Saturday, February 03, 2007

Runaway characters

So what do you do when a character runs away with a story?

You let him.

Lots of people ask me where and how do I come up with my characters. I think they are just born. And like a child growing up they develop into full blown creatures who have a mind of their own and often misbehave. But you have to remind them of who they are and what their task is. Then you let them find a solution in their own way.

There have been some very interesting characters in film that have run away with the story. The first that comes to my mind is Riddick. Wow. Do you think the writers wrote him that way? Do you think it was their intent for people coming away from that story to go Wow? Who is that guy? Where did he come from? How did he get there? I think Riddick was as much a creation of Vin Diesel as he was the writers and David Thwoy. And yes, I want more. The First Chronicle movie was not enough.

I'm also sorry that we never got to see more of Malcom Reynolds. Now there was an onion that needed peeling. Where did he come from? Why did he fight with the browncoats? And why was he so hung up on Enora being a "whore"

And veering away from Aliens for a moment. Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday. If ever a character ran away with a story, he sure did. He took a cardboard character and made him real, warts and all.

So yes, its okay to let your characters take over. Just as long as they get where they are supposed to go. The most important thing it making sure they stay true to who they are. It's okay if the bad guy has a good time. Remember, he thinks he's the hero of his own story. He didn't wake up and say I want to be bad. He woke up and said. I want this. And this is how I'm going to get it no matter what it takes.

The good guy has his own wants. The problem is his principles get in the way. Sawyer from Lost is a good example of this. He's supposed to be a bad guy. He thinks he'll do what ever he has too to survive. But then he surprises himself.

Next week I'll talk about Spike.

No comments:

Post a Comment