CHARACTER IS ACTION

ETB-Screenwriting-LogoPatterns of Behavior

Each of the Nine Character Types identifies instantly recognizable patterns of behavior, demonstrates key distinctions between opposing personal value systems and creates the emotional conflicts that actively propels a character through a story. The Nine Character Types create the “character in an instant” in the audience’s mind based on patterns they intuitively recognize. The character is immediately recognizable, emotionally relatable and consistently reliable.

Each of the Nine Character Types books contains a precise set of tools to create one specific kind of character’s emotional playing field and establish his or her driving force in a story. A character’s emotional playing field defines the internal framework for the story. It is the range of action and behavior (from predatory to spiritually enlightened) that instantaneously establishes a particular type of character to an audience. A character’s driving force is the combination of actions and reactions that propels the character through the story.

ClapperBoard-etbscreenwritingCharacter Is Action

The Nine Character Types is a short cut to creating rich complex characters with all three of these active psychological dimensions.  It is a way of developing characters based on what they do.  When a director starts a scene he or she yells “action.”  The director doesn’t yell “thinking”, “believing” or “talking”!  Action is the key to character.  It doesn’t matter what a character thinks or says.  It is what a character does that truly defines the character.  The Nine Character Types is a short cut to the old writing axiom:  Show us don’t tell us.

Polo-etbscreenwritingFight, Flight or Submit

Each Character Type has a very specific response to any situation based on the basic fight, flight or submit syndrome that is the basis for all human action. Character is action.  There are only possible actions a character can take when faced with an opportunity, a challenge or a threat.  He or she can confront the situation head on (fight).  The character can flee the situation (flight).  Or the character can embrace the situation (submit).

The audience recognizes various Character Types intuitively. They expect certain kinds of characters to inhabit certain kinds of stories and act in certain ways.  An apt analogy is when the audience goes to see a polo match. They don’t expect to see men in shoulder-pads with hockey sticks and skates propelling hockey pucks across the ice.  When they go to see a hockey match, they don’t expect to see horses, saddles and riders driving a small wooden ball into the goal by using a mallet on the ice. Polo, hockey, tennis, football, bowling and basketball—each is a very different kind of game (or playing field) with clearly defined objectives, penalties, goals and arenas of contest, conflict and conquest.

movie-theater-etb-screenwritingAvoiding Disappointment

Have you even seen a movie trailer, gotten excited about a film, bought a ticket and entered the theater ready to have a great time—only to be sorely disappointed?  Chances are the movie you were shown wasn’t the movie you were expecting. Somehow the story and/or characters were mishandled, misaligned out of sync or misrepresented.  The movie didn’t deliver on promises promoted. You weren’t satisfied. You weren’t engaged. The characters didn’t feel real. The story didn’t add up to anything significantly entertaining. And YOU WERE ANGRY.

The Nine Character Types ebooks will help you focus your characters and create a deeply satisfying story. It will help you develop unique, original, evocative and authentic characters that fully explore all the contradictions, reversals and surprises of a fully formed three-dimensional human being.  Using this approach, you can deliver on and EXCEED audience expectations. The audience will instantaneously recognize and relate to your character because your character “feels real.”

man-davinci-etbscreenwritingA Character Is What He Does

How a character acts on an opportunity, challenge or threat defines who that character is.  Using the Nine Character Types is the best way to follow the first rule of good writing: “show us don’t tell us.”

Learn how each of the Nine Character Types has different goals, individual emotional obstacles and very distinct responses and reactions to every opportunity, challenge or threat.  Each Character Type acts differently when faced with identical sets of circumstance or obstacles.  The Nine Character Types are based on the principle that “character is defined by action.”  This is what makes it different from other character or personality systems.

The  Nine Character Type eBooks illustrate exactly how to create and differentiate a character based on his or her:

(1.) World View (beliefs about how the world works) What are the essential core beliefs that motivate a character’s ordinary actions?

(2.) Role or Function (position in the story or role in the ensemble) What do the other players look to a character to do or provide in the story?

(3.) Values in Conflict (competing values that push the character to extremes) What opposing choices or goals establish the  character’s moral code? What is this character Conscienceing to fight, sacrifice or die for? And why?

(4.) Story Questions (emotional journey in the story) What personal issues, dilemmas and internal conflicts does a  character wrestle with over the course of the story? What does this character ask of him or her self? What is this character’s Leap of Faith in an emotionally satisfying story?

(5.) Story Paradox (emotional dilemma) What is the duality or the contradiction at the heart of a  character’s story struggle? How is the character’s internal conflict expressed in actions.

(6.) Life Lessons (how to complete the emotional journey) What must a  character learn over the course of the story to make a clear, satisfying personal transformation? What actions lead to this character’s emotional salvation?

(7.) Dark Side (this character as a predator or villain) What happens when a  character’s actions are driven entirely by fear? How might or how does the story end in tragedy?

(8.) Leadership Style (what defines and qualifies this character as a leader) How does a  character convince others to follow? How does this character act to take charge and command?

(9.) Film Examples (the  character as a protagonist)

(10.) Television Examples (the  character as central to an ensemble)

(11.) Real Life Examples (historical  figures on the world stage that exemplify the character)

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