Bullshit… you don’t know me well enough yet…

31 Mar

Last night I had a writing session with the incredibly talented Joel Sappington; together we’re developing a very unique, high concept television show. We have an overall concept, but at present we’re spending a lot of time on the front end; digging down deep, really getting to know our characters; this before we even develop a storyline, before we write a single word on the page.

If you don’t really know your characters first, then you are in big trouble, you’re in the poo because you are manipulating them to fit your plot lines; you have taken “choice” out of their hands and they have become puppets. Characters much like people are way more endearing when they are free to make their own choices… a free character is surprising, entertaining, dramatic and unpredictable.

The process of knowing your character is a never-ending love affair, as with people, there is always more to know, more to learn, more to uncover, more to love. You have to spend a lot of time with a character to really get to know him or her on an intrinsically personal level, you have to be vulnerable with them, you have to share yourself and the whole spectrum of your life’s experiences; you have to ask them difficult questions…

There are so many layers, so many secrets and dreams hidden in the dark private places of every soul, don’t get bored, don’t make assumptions, take your character out for coffee and spend a little time on the getting to know process.

P:S: Click here for a list of questions you can ask your Characters.

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