Film Courage: What mistakes do writers make writing characters?
Erik Bork, Author/Screenwriter: I think the challenge with characters that I have is creating three dimensional people that feel real and interesting to the audience, compelling and intriguing and sympathetic are the things that you want them to be.
It’s not so much that you are writing the character because you are writing the script that has the character in it. Prior to writing the script you are figuring out who the character is and what you are going to present about that character to the audience. I think it’s kind of harder than it looks to come up with a character that feels real, feels like they are recalling something from real life some how and is really interesting and that audience will care enough about them and want to follow them because they are going to relate to them on some level.
It’s like figuring out what are the key aspects of the character that defined them for this movie or this TV series. What are the problems that they are mainly dealing with? What are their internal issues (their main internal issues) and their main external problem and then trying to write in such a way that they are not just a tool of the story or the concept but that they actually feel like the audience gets drawn into the reality of their life. It feels super real (some how) the way that the character is drawn. It’s not easy to do that but the best characters feel like this is a real flesh and blood human being and it has to do with they are not just a stereotype, they have elements. They might start with one aspect that could be a cliché or a stereotype or a trope or a one-dimensional feature. But then they have something else going on that…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
About : Erik Bork is a screenwriter best known for his work on the HBO miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS and FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, for which he wrote multiple episodes, and won two Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards as part of the producing team. Erik has also sold series pitches (and written pilots) at NBC and FOX, worked on the writing staff for two primetime dramas, and written feature screenplays on assignment for companies like Universal, HBO, TNT, and Playtone. He teaches screenwriting for UCLA Extension, National University and The Writers Store, and offers one-on-one consulting to writers.
BUY THE BOOK – THE IDEA: The Seven Elements of a Viable Story for Screen, Stage or Fiction by Erik Bork
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