Screenwriting Blueprint: Creating Unforgettable Characters

Legendary script consultant Michael Hauge (writer of Writing Screenplays That Sell)  discusses how to create unforgettable characters. For Hauge, character development is the pull between the strong desire to remain in the identity and the need, brought about by the events of the story, to live in essence.

Michael’s advice on figuring out a character’s inner conflict came down to asking myself these four questions:

What is your hero’s wound?

The hero has a wound or source of pain from his past that he has suppressed but has never really dealt with.

What is your hero’s belief?

Out of the hero’s wound comes a (usually mistaken) belief such as: I’m worthless (Will in Goodwill Hunting), I won’t survive without a rich man to take care of me (Rose in Titanic), if I show people my true self, I will be rejected (Shrek in Shrek) or, if I live as my true self, I will die (Ennis in Brokeback Mountain).

What is your hero’s identity?

The hero’s identity is the false self that they present to the world in order to protect themselves from re-experiencing the wound.

What is your hero’s essence?

The hero’s essence is what’s left if the identity is dropped, the hero’s true self.

In the video below he covers:

  • FEAR: the power of the wound
  • IDENTITY: The Hero’s emotional armor
  • ESSENCE
  • INNER CONFLICT
  • The ARC of transformation


In this video, Michael Hauge goes over the six stages of a character. Covering:

  • Uniting the Two Journeys
  • Structuring the Inner Journey
  • The 6 Stages of Transformation
  • Defining your own Hero’s Journey
  • Living your Essence


These videos are from his best selling online course: Story and Screenwriting Blueprint – The Hero’s Two Journeys.

In more than 4½ hours of lecture, discussion, and Q&A, Michael Hauge, author of Writing Screenplays That Sell and Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read; and Christopher Vogler, story analyst and author of The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers, unite to reveal the essential principles of plot structure, character arc, myth, and transformation.


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