Oct 19 2012
1. A character is disappointed in a role model (who may or may not be part of the conversation).
2. A character tries to act more knowledgeable about something than he/she actually is.
3. Character A tries to convince Character B to do something that Character A would never do himself.
3.1. A character tries to convince a more powerful character to make a major sacrifice and/or concession, but lacks the ability to force the issue.
4. A character tries to act more enthusiastic than he/she is. Is the other person (or people) in the conversation mainly enthusiastic or unenthusiastic? I’d recommend going with whichever one feels less intuitive.
5. One character sees himself as much closer to the other than vice versa. Bonus points if it’s something besides an unrequited romance.
6. A character makes a hasty decision. Compare and contrast to a separate scene showing the same character making the same decision with more forethought. Bonus points: the decision is hard to plan for (e.g. breaking up with somebody).
7. A character tries to hide his/her actual reasons for something, preferably in a conversation with someone suspicious enough to dig at the truth. Suggestion: if the suspicious person explicitly accuses the deceptive character of the actual motive, don’t have the deceptive character instantly admit it. Milk more drama out of it than that.
8. A character tries to trap somebody else into doing or admitting something.
9. Imply that a character is uncertain about a plan/decision. Preferably the circumstances make it difficult and/or risky for the character to openly voice these concerns.
10. Bitter and/or violent enemies engage in a conversation, preferably in a situation where violence and/or threats are not viable. For example, the villain in Iron Man reveals his murderous betrayal to the protagonist at a charity gala as photographers are taking pictures. The limitations there were more dramatic than if the characters had been free to scream at each other in a more private setting.
11.Protagonist A tries showing off in front of Character B, who happens to be much better at the skill/trait in question. Perhaps the protagonist is trying to impress a third character?
11.1. Character B has to save Character A from making a fool in front of a third character, but has to avoid ruffling A’s feathers. For example, if a boss starts using (broken) French at a cocktail party to make himself sound cultured/learned, telling him he’s playing the fool might be problematic.
12. A character grossly underplays or overplays something (e.g. brushing off a catastrophe or playing up a minor inconvenience for leverage).