How to give emotion to your characters

Comment donner de l’émotion à vos personnages

The Emotions of your characters

Part 1 :


Last week I read a draft sent by a young apprentice writer. I think it was the 3rd where 4th time that I was reading a different version. At each new reading I have seen the progress and the work provided. These are things we see but also feel. In spite of all his efforts in learning the mastery of the technique, there was still obvious problems of structure and construction of characters.

I assure you, it is not the only one in this case. This is one of the reasons why this site exists and that Tom and myself put all our knowledge, our time and our forces to assist you.

I don’t know why, but his scenario has highlighted a fundamental point that I have not yet addressed and that all young scriptwriters or film directors forget : the emotions.

Learning technique is paramount, to know what is the relationship between a scenario and how all the sequences need to nest is the base of the base. But it must not be forgotten that the cinema is there for us to experience emotions. It is necessary, at a time, as the art fades away to leave place to the felt….to life.

The magic of writing is : a simple piece of paper blackened with ink you’re going to make something out, which will be shared by a good number of your viewers.

Attention, I also have writers in the grass on the site who have the opposite problem. That is to say that they are so into the emotion, the feeling, that they have more to find. The decline, therefore, is no longer possible for them to succeed technically to articulate their story.


Write, therefore, is the difficult balance between technique and emotion.

It is pretty rare that I read on the blog comments telling me that you don’t know what to say. In general you do not miss creativity, your imagination is boundless. If you are here, it’s that you’ve probably read the articles to define your story, your theme, your characters and their goals right ?! The last article, posted online on Wednesday, returns on these bases.


But have you defined the emotions of your characters ?

I think I know not ;o) As I said earlier, the emotion-it is the life and I’ll go further by saying that behind every emotion there is a story…I believe that is where I begin really to interest you not ? Because if your character has a sequence of situations without understanding what emotions he goes through, how do you want the viewer/ reader in the empathy, or identification with your character ?

Don’t forget THE THING of primary importance : you write/ make a film in order to create emotion in the viewer. NOTHING ELSE ! ;o)

You are also there to distract him, it is true, but you can put the most beautiful explosions or the most beautiful kisses of the cinema, if your spectators are not hung up emotionally, all of your ” super-sequences “ will be without taste.

For you to write the emotional, you’ll need to learn its mechanisms. I’m not going to lie to you : it is difficult.

The difficulty exists regardless of the level you have in writing story. There is nothing more complicated than to convey an emotion through a character and a screen.


What is it that creates emotion ?

In a first time, you are in charge of emotions. I am sure that during your “sessions” of writing, you you are found to be transported by what you were writing. You convey your own emotions in your story so that your characters live : you disclose , therefore, a part of the emotion you want to create. By the way, when you are in this state, you’re sure to find that these scene are much better than when you write ” to move forward “.

Once you know what emotion you want to give your character, it will be necessary that you take a step back to define the steps that led you to feel such or such emotion into the story of your hero. We are not far from psychoanalysis, lol


Yes, but then ? Where do you want to come ? What is the solution ?

Then you must learn the mechanics of emotions : how they are born and why ! But for this you need also to know your characters by heart, this means to know where it come from and where they go but especially in the met. Are they gullible, or have they been hurt by someone, what is their story ? That is what makes them suffer ? What is the Madeleine of Proust ? etc…

It is simply the bible of the characters ;o)

In the next article we will see a model that defines the emotions and human relationships. We will also see through specific examples how to apply them. Read the second part : The emotions of your characters part2

I always try to be as clear as possible in my explanations but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to leave me a little message.

If you liked this article, the best way to tell me that it is to click the “Like” button at the top of the article. You can also read other articles by returning to the site map by clicking on the link.



Tom W.

Category: Uncategorized

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top