Sunday, June 06, 2010

Character Demystified

My friend and I had gotten into a debate as to what was more important, story or character. For awhile we made our arguments as to which was more important. In the end it was obvious. A good movie, book or whatever has shining examples of what good characters are like.
Good characters are like the last bite of sundae. Its good all the way til the end then you realize its over, yet you feel satisfied. Maybe I'm over exaggerating but there's something magical about creating great characters that pop up from the screen or out of a book. Its something writers, deal with everyday yet its one of the most difficult to do right because of so many factors to take into consideration.

How do you know your character is interesting?

Its all about conflict. The more conflict a character comes into the more we want to know what happens to them. These problems are not random, in fact a good writer will make sure that conflict comes from the characters own faults.

Ex.A businessman who is struggling financially will have different types of problems all of them requiring different ways of solving these problem.In the fight club, the main character played by Edward Norton.

The protagonist (name unknown)is bored with his life(conflict) which carries over into his home life, work life which leads him down a road self deprecation.

So conflict comes from the decisions a character makes or external problems that impede into the character's life. In order to resolve these issues the character does something opposite of what he would normally do and entails not only different way of thinking but allows the character to grow which interesting to watch.

As a society we like progress. We love to see the underdog go against the odds. Its embedded in our culture. So when we see a natural progression happen before our eyes its magical and truth revealing. This is the essence of story when you can bring the audience into a journey.

There's more to this but I want to save it for another post.

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