Happy Bunny Day!
I’ve been chewing more on my “White Knuckles – Storywise” post. Why you ask? There’s more to the “character and plot” situation beyond just characters pushing plot. It’s that having your stories start from plot is very limiting since plot can only go so far. An example is the plot of a bad guy trying to blow up the world. He will either do it or don’t in the end. And there isn’t much else to do after that unless he wants to blow up the galaxy or universe or etc…
How engaging is that really if the character is only serving that aspect of the plot? He would be one dimensional. Wouldn’t you rather know his inner workings for why he would think such things are such a good idea? There have been several things getting me to think about this. One is a conversation with Drew Lindo at a meeting for a filmmaking group. He is a writer and producer on shows like “Reign” and “The 100.” I ask if characters are killed off if they run out of plot to tell their story. Drew said that well drawn characters don’t run out of plot.
My Sundance Collab Episodic Writing Class has also been posing this question. Yup! I got into that class. Saying that I was happy about is putting it mildly. Sam Ernst is my instructor. He was a “Daredevil” showrunner, creator of the TV series “Haven” and many other things. He also stressed the importance of creating complex characters. They can create an endless supply of plot for you can stick them into just about any plot to get different results.
I’m currently watching “Happy!” with the protagonist Nick Sax. He’s got a death wish and knows how to use guns. Another show that I like is called “Atypical” about the family life for Sam Gardner. He is a teenager living with autism. Let’s say you stick both of them in a wedding scenario. You’d get very different results with each character. A wedding is also not enough to support an entire series unless it is likely one of many for the show is over if the show is built around planning one big wedding for pushing it off can’t go on forever if you want to maintain viewership.
Some people say that that is why they didn’t bother watching “Prison Break” after season one since it ended with the character successfully getting out of prison. A recent example is “True Detective” for they have different characters working on other cases in their various seasons. This is meant to keep people interested for the first season didn’t set up those original characters working together too much more on cases besides the main one explored in that season.
I’ll be honest that this idea about creating complex characters is somewhat foreign to me. It’s because my background is more in features. People would often stress the importance of the plot and characters serving the plot. This didn’t require characters that generate unlimited stories since movies tended to be standalone. But features are starting to change now that we’re going more and more into sequels and franchises. I also love this opportunity to dig deeper into my characters for it’s incredibly satisfying.
Plus, I have to confess that I don’t necessarily want to stop writing about some of my characters now that I’m close to finishing my different features. And this is why it’s been so fun developing my characters for TV shows, novels, and comics. It gives me the chance to dig deeper into what makes these characters tick thereby giving me stories that could last well beyond just 90 to 120 minutes. I’ll have more on this later. But I wanted to at least throw this out to get people thinking…
Let me know your thoughts.
You’re welcome to post comments on here. I’ve also set up an email specifically for this blog…
hollysorianoblog at gmail dot com
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