1. Characters are not unique—They do not have an individual way of speaking. This is one ofthe most common problems for new playwrights—every character sounds the same, uses the same slang, dialect, etc…, normally the characters’ voices are identical to the playwright’smanner of speaking.
  2. Believability—The characters do or say unbelievable things, behaving contrary to their naturewithout causation. (i.e. A grumpy man suddenly buying presents for the neighborhoodchildren is unbelievable; when he has been visited by three ghosts, shown the error of his ways, and then buys the presents, the activity becomes believable.)
  3. Too many characters—There are characters present who are unnecessary to the story being told. A surplus of characters can confuse or muddle the story and burden the playwright as well.
  4. Characters not fully developed—Characters are incomplete or not “whole,” which prevents people from connecting with them and caring what happens to them.

Questions for the Playwright to ask:

  • Who is this character?
  • What else might this character do?
  • What might this character say?
  • Why does the character do/say what he does?
  • Does your character have a secret?
  • What kind of mood is he in now?
  • Are all of these characters necessary?
  • Where is the focus of the scene?
  • How does the character’s background affect what he says?
  • What is his relation to the other characters?
  • Do you care about this character? Why?
  • Who is the story about?
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