Interesting characters are the lifeblood of a story. If the characters are strong enough, you almost don't care what they are doing. A good example of this is Spider-Verse. It is more fun to watch the two main spidermen (trying) working together than watching them disable the machine.

Think of the friends you like to hang out with the most. Being with them is more fun that what you are doing. Now lets think of the friends you have been through the most with. They are the ones you can depend on. They have seen you at your worst and are still with you. They probably come to your rescue or even told you hard things that you didn't want to hear but needed to.

Lets apply this to the characters in a story. Think of 3 stereotypical students:

The Nerd

Most likely a shy person. You see them in the library or on their laptop all the time. When they speak, they usually only speak about things they are confident in. You want this person on your team in science lab.

Think Bernard in Megamind or Ned Gold in 17 again.

The Partier

Usually gets bad grades, thinks everything is a joke, doesn't take things too seriously. Probably is not paying their own bills. Think Sully in Monsters University

The Popular Kid

Seems to be eveyones favorite. Loves attention. Sets the trends in school and makes others cool by association. Often does not like things different than themselves. Think Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's day off.

Now I've described a stereotype, a one note character. These type of characters are fine for a background character or a somewhat supporting role or for some contrast. You need a character deeper than that to maintain attention (in long format storytelling).

Lets take a look at Reese Witherspoon's character, Elle Woods, in Legally Blonde (great movie title by the way). She starts out very stereo typical popular kid.

Elle stats the movie very superficial. When her boyfriend breaks up with her because she's a "dumb blonde" she sets out prove to him she's more than her looks. Her character develops as a result of further adversity. She uses her stereotype features to beat the bad guy and win the day proving she is not a stereotypical blonde.

In your quest for good stories and great storyboards you must cross the threshold of stereotype. It's ok to start with a cliche, but finish strong and surprise the audience!

here's a few other examples

Definitely not your typical pirate!


Lets try this out

Start with a character

the guards

Stereotype Them

lunk-headed, all muscle no brain

Something Unexpected

one is saving money for college

A Situation

Two drug dealer guards happen on the boss' suitcase full of money with no apparent consequence.


Board this out for next week







Random Storyboard

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