Great Characters, A List

Scott Myers of “Go Into the Story” — a regular feature here in our “From The Literati” feed and contributor to “The Screenwriting Blog of the Black List” — gives us yet another treat. His Great Characters list revisits some of the most memorable and well-drawn fictional characters in cinema history. It’s a fun and instructive quickie refresher in what separates good from great.

This week’s Great Character? Phyllis Dietrichson (played by Barbara Stanwyck) of Billy Wilder and …

Vulnerability = Stakes

Contributor:  Snark the Reader

Vulnerability = Stakes

by Snark the Reader

Today I finished a fish-out-of-water comedy spec (with an A-list attachment) and sat back. I was full and happy. Hmmm. Now that’s an unusual feeling after reading a script. I scratched my head. How did the writer pull that off? I’ve covered a lot of good scripts but this one was particularly…vulnerable (in the best way).

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Lions and Tigers and Vampires! Oh My!

What is it about scary stories? We, collectively, just can’t get enough. Whether creepy wet girl-child, voraciously sexy vampire, gangrenous undead, or senselessly psychotic scythe-wielder waiting to kill, we keep coming back for more. Horror consistently tops the bestselling and box office lists, whether presented as out-and-out gore or more seductively as true crime or psychological thrillers. Just what is the secret to keeping an audience on the …

Characters Everyone Loves to Hate

You know the ones: characters who so get under your skin that you can’t stop watching week after week, characters who get talked about at the office the next day, characters so brazenly themselves that you can’t believe they just did that? But they did. How about a few examples to paint the picture?

Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock Jenny Schecter on The L Word Simon Cowell as himself on American Idol

What makes these characters so compelling …