Last time, we looked at the bare bones of writing a play – now, we’ll go into a little more depth. This is what I learned about creating and developing character from the Engine Room program at The Garage, Norwich.
Your characters are the backbone of your entire story – without them, the events of your plot have nothing to act upon. Your characters will inform the entire shape of your play (or story, or novel, or whatever). Their personalities will determine what happens, and more importantly, why it happens.
01 : Creating Characters
02 : Showing Character with the Billion W’s
By now you should know who your character is. Great! Now comes the hard part – introducing them to your audience.
I’m going to go ahead and repeat a piece of advice you’ve probably head a gazillion times already : ‘Show, don’t tell.’ This is the nugget of wisdom on which all modern writing (and modern writing courses) is based, and it’s even more important in scriptwriting, because more often than not you will actually have to show things.
In a novel, you can (probably) get away with writing : ‘John looked down at the shoe in his hand. It evoked the day, many years ago, when he first saw it on the shelf at Clarks. The leather shone seductively in the late afternoon light, and from that moment forth, John knew that that shoe was made for him.‘
Here’s what that horrific piece of purple prose looks like in a script :
03 : KEEPING CHARACTER CONSISTENT
Next time, I’ll be thinking about the most important part of any script – the scenes.