TTABE Project Journal: Character Interviews

Well,  its Week” for me again. This week I’ve decided to slow things down a bit with the screenplay. I haven’t really been following my writing process like I need to. The idea behind this story came so swift and unexpectedly that I basically started writing the script right after I finished the concept and outline.

It’s good to get things down on the page while they are fresh and exciting in your head, but i know me. If I don’t finish developing the project as a whole, I’ll run into a snag that’ll bug me to know end. I’ll get stuck and put the whole thing on hold until a “later date”. So, tired of putting things off til a “later date”, I’m jumping back on board with my development process.

The fist two stages are done, Concept and Outline. I finished up my chapter/section summaries earlier, so that makes three stages, actually. So, next is Character Development.

I know the main character Patricia Cole pretty much, but the others, her husband, best friend, and her best friends husband, not so much. I know the basics. I know their goals, motives, conflicts, attempts, and resolutions, but sometimes that’s not enough. I need to a bit more to adequately bring the characters to life. So, how will I learn more about them? For the first time in my writing process, I will interview them.

Normally, when developing characters I go by a little “fill in the blank” template that I’ve constructed. Pretty simple you read a field and fill in the blank:

Name: Jamal W. Hankins

Age: 34

Race: African-American

Sex: Male

It’s good and it’s worked out for me very well over the years, but recently, I’ve opened up to another method of character development. Instead of filling in the blank for your character, ask your characters questions, interview them, and let them tell you about themselves. It sounds like a bit more fun to me at the moment.

I started earlier today on my lunch break. I pulled out the old NetBook and started to interview Patricia Cole. She a rather nice woman, really outgoing and talkative, a people-person. Though I already knew somethings about her before the interview, she did surprise me on a couple of questions. I asked what her overall aspiration was, and she told me that she wanted to be Clinical Psychologist. I didn’t know that before, I had know idea. I didn’t get a chance to finish the interview, though. I’ll be meeting her tomorrow for lunch again to see what else she has to say.

I can’t wait to finish, and I’m particularly interested to sit down with her husband. I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow, and will probably post Patricia’s interview to see what you guys think.

Till next time.

2 Comments

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  1. Great post. I really like this technique. Often characters give us more insight if we, the writer, just listen to what they have to say.

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