Re-published with permission from Nathalie at Mentorless.com:
Introducing characters in your screenplay can be a make it or break it moment to keep your reader engaged.
If we know that the main character’s name should be in CAPITAL LETTERS when first introduced, and that her/his age should be in parenthesis, there are still multiple ways to go about when describing ‘the rest’.
I find it personally extremely difficult to introduce my characters in my screenplay – I always feel that I’m saying either too much or not enough. Following the same logic that pushed me to create How Did They Write It, I decided to go through my library of screenplays and select over 100 examples of character introduction, to see how others did it.
Unsurprisingly, I discovered that there are as many ways to introduce a character as there are screenwriters. Some screenwriters go full force in their description and some barely bother giving out the name of the character.
It is also good to notice that the tone use to describe the characters need to match the genre. Comedy in that case, is a real writer pleasure as you can be very creative in your character description.
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Below are a few examples from HDTWI: 100 Characters: