Worst Thing A Writer Can Do To Their Main Character – Joston Ramon Theney

Joston Ramon Theney, Screenwriter, Author, Director, Producer: If you haven’t seen season seven [The Walking Dead], it starts with him on his knees because that’s how season six ended with him on his knees. 

Film Courage: How much punishment should we put our main character through? 

Joston: I think that somebody described it best when they said what a story is, people chasing a character up a tree and throwing rocks at them while they’re trying to climb down. That’s ultimately what a story is right? I think that you should put them through as much punishment as they can weather and still realistically want to pursue their goal and still realistically understand the stakes. One of my favorite shows is The Walking Dead. There was a period in season seven or eight (may have been season seven) and people kind of stopped watching. It went like this and mainly it was due to how much punishment they put the main character through. He had so much punishment heaped upon him that his only goal was not to receive more punishment, that his people would receive no more punishment and this was from a character who had been a world beater for six seasons. All of a sudden we’re watching him not only be beaten but to just be beaten to a point where the fight is beaten out of them. I think people jumped off because that was the point the punishment went too far. That was the point where the audience was like Okay, I’m tapping out. I can’t do it anymore. I remember there was an episode where he just stood there, like it was just one locked off shot of him and he just cried and the camera went to a wide shot and he’s just completely alone and he’s crying and there’s a guy who he just watched be…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).



Screenwriter, author, producer, director Joston Ramon Theney grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He is known for films such as Wanton Want (2021), Axeman at Cutters Creek (2020) and Jurassic Hunt (2021).     










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