing all the answers. They don’t believe there is a simple explanation to everything. They are intuitive and rely on sensory information and gut feelings to form opinions about people and situations.
These are ‘high vibration’ individuals that are often considered to be philosophers. They can be dysfunctional in everyday activities because they are too busy pondering whether the universe is finite, or the purpose of life. They are meditators, readers and free thinkers. They discuss big ideas and obscure concepts.
These are the dogmatic characters. They are belligerent, aggressive and claim to fully understand a situation, when in many cases, they don’t. Their sources of information can be dubious, or they consider their opinions to be either correct, or fact. They selectively acquire information and place acceptance in a group, always being correct, ahead of available facts.
These are the creative type of characters. They thrive in the realm of their imaginations rather than in reality. They make the intangible tangible. They make dreams come true. They can compose a symphony or paint a masterpiece in an afternoon, but sometimes can’t balance their check books.
These characters thrive on human connnections. They possess a deep understanding of themselves and others. They know if they need to speak or what to say when they do. They tend to be calm and measured people. Such characters make good leaders as they are more likely to influence public opinion.
These people are super “feelers. ” They experience a wide breadth of emotions through to their extremities, both in themselves and others. They are deeply sympathetic and can experience other people’s pain and joy as strongly as they experience their own.
These characters are attuned with nature. They are greenthumbs and even metaphorically talk to the animals. They are resourceful and make use of everything around them without making fuss. They might also sense weather changes, direction or impending danger.
These are wordsmiths. They can write a presidential speech with the same ease as a shopping list. Their word choices convey precisely what they want to say and how they feel. They are direct communicators.
These characters have a high level of hand-eye co-ordination. They are athletes and use their bodies effieciently. They can catch flying objects. fight and display great strength. The can climb buildings with agility and poise.
These tend to be the sages and elders of the group. They speak as little as possible and often blend into the background, dismissed as uninterested in their surroundings. Hower, they are intuitive and highly attuned to their surroundings. They know exactly what’s going on and sense inter-personal interactions sometimes to a psychic level. They typically possess great wisdom.