This book is a detailed guide to creating complex female characters for film and television. Written for screen storytellers of any level, this book will help screenwriters and filmmakers recognize complicated portrayals of women on screen and evaluate the complexity of their own characters.

Author Anna Weinstein provides a thorough analysis of key female characters in film and television, illustrating how some of our greatest screenwriters have developed smart, nuanced, and intriguing characters that successfully portray the female experience. The book features in-depth discussions of women’s representation both on screen and behind the scenes, including interviews with acclaimed women screenwriters and directors from around the globe. These conversations detail their perspectives on the relevance of women’s screen stories, the writing and development processes of these stories, and the challenges in getting female characters to the screen. With practical suggestions, exercises, guidelines, and a review of tired clichés to avoid, this book leaves readers prepared to draw their own female characters with confidence.

A vital resource for screenwriters, filmmakers, and directors, whether aspiring or already established, who seek to champion the development of rich, layered, and unforgettable female characters for film and television.

chapter |2 pages


chapter 1|22 pages

She is on Screen

Women's Representation in Film & Television

chapter 2|25 pages


Young Women

chapter 3|23 pages

She Falls in Love

Smitten Women

chapter 4|24 pages

She Climbs the Ladder

Working Women

chapter 5|23 pages

She Cares for the Family

Nurturing Women

chapter 6|23 pages

She Doesn't Play by the Rules

“Mad” Women

chapter 7|19 pages

She Sparks Change

Trailblazing Women

chapter 8|18 pages

She Is Seen

Developing “Reel” Women