A particularly troublesome character for writers to master is the zealot. This can become clique with the simple mention of it, even through non direct speech. In other words just other characters referring to the zealot can color it clique before they ever appear on screen. It’s too easy to make zealots one sided figures. After all that’s what a zealot represents, one side of a topic to an extreme devotion. It’s incumbent upon a good writer therefore to remember that zealot isn’t a fictional character that only appears in fictional books. Zealots have been around for eons and they have always been multi-faceted people. A zealot is normally known for their over enthusiastic nature on a given philosophy, that doesn’t mean that they are beyond reason or depth. Writing a zealot can be a challenge to have them play the part they are intended, but not make them so over the top that they remove you, even from their own logic in doing so.
The typical zealot is a religious one. It would make more sense and challenge to then do something else. Since I have yet to really write too many religiously strong characters I think I will go with tradition in order to do something that’s over done in hollywood, but that’s a bit different for me. I looked up a few definitions of Zealot, but they were all too narrow and specific. They are also incorrect. I believe a definition should be all encompassing, and specificity should be left for examples. Many of them required them be a member of an organization of radicals in order to be a zealot, however many zealots do not come from organizations even if one forms around their ideals. So I found one that seem more appropriate for what a true zealot is.
merriam-webster.com – zealot (noun) one who is intensely or excessively devoted to a cause
Now what is intensely or excessively? that’s something that we could also look up and go down the rabbit hole of defining each word to get a truer purity to a definition. Personally I believe a zealot simply believe in something to a greater degree then anybody else known to that person. To this degree even the dad from “Footloose” can be considered a zealot, though not on a larger scale. This definition, though, I believe gives writers a little more wiggle room in creating characters more three dimensional.
Int – late afternoon
Living room of a modest sized home (Ex: liv rm, 2 bd, 1 bth, ldy rm)
Three casually dressed characters look out the large three panel window towards the street, past the 15′ lawn lined with shrubs and annuals.
Diana – female mid 30s
Ben – Male mid 50s
Nic – male late 30s
Ben: Look there’s just no way we can make it all the way there, it’s too far
Nic: You’re underestimating the favor we carry
Diana: Not this again
Nic: Look God would not allow us to get hurt, not as long as I am here
Diana: Why is that again?
Nic: Because I know his true nature
Diana: Right, crazy talk
Ben: None of this is helping. Look we can’t stay here. At some point we’ll be spotted, then it’s all over
Nic: I’m telling you, you can all relax, but we need to go soon
Ben: Why is that?
Nic: Because it will be dark soon
Diana: Can’t God see in the dark?
Nic: Of course he can, but God isn’t in the shadows
Diana: So much for omnipotence
Nic: He sees everything, but he just isn’t in the shadows, thats why they exsist
Diana: You’re telling me God creates shadows simply by way of his absence?
Ben: There’s no way were even going to try to make it if we don’t wait for the cover of night, God or no God.
Nic: God is light
Diana: Yeah, yeah the good in all things, the bringer of-
Nic: No God is actual light. He is the light. Use a prism and you can see his brilliance come alive.
Diana: You’re saying God is photonic energy?
Ben: You two shut it, duck down, I think I see something
The three duck down behind a couch. Scuffling like sounds can be heard closing in at a walking pace. The three characters close thier eyes when the sound gets close and stops for a moment. The moment passes and the sound seems to move off onto another part of the block. The three rise up, led by Ben.
Diana: That was close
Nic: Lucky it’s still light out enough for Gods mercy to be upon us.
Ben: Now that they have passed us, it’s likely they will consider this place empty and move on. We might be safe till tomorrow
Diana: Then what?
Ben: Then you know what, and we don’t want to be here when it happens, nothing will be left
Nic: As long as we stay true God will aid us through this, he wil sheild us against the most devistating of blows with the smallest amount of faith
Diana: that’s all good and well for you, but I think we might have a problem there
Nic: That’s why I have been sent here, this is no mere chance. You have an opportunity to learn the truth from me
Ben: I’ll pass on truth and take a shotgun at this point
Nic: A shotgun is no match for them, but God has no equal on this world or any other
Diana: When God comes in laser powered form, then I’ll be happy to use him for protection, for now I think we need a plan to get out of here
Ben: What are you thinking?
Diana: With three of us, we can have two look outs and a scout
Ben: You mean one person goes a ways ahead while the others make sure they arne’t followed
Diana: Yes but since there is so much real estate out here to cover we should split up, two of us recon the street ends, while the scout searches for the best route forward.
Nic: We don’t need a scout, God will show us the way
Ben: How exactly will he do that?
Nic: Follow the light, he will use it to guide us
Diana: Have you seen a rocker around here?
Ben A rocker? like a rocking chair? no why?
Diana: Because I’m pretty sure Nic fell off one before arriving here
Nic: ha ha, look if you two aren’t going to believe, then the only thing I have to gain here is death. Your lack of faith will be our downfall
Ben: Sorry kid, It’s been a while since my faith has been stocked, and this situation hasn’t helped much
Nic: I’m sorry two, I’m going now, I hope you guys make it alright alone
Ben: We aren’t the ones going along, if you leave kid
Nic: Neither am I
Diana: Let him go, the only thing he is going to bring us is in the line of fire. We can do this without him
Ben: But we shouldn’t
Nic rises up to a standing position and look outside into the darkened street and stretches his arms out
Nic: Well I’ve enjoyed your company, but my God is telling me to move on. I need to spread his gospel to the masses, with so few of us left, it’s more important now, then it has ever been.
Ben: Whoa your going right now?
Diana: Look I’m sorry maybe you can tell us a bit more
Nic: Thanks I appreciate the effort, your good people, but your lack of faith will be your downfall, and mine too if I stay. You’ll need to be more careful when I leave I’m taking the power of God with me
Nic bends over to pick up his pack as he talks. Then he turns and heads towards the door
Nic: May God bless you both when I am-
A loud sonic hiss is heard and Nics head seems to have dissapeared from his shoulders. leaving his body to flop to the floor. Ben and Diana look at each other in panic. Camera views the street at city wide magnification from a satalight POV. A small dot of light flashes over the home they were in. A burnt patch of earth is all that left as the flash dissipates.