Feature Film Screenplays with multiple storylines and an ensemble cast are few and far apart for a reason – they are notoriously difficult to write and execute. This is because their structure defies many of the usual screenwriting “rules”, with their multiple narratives and multiple protagonists, all needing to interlink and have a common purpose.
There are many ways in which character arcs may vary, but if you are able to recognise and implement these five basic versions, you will be able to create engaging characters that will keep your audience interested in their journey from beginning to end.
Either the protagonist changes or the world around them changes, and it is how they handle the change that keeps an audience interested. All character arcs share the same basic 5 components, which every writer should be familiar with and clear about before they start writing their story
Who a character is on the inside is often not clear from their actions and interaction with the outside world at the beginning of a story. Often the inner-self has been suppressed so far inside of the character that they forget, fail to or are unable to recognise or express their true selves and it takes an extraordinary experience for them to initiate change.
Each of the key character types plays a specific role in a story, and there are five which you need to carefully craft into the fabric of your narrative, when designing your story. The protagonist, the antagonist, the mentor, the ally and the love interest.