19 April, 2009


Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer:

"I want you to think about tracking the feelings of your characters. It's a note I've gotten a few times and it's starting to sink in. Sometimes we think about our scripts in terms of plot, and that's certainly understandable - but how do your characters feel about all the things that are happening? What are their greater emotional journeys and arcs? Do they feel differently in the end than they did in the beginning? Is there consistency? If there are changes in feelings, are they on purpose? Understanding what our characters are feeling is an important step in understanding their motivations, and thus being able to root for (or at least be interested in following) people. That's how I see it, at least."

That's how I see it as well. Anything in a plot can be justified and given depth through character emotion. Absolutely anything.


Scaramanga said...

For me this is definately one of the most difficult things to handle.

I went through the last script I wrote scene by scene analysing the way the characters spoke and actions they took just to make sure they were in line with what was happening (and where they wanted to go, and if it was something their character would even do given the scene set up.

Very tedious......but necessary (for me anyway)


Robin Kelly said...

It's probably that "very tedious" reason why so many writers don't bother.

If we're happy with the plot, it's tempting to think that will sell the script. Instead, it's how well written characters react to the plot that's more likely to get a sale. The audience follow characters not plots.

An exciting plot with lots of things happening will simply be "very tedious" or at the very least unsatisfying if no-one believes the truth of the characters' actions in that plot.

Scaramanga said...


Wait i'll reach for my pipe.....

Indeed :)