Angry characters are characters who haven’t found a way to live in the world as it really is. They’re itchy inside their own skin. They’re good to write about. Anger can be an engine for plot, for characterisation.
At the moment, I’m writing a screenplay for a production company about a superhero. I realised that the hero’s characterisation was a bit paper-thin. While I know we’re not looking for a deep character study in this type of film, I realised that this character is angry. He feels powerless at the start of the story. Invisible. Impatient. Frustrated.
As soon as I saw this in the hero, I could make him a bit more three-dimensional. It could give him a purpose – something to pursue in the story.
It’s true that we don’t like passive characters in a story. Anger drives a character. It makes them take actions that leads to conflict with other characters. The anger inside them is like the grain of sand inside the shell of an oyster. It chafes at them. It causes them to change, to transform.
Explore the anger of character this week. It can be your main character’s anger or an antagonist’s anger – it doesn’t matter.
Use it to tell a better story.
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