Monday, September 12, 2011

"Real" Characters

Years ago, an Emmy-winning sitcom writer tried to encourage me to get an agent and write for sitcoms. Which sounded great at first. I thought I could just send the scripts in, but I soon learned it doesn’t work that way. There are constant readings with the actors, rewrites, more meetings, more read-throughs, and rehearsals that you have to attend.
That’s not for me. I couldn’t leave my family. I’d rather bend nails for a living.
I’m not too bad at dialogue because I listen to others. We each have different personalities, so if a writer instills his own personality in every character they would all be the same and boring. It wouldn’t work.
The sitcom writer gave me some advice on dialogue for TV. He said to record the show you want to write for and sit with your back to the screen and listen to the dialogue: what was said, how each character verbally reacted to the circumstances, how the character react differently, what their emotions should be, and if their words effectively relaying that.
I don’t know how Becky does it but I try to pattern characters after people and personalities I know, usually with a little exaggeration. I have characters I write, and she has characters she writes. What’s interesting is that I can write her characters when they’re in my scene and somehow they all stay pretty consistent.
That’s how I do it. So Becky? How do you create your characters?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting! I like to know how writer's approach their craft.