Film Courage: What does character development entail? Are you writing a backstory?
Scott Myers, DePaul University Professor/Screenwriter/Creator Gointothestory.blcklst.com: To me that is everything, it’s everything. Here is another one of my sayings, you ready? Begin with character, end with character, find the story in between. I don’t know what paradigm people have in terms of story structure. How you get there is critical. And so you start with your characters, that is my take. Again, there is not one right way to do this. I’m just saying that this is a smart way to go about it because the characters, it’s their story. If we are writing a story, we are assuming that in some magical, mystical way that story universe exists, those characters exist. And if it’s their story, they know it better than we do and so character development is about getting curious. It’s about asking questions. It’s about spending time with the characters.
“Begin with character, end with character, find the story in between.”
So the typical things we see like biographies and questionnaires, those are great. I call those indirect engagement exercises because you are reflecting on the character, you are thinking about the character, as opposed to direct engagement exercises.
For example, what if I have a character in mind, I’m going to imagine I am a…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
SEE IT ON AMAZON – The Protagonist’s Journey:
An Introduction to Character-Driven Screenwriting and Storytelling by Scott Myers
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