“Try to be original in your play and as clever as possible; but don’t be afraid to show yourself foolish; we must have freedom of thinking, and only they are an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things. Don’t round things out, don’t polish- but be awkward and impudent.” – Anton Chekhov
– SURPRISE US! Consider having some kind of “surprise” in the scene. This may be something a character is holding back from another character (e.g. a secret, an impending event, a revelation, etc.) OR some kind of external thing that bears down in the scene OR a somewhat impulsive, spontaneous action on the part of one of the characters. These are just some examples.
–WHAT DOES YOUR CHARACTER NOT SAY? Sometimes what your character does not say is as important as what they do say. For example, a character may have a secret they are extremely reluctant to confide in with the other person for any number of reasons, what are ways they struggle through this? Consider the way you interact with people (and how you observe others) when you feel strongly, but don’t wish to fully convey the feeling. Which leads to…
HANG AROUND A STARBUCKS You’ll find plenty examples of what’s not being said in people’s conversations at Starbucks. All kinds of feelings, agendas, differences that are being strongly felt but not being fully expressed/articulated.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHARACTER SKETCH Instead of sketching a character. Sketch how a character would describe someone else. For example, what do they most love about this other person? What’s most annoying (to them) about this other person? What is their favorite memory with them? Their least favorite? And so on… This is potentially a good way to render two characters for a scene.