Question Four

girl-blowing-bubbles-etbscreenwritingThe Character’s Most Admired Traits

Write the answers to Question Four on the bottom point of the diamond.

Question Four: These are traits you do not have. They are, however, traits you really admire in someone else. When you see these traits in someone else your heart leaps a bit and you wish you could have these wonderful traits yourself.  These are not skills or talents they are personality traits.

This answer is a list of traits the character most admires in others. It is the manifestation of his or her truest highest self.

A character never admires something that is not already present in nascent or seed-like form inside him or herself. When the character witnesses the evidence of goodness in others it sets off a sympathetic vibration inside the character. This stirring deep inside the character is the powerful human longing to move toward what is best and true in the self.

The Character’s Most Admired Traits are:

– The seeds of goodness that are buried deep inside the character.

– The expression of the character’s truest highest most authentic self.

– The character’s real self, whole, complete and healed.

– The (admirable) person the story is calling the character to become.

– Embracing the Admired Traits compels the character to make a Leap of Faith.

Character MapBecoming an admirable person filled with truth and integrity is one alternative ending to a screenplay. If the character makes the Leap of Faith (by surrendering the strongest traits and facing the fear) the script ends with a successful emotional journey.

This ending is not necessarily a “happy ending.” For example: A movie character may lose his life but regain his faith like Father Damian does in The Exorcist. Or a character may lose his fortune and liberty (by going to jail) but gain integrity and respect like Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) does in Wall Street. Although this ending might not be happy it feels emotionally satisfying and complete.

Alternatively, if the character cannot make the Leap of Faith, the character eventually falls to the Dark Side. This is tragedy and the other possible ending to a screenplay.

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