Should A Writer Start With Character Or Plot?

Scott Myers, DePaul University Professor/Screenwriter/Creator Gointothestory.blcklst(dot)com: Begin with character, end with character, find the story in-between.

Jill Chamberlain, Author/Writer/Instructor: Start with that great premise What if this happened? And then ask yourself Okay, who would be the most interesting character to put into that dilemma?

Film Courage: Do writers start with character or plot?

Jill: You know I sometimes say there are two kinds of writers, the ones who start with character and the ones that start with plot. I think both are valid ways. I think however that if someone starts with character I wouldn’t tell them that they’re wrong and that they shouldn’t. I think that if you start with plot it’s a little easier to break story and to work with story.

The example I was saying with GROUNDHOG DAY, if you start with the premise it is far more interesting than the character. What if somebody woke up and it’s the same day a second time? That’s a great premise, right? I want to start with that and then ask myself Well who would be the most interesting character to put in that? What if it was somebody that was naive? That probably wouldn’t work. What if it’s somebody who is a jerk? Ahh…now that helps me build the plot and character, right? So for me it works so much more naturally and it’s much more easy to work…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

 

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