Sunday, 21 October 2018

Day of The Girl: Writing Powerful Cinematic Female Character Tropes (23 Scripts Included)



In honour of Day of The Girl last week, today's post is celebrating varied examples of  female character tropes from all genres  - the good and the bad-ass! 

On top of that, I've also sourced the links to 23 FREE scripts (with awesome female characters) available to download and read including; Wonder Woman,  Lady Bird, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Suffragette, Room and Bridesmaids.
We're all familiar with Ripley and Sarah Connor - and rightly so because those female characters have paved the way for other powerful cinematic female characters to come. 

BUT today, I'm sharing a few unusual tropes you might not be familiar with, or those that you know - but didn't know they can represent multiple tropes. 

So here are just a few examples to consider when it comes to writing your female characters!

1)  CRAZY PREPARED / GREY AND GRAY MORALITY

Example: Laurie Strode from Halloween and Mildred Hayes from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Characteristics:

  • NO damsel in distress - this woman has her sh*t together and will handle any potential threat coming her way!
  • Excessively prepared for any scenario - covered all bases.
  • Has an equal chance of winning/losing against the threat and once the threat is defeated, this character will return to live in peace.
  • Will happily cross a line or two in order to achieve their goal. Nothing stands in their way!


2) DEFECTING  FOR LOVE

Examples: Selene from Underworld/ Mrs. Smith from Mr & Mrs Smith



Characteristics:

  • This trope will start out on the 'bad side' but is never truly evil.  Usually either misguided/or manipulated.
  • Both genders can fulfil this trope - and although love (either romantic or platonic) can change them over to the 'good side', these tropes don't HAVE to ride off into the sunset for a happy ending. 
  • This trope is an independent primary lead and therefore can easily be content living as a changed character without partnering with their 'love' at the end. 


3) AMAZON BRIGADE

Examples:  The Amazons, Dora Milaje, The 5 Wives and The Valkyrie

Characteristics:
  • An elite fighting unit or group with only female members. 
  • These women will fight together using anything they can to overcome the enemy. 
  • Either a personal guard or directly responsible for/reporting to a powerful leader.

Click HERE to find out the 6 Female Characters in Action you should be writing!




4)  LET'S GET DANGEROUS

Example: Karla from Kidnapped and Meg Altman from Panic Room

Characteristics: 
  • A step further than mama bear - this mother is forced by extreme circumstances to become a force so sinister/powerful that her enemies realise she poses a genuine threat.
  • Their predicament is usually very one sided at the start - EVERYTHING is against them/ this character is forced to start from zero and rise up to the challenge.
  • This 'rising form the ashes' causes a serious 360 change in how this mother fights to protect her children. She will beg, borrow, steal and kill to get to you and save her family. 


5) ANTI HERO

Example: Hit Girl from Kick Ass


Characteristics:

  • The misfit that has either been rejected or rejects social conventions/expectations in their 'world'.
  • Usually their backstory reveals a reason for why they are the way they are. This same reason is later overcome/confronted in their narrative arc.
  • They will harm anybody who threatens them - sometimes resulting in death. 


6) AMBASSADOR

Example: Diana Prince/Wonder Woman from Wonder Woman and Amanda 

Characteristics:
  • Often plays the role of a diplomat or negotiator for the greater good.
  • If their attempt to negotiate fails they then pursue their agenda with violence if necessary.
  • They are skilled fighters, often charismatic and kind - but don't let their kindness fool you. They believe in protecting any matters/individuals close to their heart by any means. 


7) SINK OR SWIM MENTOR

Example: The Ancient One from Doctor Strange 

Characteristics:

  • Forces other characters (usually the protagonist) to survive dangerous and critical scenarios as 'training' methods to reach their full potential.
  • Hands the hero the tools (either literally or mentally) to succeed in their conquest/challenge/journey before leaving them alone to face the threat.
  • Will put their own lives and others at risk if it means teaching their 'student' to succeed.


8) WORTHY OPPONENT

Example: Jen from Revenge and Riley from Peppermint


Characteristics:
  • Nearly always underestimated and mistreated by others - this character trope  later reveals themselves to possess skills or abilities equal to their opposing force.
  • Will undergo an 'adrenaline makeover' - permanently changed by a traumatic event which enables her to pursue the enemy with enhanced skills, awareness and strength. 
  • Post the traumatic event- this character is a woman on a mission. One goal - to eliminate the target. 


A full list of free scripts all sourced and found via Google or Script Slug - available to download & read:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Wonder Woman

Thelma & Louise 

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Woman In Gold

Legally Blonde

I, Tonya

Bridesmaids

Hidden Figures

The Fault In Our Stars

Kill Bill 1

Kill Bill  2

Joy

Ladybird

Lucy

Train Wreck

Girls Trip

The Silence of The Lambs

Room

Suffragette

Molly's Game

Carol

Maleficent




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