i. Structural ability:
ii. Ability with Character:
iii. Able to work the Subtext:
i. The ability to understand and ‘work’ a script:
ii. The talent to manage talent:
iii. The skill to see ‘the big picture’:
Harmony is achieved. And that way, great series television is born.
Top 10 Lessons I Learned:
10. Writing sprints are gold. If you make a call out on Twitter with the hashtag #writingsprint, others will join you for a 30 or 60-minute sprint to the finish, writing as much as possible. Remember in NaNo, word count is the goal. I was amazed how productive I was. So much so, I continue to do writing sprints to this day.
9. “Write or Die” isn’t just a great bumper sticker.
8. Support matters. Having an online community during any writing challenge is essential. When you’re pushing yourself, having cheerleaders gives you the stamina to stay in the race.
7. Your characters are defined by the choices they make under pressure … and so are you.
6. Screenwriting isn’t novel writing … but that’s a good thing.
5. Novel writing isn’t screenwriting.
4. Writing is therapy. The beauty of novel writing is you can crawl in a character’s head and actually write what they are feeling inside. I felt like Sigmund Freud, psychoanalyzing my characters. The exercise was great for character research and helped me get to know my characters quickly.
3. There’s value in vomit. When I write a script, I edit each scene before I move on to the next. But with the NaNo deadline looming, I pushed forward, not stalling the creative process. The plot turned in ways I hadn’t expected.
2. I am capable of far more than I thought.
And the number one lesson learned by challenging myself … drumroll …
1. I. Was. Wrong.
By my letting go of control, my characters did indeed decide their own fate, and both their internal struggles and external conflicts changed, too. Dare I say, the story was better for it.
Build a profile or outline for your main character using some of the suggested headings.
Consider all the influences that go into the making of your character: age, gender, race, nationality, marital status, religion, profession.
Get to know about your character’s inner life: what they want, think, remember, resent, fear, dream, deny.
Get to know about your character’s behaviour, what they wear, buy, eat, say, work at and play at.
Get to know how your character speaks and how this changes according to context, mood and intention.
See and describe your character vividly, how they look, how they move, their possessions and surroundings.
Focus on your character’s contradictions and conflicts in order to create a complex person and also to generate plot.
Remember the main methods of character presentation: summary, appearance, habit, scene, self-portrait and combinations of these methods.
© The Open UniversitySTARTING TO WRITE YOUR STORYLAYOUT
There are different approaches to both developing and portraying your characters. By trying these various methods, you the writer can discover more about them.
NEXT STEPS IN CHARACTERISATIONS
WAYS OF DEVELOPING CHARACTERS
TALKING ABOUT CHARACTERS
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CHARACTERS
Analysing and discussing Scott Fitzgerald’s’ portrayal of character, you will come to further develop a character of your own. You’ll also experiment with different ways of portraying character to work out what works best for you.
‘THREE HOURS BETWEEN PLANES’CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT CHARACTERS
RETURNING TO YOUR CHARACTERPORTRAYING YOUR CHARACTERSELF-PORTRAIT
Writing a first draft
Start to plan your short story, based on a central character. Remember the techniques and methods you have learned so far and put these into practice as you write.PLANNING YOUR STORY
Character and conflict
- How important is change to characterisation?
- Do all characters need to change in stories?
- What does Novakovich say about character flaws?
Character and plot
The dictum that ‘character is plot, plot is character’, attributed, by Novakovich, to F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a familiar one, similar to Shakespeare’s ‘Character is destiny’ (from King Lear).
Character + conflict = plot
Apply this formula when building stories. See if it works for you.
© The Open University
Types of character
Stereotypes can be helpful when we start thinking about creating characters. Developing characters, giving them unexpected contradictions and conflicts, helps to create characters that are living people, not just caricatures.
ROUND AND FLAT CHARACTERS
TALKING MORE THAN TYPESCHALLENGING EXPECTATIONCONSIDERING CHARACTERS
Sources of character
Exploring various sources for new fictional characters – where do they come from and how are they developed?
FINDING AND DEVELOPING FICTIONAL CHARACTERS
FOUR WAYS TO CREATE CHARACTERS
INTRODUCING AND MEETING CHARACTERS
READ THE FEEDBACK
REFLECT ON FEEDBACK