A Character’s Flaw Should Be The Exact Opposite Of Their Strength by Jill Chamberlain

Film Courage: To delve more into “flaw,” flaw is the direct opposite of strength?

Jill Chamberlain, Script Consultant/Author/Writer: Yes, so on my Nutshell Technique form I pose as two opposites What is the character’s central flaw and then What is the strength? that in the end (in a comedy) they either learn the opposite of (or in a tragedy) Was the strength? that they failed to learn the opposite of.

People have multiple flaws. We don’t have just one flaw. But typically they only learn one thing. Sometimes when I am working with a writer and they are having a hard time identifying What is the flaw? Is it insecurity? Is it lack of self-worth? We might bat about a couple of things.

Sometimes I try not to pick one necessarily until I look at the third act (and if it’s a comedy) and see what is the message? What is the thing that they are changing to? Because all three of those flaws we mentioned may be the case but they will probably only discover one opposite strength because we typically (at least in a story) are only going to discover one thing…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


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Jill Chamberlain is the author of one of the highest rated screenwriting books on Amazon entitled The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting.

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Jill Chamberlain’s book from University of Texas Press, The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting, is now available on Amazon and in fine bookstores everywhere. Of the over 3,000 books on screenwriting on Amazon, The Nutshell Technique ranks #1 in user ratings. Since its publication in 2016, the book became an instant classic and the go-to manual many professionals swear by. The book is on the syllabus for courses at University of Houston, University of Notre Dame, and the world renowned screenwriting program at Columbia University. The technique comes from Jill’s years of consulting and coaching, and she continues to use this methodology to hone screenplays into truly compelling stories.


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