“Engaging characters are at the heart of all good drama, no matter how mainstream or unusual your idea may be. Your characters should be believable, even if they are in an incredible situation. We should be able to empathise and engage with the main characters, even if we don’t necessarily like them. It’s hard to care about a character that plays a passive role in their own story, so make your central characters as active as possible. There should be all kinds of conflicts and difficulties for your characters to deal with – scripts are rarely interesting if the writer is too easy on or too nice to the characters.” Paul Abbot. Screenwriter.
Some thoughts on character from screenwriter Paul Abbot (‘Shameless’) whilst I skip off for holiday for a while… Further notes on screenwriting by Paul Abbot can be found on the BBC website and writersroom.