Friday, February 10, 2017

From the Start It Was Shaky and the Characters Rash

For anyone just joining us, last week I talked about characters, their connections to each other, and using those connections in the course of character creation. And already, this has begun to pay off.

I had one character, a man with a British accent and a newly discovered psychic ability that he doesn't particularly want. I had two… and a half scenes in my head involving this fellow. And a girl, woman, whatever, of some sort. See, psychometric visions are not, in any way, pleasant. More like being electrocuted from inside your own skull. So I had this whole thing with a box and a vision and a nosebleed, and for some reason this girl who decided to play Florence Nightingale.

I don't know who she is, but she invited herself into the story, so there she is. So while performing a spectacularly monotonous task, I started asking myself why. Not why she's in the story, but why she's in the story. Why does she do what she does? What makes her so kind and helpful to a perfect stranger? Is it the accent? It's probably the accent. But I started questioning her motivations, based on her connection to another character. Was she the type of girl who dated the "broken" guys, because she thought she could fix them? Does she have some abstract need to save people, to be the catcher in the rye? The one tiny thing we know about her is going to lead us to the whole rest of her.

And this is just the beginning. Let's not forget, there's a murderer in our midst. Everyone's not going to get along. I look forward to figure out why not. Why people hate each other is much more interesting than why they like each other. To me, anyway. I'm just saying, not all connections are positive. And they shouldn’t be. Sure, it would be great if we all just got along, but it makes for terrible TV. And books, and stuff.

The real question I have about these other characters is what do they offer. I mean, once you introduce psychic visions, everything else seems kind of bland. How are the other characters going to contribute to whatever is going on? There's a murder to solve, and they're all stuck on an island with a murderer. They're not just going to sit around. Because that would be boring.

Maybe by Tuesday, I'll have another character in the mix. We'll see. 

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