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Crafting A Perfect Character Web

Your character web is at the beating heart of your narrative. As a full-time script consultant, I share regular insights into the intricate craft of storytelling.

Let’s delve into the essence of a compelling character web and how the interplay of characters can elevate your story.

character web

What Is A Character Web?

In the realm of storytelling, a character web is the interconnected network of relationships, interactions, and conflicts among the characters inhabiting your narrative landscape.

Think of it as the intricate dance of personalities that weaves the fabric of your story. 

Opposition: The Core of Compelling Characters

Creating a captivating set of characters hinges on their interactions with each other.

The key to infusing life into your character web lies in sparking conflict, the driving force behind the drama in your story.

When we speak of conflict in writing, we’re referring to the presence of obstacles and opposition.

Opposition is the operative word here. Your characters need to oppose each other across various dimensions – beliefs, values, actions, personalities, and even their choice of words.

This opposition fuels tension, igniting the flames of conflict that keep your audience hooked.

character web

Succession: A Perfect Example of the Character Web

Consider the primary characters in the acclaimed series Succession as a stellar example:

Logan Roy: A strong-willed patriarch who brooks no nonsense.

Marcia: A tolerant, loving woman with a soft domestic touch.

Kendall Roy: A broke and troubled man-child projecting false confidence.

Roman Roy: An immature, outspoken, cheeky younger sibling.

Siobhan Roy: A natural leader who chooses politics over media engagement like the rest of her family.


Crafting Conflict for Character Depth

Each character is a distinct entity, and it’s their differences that fuel the compelling drama amongst them.

The writers deftly manipulate the audience’s interest by revealing varied faults and flaws, slowly uncovering embedded family traumas that explain their behaviours.

This not only adds depth to each character but paves the way for further conflict, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

The characters’ distinct traits are not just surface-level; they are intricately linked to the family’s embedded trauma.

This reveals that the key to a compelling character web is not just opposition for the sake of conflict but opposition rooted in the characters’ histories, beliefs, and experiences.

how to write authentic characters

In the intricate dance of character dynamics, opposition becomes the rhythm that propels your story forward.

Crafting a character web that resonates with your audience involves understanding the uniqueness of each character and how their differences create compelling conflicts.

As you embark on your storytelling journey, remember: it’s not just about the characters; it’s about the rich tapestry they create together, a tapestry woven with the threads of conflict and opposition.

Craft your character web thoughtfully, and watch as the intricacies of their interactions breathe life into your narrative, leaving your audience eager for more.

Nick Fore Script Doctor / Script Consultant

Nick Fore is an experienced script consultant who reads screenplays for the British Film Institute.

He has written comprehensive coverage on over 1,000 scripts and has helped screenwriters get their work into development with production companies such as Imagine Entertainment and Screen Ireland. 

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