Writing Character Descriptions
Ensure your script’s characters rise above tropes and stereotypes by introducing them with thoughtful, meaningful details.
What you can learn.
- Learn to describe fully realized characters with just a few words
- Understand how descriptions are used by directors, actors, and others working in production
- Compare actual descriptions to their film versions by watching clips
- Identify ways to capture a character’s drive and attitudes
About this course:We are more than our age, weight, and body type -- more than hair and eye color, sexuality, race, or one word adjectives that give a vague sense of someone without giving any specifics (“Sassy," “Beautiful, but doesn’t know it”). A character’s description is the blueprint that brings them to life. Their core drives and attitudes can be established the moment they appear in the script. In this course, you look at how specific descriptions of characters can help lead to their dialogue, actions, and choices. You look at how characters are described on the page vs. who brought them to life on screen and when to use race, sexuality, or physical descriptions. You look at how to describe characters we know and apply these perspectives to your own character descriptions beyond clichés and tropes.
Summer 2020 Schedule
These courses meet regularly and are fully online. Click “See Details” below for more information.
Early enrollment required.
This course uses remote instruction. As such, instructors use Zoom to offer live class meetings at the designated class meeting time. Students must be present at course meeting times as each student’s final grade may include scores for participation.
Please inform your instructor if you will miss a class meeting. You are responsible for any class information you missed. We suggest you arrange with a fellow classmate to share their notes when feasible.