Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Love Heathcliff and Gertrude!

Larry stated in the previous blog that he had a vision for Casey—that he should be loosely based on Red Skelton.
I, however, saw something totally different. As I read Casey’s first few scenes, I thought how laid back, normal, and Everyman he seemed to be. “Hm.” I thought. “He’s just like Larry.” That’s how I came to write Casey with Larry in mind.
In retrospect, Larry might be more like Red Skelton than he realizes.
Interestingly enough, I never really had a vision of any of the characters beyond that. As new characters were added, they just sort of developed as we went along. Oh, wait, yes, I did. Detective Rush, who works undercover, is based on Patrick Swayze in that surfer movie, Point Break.
Anyhoo, back to Casey--at one point, Larry told me he didn’t care for a scene because it made Casey look stupid. I argued not stupid, ignorant. Casey didn’t know something and tried to bluff his way through, which didn’t work, to really good comic effect.
            Larry asked, “Is that how you see me? Stupid?”
            “Of course not.”
            “But isn’t Casey based on me?”
            “Not anymore. He was in the beginning, but his character has taken on a life of its own.”
            Characters need to change and grow with their story experiences—if they survive. Larry also had a vision for the end of the book. He’d planned for one of the characters to help the bad guy get away. Larry even said he was trying to “direct” me in our writing to arrive at a certain ending.
            Too bad I killed her.
            I’m sure there are many lessons to be learned from planning versus not planning. Not planning, you can develop a character any way you need to in order to tell your story. Planning means you have to not only carefully plot your story, but also plot your character’s development.
Half-planning, however is not a good idea. You end up at odds as Larry and I were on Casey’s character.
Honestly, the only thing I knew about Red Skelton was the seagull bit with Heathcliff and Gertrude. Casey was supposed to be THAT?
In which case, maybe it’d be a good idea to discuss characterization and a plan.
Or your character might end up dead.

No comments: