Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Character Development 101

DragynAlly here. Hostilely taking over the Lounge. Fear me! Ok don't fear me but join me in my attempt to teach you how to write. As a screenwriter, I am always working on creating new characters. And working on finding a way to say that and not sound pretentious. Below are some tips and tricks I've learned to help me create interesting characters. Use what works for you. Throw out what doesn't.

  1. Create a character playlist: Whether it's music, movies or TV shows your character indulges in something. Make a list and watch or play them. Then ask yourself "what person listens to Lady Gaga and Nine Inch Nails?" Or whatever combo of music you chose. You might get a glimpse into your character's psyche.
  2. Interview your character: Make a list of questions, like James Lipton, and ask your character. Where were you born? What is your first childhood memory? Etc.Write the answers as your character. You may find you have a lot of story to work with.
  3. Journal as your character: Imagine waking up each day as your character. What would you do? Where would you go? Write all of that down in a journal and refer to it as needed.
  4. Trap 2 of your characters in a room together: The key here is getting them talking and interacting with one another. Do they like each other? Are they friends, enemies, or frienemies? Would they save each other if they were drowning? All of this is good info.
  5. Put your character in an impossible situation: It is in moments of crisis that we reveal our true selves. Your character is no different. If a building is falling down what does your character do? How about if your character is being chased by a killer? Put your character in the weirdest or scariest place ever and find out who they really are.
I hope this helps jump start your writer brain. Do you have any tips on character development? Want me to write more tips? Let me know.
Speaking of "characters"...


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