November 17, 2011

Pitch Your Main Character in a Character Driven Plot

                              Pitch your Character in every way and everything you do!
           What kind of advice is that you ask? Writers Pitch Stories. Well....should they?

      I'm a character development girl scribe, and if I give my main character a mission it always seems
to workout for me. That's why I pitch character in everything I write more than plot.
        For sometime now I have essayed you out with the need to build strong, main, characters to
move the story and the plot along, because I knew it worked. I put more emphasis on strong characters with issues, than I ever put on plot. No matter how intriguing it is, the plot thickens, because the character has been constructed in a way that sends him or her in a direction to act out or perform great action or moves against many different Obstacles - or just ONE. Plot can't do that without a great character.
       Characters with issues aka characters in conflict,  works, because the issues or conflicts
compound on top of one another until.....somethings got to give. Pow!... Zap!

     An EXAMPLE of this is the movie : PREDATOR. Both the Predator and (Arnold's) military
commando character were strongly developed beings, and if one of them were weaker than the other or did not fight back  as severely and cunningly as the other - the story would have fizzled out somewhere in the middle.  In fact, it was the strong personality of the Predator that turned the Commando character into a Strategically, Formidable, Human Machine. Even the supporting characters had to be mentally, physically and emotionally fit in their roles. The moment they floundered they died.
       That is considered "great drama, folks - commercially and financially dramatic
fodder.  Characters with great drama are commercially appealing to most, if not all viewers or readers. They can be the most boring people in the world at first (3 pages or less), but when you give them an obstacle they must address, overcome, or overturn, then they Transform into super heroes or super villains. Most, if not all successful, super heroes, or comic characters, that writers embrace are greater or better than their plot. Why?
       Because the reader always wants to know more about an intriguing character - her/his hang ups,
 and redeeming qualities. His/her history - if you will- so that they can identify with them in some way on some level.They'll also want to watch that character perform, again...and again.
     I do not, believe that the reader always has to like or even root for your main character to keep on reading.That said, let me not be remiss in mentioning the need for a good story line or plot. Plot- matters-too. The plot is needed in order for the book or manuscript to culminate  into what is known as a Blockbuster hit. You know the movie, Basic Instinct looks boring until you slowly watch these characters being revealed. Then you see this web of interconnections, and how they  relate to each. Awesome...what is revealed is awesome! The Characters plotting their course, not one but many.
       Be it screenplay, novel or theatrical play. Just remember to develop and grow your character to
 the max, because if you take the time to know him or her inside-out,  it will surely work out well for
you and the readers of your works. Who knows, someday you might be known for your Blockbuster novel, play or screen write.

* I recently attended a workshop of writer Jake Kruger in New York. He's an acclaimed award winner for "Little Miss Sunshine," and he is a great proponent of Character Driven Manuscripts and 7 Act manuscripts with a beginning, middle and end.
 What is the diff. between an act and a scene?

* Next week I will attend a workshop on Concepts which is plot driven, and I will Tattle Tell scoop....what the skinny is on that POV -  also by a renowned teacher at NYU and scriptwriter; award winner.
In the meantime and in between time stay true to your character's development in harmony
with the plot:  

The Tattle Tells - writestuff-writenow.
Toni McKain

Book Reviewer Disclaimer: Writestuff-writenow.blogspot.com receives books free or in a downloaded PDF format-for the express purpose of providing a book review at no charge. The opinions expressed in book reviews are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the (FTC) Federal Trade Commission, 16 CFR, part 255. WriteStuff-WriteNow Antoinette "Toni" McKain. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2010-2011 A division of GACM Inc.