The Power of Ambition

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Power of Ambition characters believe that nothing is as important as projecting a successful, polished or accomplished image– Even if the character has to go deep into debt or lie, cheat and steal to do so. Image is everything to these characters.

How others view or rate them is crucial. They value themselves and others by the toys, the trappings, the prestige, the awards, the money, the status or the other public forms of recognition accrued. How it is accrued is irrelevant.

Power of Ambition characters want the reassurance of the visible, tangible evidence of their outward success or status.  The definition and meaning of “success” is at the heart of a Power of Ambition character’s story. Is success truly measured from the outside or from the inside?

A character driven by the Power of Ambition can be a hardworking, eager, charming optimist with a “can-do” spirit—or a lying, manipulative, backstabbing striver who will do anything to get ahead in life.  These characters are eager charmers, con artists, slick salesmen/saleswomen, lovable impostors and literal or metaphorical prostitutes.

They can be aspirational characters who want to rise from a lowly station to a more exalted one.  Or they can be selfish whores, frauds, fakers or con artists, always on the hustle.  In either case, their perceived status, popularity and social importance is key their sense of themselves.

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Character Examples

Christopher, Uncle Junior and Carmela in The Sopranos; Miranda in Sex and the City; David Brent in the UK version and Michael Scott in the US version of The Office, are all great television examples of this character.  For more television examples see the Power of Ambition blog posts.

Film examples include:  Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman; Bud Fox in Wall Street; Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons; and Suzanne Stone in To Die For.  Tom Cruise has played many Power of Ambition characters over his career including:  Charlie Babbitt in Rain Man, Jerry Maguire in Jerry Maguire, Vincent in The Color of Money, Mitch McDeere in The Firm, Jasper Irving in Lions for Lambs, and Frank TJ Mackey in Magnolia.  For movie examples see the Power of Ambition blog posts.

Power of Ambition eBook

The Power of Ambition Character Type eBook explains how these characters are alike and how each character is made individually distinct. It Ambition help you develop unique, original, evocative and authentic Power of Ambition characters that fully explore all the contradictions, reversals and surprises of a fully formed human being.

Discover the Power of Ambition character’s specific goals, unique emotional obstacles and very distinct responses and reactions to any opportunity, challenge or threat. Create this character’s Immediate Tactics, Long-term Orientation and Strategic Approach in a way that is recognizably “true” at every step of the story and during every moment of screen time. The audience Ambition instantaneously recognize and relate to your character because your character is complex, three-dimensional and “feels real.”

This eBook is thorough analysis of the Power of Ambition Character Type in his or her many guises and roles as a protagonist or a member of a larger ensemble. It is packed with numerous examples from film, television and even real life! Examples from scores of scenes and dozens of quotes from film and television characters clearly illustrate this character’s motivations and psychological dynamics in a story.

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Comprehensive Analysis

The Power of Ambition Character Type eBook illustrates exactly how to create and differentiate this character based on his or her:

(1.) World View (beliefs about how the world works) What are the essential core beliefs that motivate a Power of Ambition 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 Power of Ambition 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 Power of Ambition character’s moral code? What is this character willing 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 Power of Ambition 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 Power of Ambition 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 Power of Ambition 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 Power of Ambition 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 Power of Ambition character convince others to follow? How does this character act to take charge and command?

(9.) Film Examples (the Power of Ambition character as a protagonist)

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

(11.) Real Life Examples (historical Power of Ambition figures on the world stage)

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