By Michael Schilf · February 13, 2010

It's one thing to learn about polarity by looking at other films, but there’s nothing quite like doing it yourself. As an exercise, write a scene in which two characters from seemingly opposite poles are forced together, and by the end of the scene, they change, growing closer to one another, either physically or emotionally, or both.

Objective: Force opposite characters to interact and change.

Exercise: Write a scene in which two people from seemingly opposite poles are forced together. By the end of the scene they grow closer, either physically or emotionally or both. Make sure to give each character a very clear goal in the scene, and choose one character whose shoes we will be in – decide whose scene it is, and make us feel what he or she feels.

Remember: For your scene to be effective, you’ll need to find interesting, believable differences between the characters – the stronger their differences, the further they will have to travel, and the more interesting your scene will be. In addition to the external differences, be sure to consider how they react differently to the predicament of being stuck together – does one panic? Is one delighted? Aroused? Brave? Remember how quickly a reaction to the problem gets us involved with a character.

Hints: Find something difficult but plausible – something from which they cannot escape – that forces them to be stuck together. And be clear about what brings them together in the end. Do they discover some common interest or objective? Do the romantic designs of one of the characters succeed in breaking through the barriers?