November 17, 2016


In the 2004 teen film, Mean Girls, we meet the titular mean high school girl clique unfavorably known as the Plastics. They are given this insulting nickname because they are totally fake. And being fake is completely lame.

What does this have to do with screenwriting? Well, you do not want to have this sort of problem in your writing. Your story and characters will have to read as genuine to your audience. Your audience needs to connect to the characters and the story. You can accomplish this through authenticity.

It is important to know how to create real characters who face real problems that resonate with a broad audience. This holds true for movies with plots that are grounded in real life like the endearing 2000 film, My Dog Skip. In this movie, we see the lasting effects of a loving relationship between a young boy and his dog on the rest of their community.  It also holds true for movies that are complete fantasy like Harry Potter.  Although Harry was seeded in a completely fictitious world, his character was real to us and his coming-to-age plight of acceptance rang as true…something we all could relate to.

In order to stay away from creating plastic characters and storylines that do not come off as authentic, it is key to plug into what makes life real to you as a writer. Bring your past (or present) pains, triumphs, challenges, etc. into your storytelling. Be real. Your audience will quickly pick up when you are holding back from an authentic truth. It is our job as a writer to be vulnerable enough to express true life as art in your work.

Be true to yourself and your characters and you are well on your way to becoming a successful writer.

Happy writing!




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