There are certain intricacies to writing. There are things that some writers never think about. These are the aspects of any piece of work that I lock on to. They are the details that make a story more interesting to watch, to read. It’s also, often is one of the most overlooked aspects to film. That aspect is character development.
The most notable show of lack of character development is the movie “Clerks”. For all the brilliant dialog and witty banter, there was little to no differentiating between characters. They all had different names and positions, but the dialog sounded as though it was written from one voice. Any time I think of characters that all sound the same, Clerks is the first movie that almost always comes to mind.
Which is a shame, because it’s the only place where the movie lacks. There isn’t a lot of unique personality quirks.
As a writer, I try to create a unique voice for each individual character. It’s not something that I’m necessarily successful with, but it’s a personal goal of mine. Create unique and memorable characters, that’s a key goal of mine.
How does one go about finding the soul of an individual character?
Well, the first place to look is to each individuals’ voice (writing voice, not speaking). Hopefully you’ve found your voice as a writer. It’s an important aspect to all writing. It’s also through that voice that you need to start with. However, you come to your stories will more than likely be how you also come by your characters as well.
I usually write out all the characters’ names. That way I can think about the number of personalities that I have to create.
From their, the process is a bit more organic. I think about what each name is telling me. I write a bit of personality and character background as well as personal motivation. It’s easier to think about how a character will interact with others if you understand where they have come from and what they really want.
Usually, my writing goes from there. It’s nothing overly sophisticated or something that would take hours upon hours of work. I can usually complete this exercise in 30 minutes.
It can really be that simple. It’s a matter of keeping each individual character in mind. Trying to give them unique personalities and ways of speaking.
Is this a 100% successful method? I don’t know. It works for me. I can’t claim that it will work for everyone. But hey, everything’s worth trying at least once, right?