Marrying a character



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  • Marrying a character

    How close, or attatched, you folks gotten to your characters? How real, and authentic have they been. Do you use the same central character in many different stories and angles?

    Ever feel amazing emotion for one character imparticular?

    C'mon, let's talk character experiences!!

  • #2
    well, i read somewhere recently that you either star or support in most of your movies, one way or another... or the people closest to you do

    makes sense as i look at what i've written


    • #3
      How deeply do you want to go into this? It's your thread, you call the shots. But I'll start with this...

      First, I really dig your question, since I think it's the most valuable one we've had in some time. Thus, please excuse the length of this post.

      Everything I currently write is completely character-driven. If I come up with a great plot-line/sub-plot/gag, and the characters involved (looking at them as real people) wouldn't "do" what's necessary for the idea, I cut-it and save it for a time when I have a character that naturally would do such things.

      Everyone of these characters is completely conceived before I even begin plotting. Moreover, their relationships to each other are outlined first also, like a "family-tree". I know all of their peeves, hatreds, vices, virtues, habits, physical idiosyncrasies and syntax before I write a single line. Due to my "day job", I even draw them first. By the end of this process, it feels like I've shared rent with them for years.

      But I do not limit this to characters I "love". I am a satirical humourist; I'm hired for character assassination as much as anything else. Many of my more popular characters (if they were "real") are people I would HATE.

      But that gets quite tricky, because if an actual person is involved, the risk of libel or slander arises. So, I make composites/conglomerates of people, never slamming anyone in particular, but looking at separate behaviours, and working with those. Mixing them with other behaviours to create an original mini-gestalt for each character.

      I look back on myself at age 25, and "that person" is someone I'd love to be locked in a room with, suffering no concerns RE liability after I was through with that person (or previous "me"). The crappy traits of that person are roughly 60% of the main character featured in one of my contracted projects, since I can't sue myself.

      One of the more funny characters (that the test audience loved-to-hate) is nearly a caricature of my oldest friend in this country. But frankly, she never does anything that I consider unlovable, and she gave express permission, so I have no worries in that area.

      I could go on farther, but it's time to hear some other voices. Thank you for a great thread.



      • #4
        All my scripts so far seem to have a "big guy" because wherever I've gone there's always been some brute in the group I've hung out with.

        I base all my characters on my friends and collagues, so the characters are close to home. In my recent script one of the characters is loosely based on me ( more my technical background as an engineer and my love for video games).

        I tried fabricating a character out of the blue - when I got my first couple of coverages back - the producers liked the script etc etc - but all said the character didn't feel that one characater had any substance.

        Learned my lesson.


        • #5
          Who wants to Marry a Multi-personality

          With each of my plays, I go through an exhaustive brainstorming session before I sit down to write a single word. If I were to try to fabricate a character out of traits that were foreign to me, I'd lose interest long before that first word was up on the phosphorus screen.

          My characters are facets of myself or those that are/were closest to me.

          Let me use my last Short Subject as an example. I took an event from my childhood, and reworked it into a sentimental family portrait. Even though the characters were based on my parents and myself, I took the liberty of amplifying and muting certain qualities, in order to better suit the narrative. It made the characters more dynamic, I believe, than their true-life counterparts.


          • #6
            i tape all my conversations

            unknowingly, off course - so everybody around you is part of your writing pool.

            oh - you don't have to use a dictaphone - just listen to people talk. within fifeteen minutes - a person will give you insight on how they think and most of the time it will come along with A story. . . I use at least one story a week my friends tell me and incorporate it, either in dialogue oar A PLOT POINT

            from that you build.



            • #7

              i do use a lot of reoccuring characters (in plays not sceenplays). Once I have written a worthy script with that character, though, I don't use them anymore. And I also base all my characters mostly on myself, and a little of others. (Unless they are completely farcical, then I just make em up, truthfully, those are my best characters now that i think of it)


              • #8
                Marrying your character

                I got so enamoured with one of my characters that she got a restraining order.


                • #9
                  donny baby - nice post

                  i'm telling ya' laughing is still the greatest gift we have other than making babies. . .



                  • #10
                    Re: Marrying your character

                    Don, that cracked me up. Funny guy.


                    • #11
                      Re: Marrying your character


                      Chiming in. Funny, funny, funny.

                      lilybet (temporarily excaped)


                      • #12

                        Thanks, folks, for your insight.

                        In my scripts, there is always a main character, that most resembles myself and my personality, and a more assertive buddy or secondary character. The women are always independant and strong, and the group of centred characters are always the coolest people in their eyes. There is, however, a lot of issues dealing with insecurities, low confidence and again, being assertive.

                        The first script I ever wrote is still my favorite(the 240 pager). The characters I used in that script are also my favourite, and I am incredibly passionate about them. I am a very subtle personality, which is the first character I created, and I have the tendacy to open up and get silly, which is the mold of my second character. The lead girl is someone who I would fall for in life, and the secondary girl is someone who I could never have, only because of whats on the outside, and not the inside.

                        Like outlines, I don't write out character drafts. I mentally put together charcters who contrast each other, and personality traits that will lead them through, or around, plot events.

                        I wass just interested peoples approachs to their characters, and how involved they get with them. I'm not sure if there's any anecdotes about famous writers and their characters, but oh well.