Character breakdown list?

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  • #16
    Re: Character breakdown list?

    Personally, I keep my physical descriptions of characters just vague enough to insure the reader can cast a wide net of actors in his mind.

    It's like this, a producer or rep wants just enough details to make sure he can hook the wagon to as many prospects as possible within a certain demographic.

    For instance he'll know right away within a few descriptive sentences this guy is a Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise type, BAM, he knows where to go. Or, he knows right away it's a Paul Giammati or Phillip Seymore Hoffman type, BAM, he knows where to go.

    You don't need the color of his eyes or all this other flowery nonsense. Honestly, it took me forever to realize that. Anyway, that's my two cents. Good luck.

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    • #17
      Re: Character breakdown list?

      Originally posted by Telly View Post
      Hey chilldivine, I don't think these questions were meant to be taken so seriously or literally for that matter, or at least I don't perceive them this way. I just take a handful, maybe a dozen questions that I find intriguing or will help me get to know my subject and I try to answer them. I mean, don't worry about the eyes if you don't want too. Who cares, the idea is to get to know your subjects and learn a little along the way about how they might react in any given scenario. Then when it comes to fade-in, you feel more comfortable about your characters objectives.

      Like anything else, it's just another innocuous tool, not to be taken so seriously. It's just there to give you some leverage heading into your script.

      Good luck.
      I've been going through the list answering each of the questions with 1-3 sentences and as some of the questions overlap I'm developing a more concrete image of the characters. Excellent tool. And the questionaire isn't bad either.
      "All of us trying to be the camera behind the camera behind the camera. The last story in line. The Truth" Chuck Palahniuk - Haunted

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      • #18
        Re: Character breakdown list?

        It's purely personal, but I find lists of character traits entirely useless. I tend to figure out my characters in a kind of shifting, dynamic relationship to theme and story: what do they want? who'd want this? how does that fit with what I want talk about? how do they go about getting it?. I suppose (and I've only just thought about this bit) the answers to those create a kind of Venn diagram, and the character is the bit where all the circle overlap.

        They don't tend to come alive till I'm doing pages (most frequently, I'll be crunching through a scene in an uninspired way when an all but arbitrary beat or a phrase of dialogue unexpectedly brings the character to life). Once that happens, they're I know from experience that if I dig deep into them, they'll fit the story in a believable, interesting way.

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