Friday, February 23, 2007

Character Relationships

So, MaryAn over at Fencing With the Fog got me to thinking.

About what? Writing, what else?

Anyway, these past couple of days I’ve been struggling with bringing focus to the script I’m rewriting. My problem is that there are millions of things I have to say and want to get across in the story. However, who gives a shit?

You see, that’s the rub. Who will give a shit and why?

As already mentioned, I’m enrolled in Writer's Boot Camp’s 22-month Think Tank - almost done. I’ve heard some describe it as cultish. For me, it’s a guy/gal with a whip, cracking it every time I move my ass away from my seat. I also love the nifty little tools like premise lines, 3-6-3, unity page, etc... I never leave home without them.

One of the things I fought early on with Boot Camp was the idea of concentrating on the relationship between characters. And when I say concentrate - I mean concentrate. Every tool forces me to examine the relationships between characters - in particular, the main and dynamic. And, like Brittany Spears in Rehab, I keep resisting... at first.

You see, I’m a writer. I don’t need no stinkin’ rules or guidelines. A real writer just writes from the heart - after all, I have some thing(s) to say.

Okay, back to reality.

Stories are about relationships. Every single movie ever made is about one person wanting or needing something from another person or needing the help of another person or wanting to kill, love, bed, win-over, etc.., another person or having to hide, reveal, pretend, confuse something from another person... okay, you get my point - people - relationships.

As MaryAn put it, there are people who don’t know how to have relationships.

YES! This is the stuff that movies are made of. The complications of those relationships.

A lot of gurus, books, and schools spend a lot of time talking about a great protagonist, or even antagonist, but I don’t go to the movies to see one guy or gal up on screen. That shit would be just plain... uh, BORING.

I go to see what the characters will do and say to one another. Maybe they’ll say something crafty that I wish I could say to the guy next door who keeps parking his goddamn yellow truck in front of my house. Maybe they’ll blow up something - or someone, thus allowing my own angst a venue of release.

We already have in play words like conflict and antagonist that convey this. Conflict, for me, is relationship.

But you already knew this. So, back to writing I go.

No comments: