Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pan Fried Characters

Remember the anti-drug commercial that shows you an egg and says "This is your brain," and when the egg cracks open into a hot skillet, the voiceover says "This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?"

That's the mental image that kept coming to mind as I read through Unknown Screenwriter's posts about character depth. It was as if he held up an egg and said, "This is your character," and then dropped it into a scorching pan of scrutiny and said, "This is the depth of your character. Any questions?"

Oh yeah. I had questions. My yolk splattered everywhere.

Ouch.

Certainly, there is truth in the notion that writers can over-think individual aspects of their craft to the degree that spontaneity and creativity suffers, but character development is critical and SHOULD be overthought. Read these posts and remember the egg:

Depth Charging Your Characters
Depth Charging Your Characters Part 2
Depth Charging Clarifications

Any questions?

4 comments:

Unk said...

Amazing... I taught a screenwriting course once and DID something very similar.

Now you're scaring me...

Unk

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Hmm. New idea for screenplay - telephathic plagiarism.

oneslackmartian said...

between you, unk, $1000 speil, and living rom-com, the scribosphere has character pretty well covered . . . .

thanks for doing so much of my thinking for me!

oh, yeah, you should get soth's newsletter . . . . he pontificates on character quite often

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I get Soth's newsletter. He's got that traveling angel thing going on right now.