Through the course of their story, your characters may become trapped, even for a little while. The shorter the story, the more they may fixate on simply being free. Compare their being trapped to the goals you set for them. Are the goals you set for them and their entrapment antithetical? The types of entrapment your characters can endure can be as complex as you can imagine. Being trapped can be both physical and conceptual. The best course of storytelling may involve elements of their world closing in around them and slowly eliminating their choices. As you begin to imagine the characters in a physical environment, there may be benefit to imagining them locked in a building or even an elevator simply to begin to explore their problem solving capability and their uniqueness. There may be more enrichment to imagining them locked into a deal from which they cannot escape. They may have a legal quandary, they may have agreed to a ruthless bargain.


Alexander Valdez is a filmmaker and author. He has written A Writer’s Guide to the Hero’s Journey and Screenwriter’s Notebook. He is the founder of the Cinema-Libre Film Movement, a National Merit Scholar and first appeared in the Hollywood Creative Directory in 2002 under Academy Award Winning Producer Al Ruddy and Producer Andre Morgan as a Story Editor. He has served as a Writer’s Guild Writer’s Assistant, is inducted into the Director’s Guild of America and has a hiring contract for the Producer’s Guild of America. He is a point-member in Actor’s Equity Association and also a composer listed to the American Society of Composer and Performers, where at the time or invitation he was the youngest member invited to the union. He has also done voice for Radio to membership in the American Film, Television and Radio Actors, now SAG-AFTRA.

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