Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Characters numbers


How would I decide that how many characters should be in my screenplays? If I have to write a necessary scene, in which new characters should be add, I do but I want to know that, can i add unnecessary characters too or only those who are close related to the story? It would be ok if I've very few characters in my scripts? Thanks for your time to read my questions and hope you understand what am i want to ask?


I am not quite sure what you are asking.  A screenplay has no more or less characters than it needs.  You're the writer.

Just make sure you name your main characters and ensure they have something important to say in the scene.  Don't let actors stand around.  Give them some action or dialog.  Believe me, if you let an actor just stand in a scene when the scene is filmed they will find something to do.

However, a common mistake is adding waitresses in restaurants, policeman in a crowd scene, strangers in a party.

These characters should not be named WAITRESS or POLICEMAN 1 and POLICEMAN 2.  If a character has dialog give them a name or some identifier, otherwise just write in the narrative (action) what is going on.

If you have a party scene, just write that fact into the action and let the director add people as they see fit.

Good luck.  Keep writing.

Writing Plays/Screenwriting

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John M. Lovett


I answer questions regarding film production and screenwriting. I will answer questions dealing with screenwriting style, ideas, film production, format, and agents.


Sixteen years working in the motion picture and television industries as a screenwriter, producer, and military technical advisor. Have two produced movies TWO WEEKS and CATHY MORGAN. Worked with Digital Ranch Productions, Warriors Inc, and Nichols Productions.

CSUF, BA, 1980 UCLA, Certificate in Screenwriting, 2009

Past/Present Clients
Warriors, Inc.
Dreamworks Interactive
Legacy Interactive
Silvertouch Pictures
Synergy Group
Nichols Productions

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