Who Are They And Why Are They Saying Those Stupid Things?

no good deed illo 7

I’ve been making up stories since I was a little child. While playing with my toy cars or space ships, my action figures, or just running around in the park with friends – I was happiest creating place, plot and characterizations. It was as normal as changing socks.

I did one more often than the other, but we don’t need to go into that.

Writing the stories down came a little later in my childhood. And spelling and punctuation aside, I was voracious in my efforts to tell the tale from start to finish.

A lot of my tales were simply repeats of things I seen on TV or in films or comics. Some were extensions of those stories – carrying the adventure further than the medium had allowed.

It did not consciously cross my mind to delve deeper into the characters beyond what I knew about them. On some surface level I was satisfied that I knew all I needed to know.

But over the years, and in pursuit of becoming a professional writer and performer I learned differently.

Regurgitating the mannerisms, lines, and actions of previous characters or stories limited the story, me, and of course the audience appeal.

Think of all the movies, TV shows, or books you’ve seen where the characters or their dialog or actions did not ring true. Where they seemed stupid, forced, or predictable to a ridiculous degree. For instance, the never ending parade of horror movie sequels where a typical number of young people arrive at a typical location, and become threaten or stalked by the typical psychopathic serial killer (normal or paranormal), resulting in the expected number of escalated slaughters until the end.

If it’s true that there are “only 7 plots in the world…” is true, then how on earth can a writer create anything that hasn’t been done before?

One way is to make sure your characters are more than 1 or 2 dimensional figures in the script. A jock is not just a jock. A street kid is not just a street kid. A blonde woman is not simply a blonde. An immigrant is not just that.

So create a carefully constructed Character Biography (Character Bio). Ask yourself, Who is this being?

Then think about and write down everything you know about your character.

A careful understanding of the characteristics, mannerisms, and history of your creation offers you a cornucopia of material to layer into the tale. It causes your creations to act and speak with a genuine sense of authenticity. It changes the path they take, which might make their choices different from similar characters that came before them.

Just like we are different from those who might be of the same gender, race, religion, or location, so can characters be different. And well they should be to make your stories stronger and more engaging and entertaining.

“Click here to get Your Free How To Create Character Bio PDF plus Bonus!”

About SimmonsHereAndNow

Alex Simmons is an award-winning freelance writer, comic book creator, playwright, teaching artist, and educational consultant. He’s written for Disney Books, Penguin Press, Simon and Schuster, DC Comics, and Archie Comics. Simmons is the creator of the acclaimed adventure comic book series, Blackjack. As a teaching artist Simmons has created and taught creative arts workshops for students and educators in the US, Europe, West Indies, and Africa. Simmons has served on panels, and delivered lectures on children’s entertainment mediums, as well as empowering young people through the arts. Simmons founded the annual family event, Kids Comic Con, as well as three comic arts exhibits, which have traveled abroad. He is currently developing a comics and creative arts program for children all over the world. For over 30 years, Simmons has been a member of arts and education boards for the New York State Alliance for Arts Education, the Department for Cultural Affairs, and is on the State Department Speakers Program. As a teaching artist Simmons has been paid to have fun working with youth through the Apollo Theater In-School Arts Program, Henkel McCoy, Upward Bound, New York Council on the Arts, Children’s Art Carnival, Wings Academy, and NYU Creative Arts Team, to name a few. He has been a panelist at many literacy and arts events, and he has been a guest speaker at numerous colleges and educational institutions here and abroad.
This entry was posted in Method To My Creative Madness, Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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