Monday, 30 November 2015

Sunday, 29 November 2015

6. How do you build character?

Building character is part of the mystery and magic of the creative process. It is an ongoing, never-ending, con­tinuing practice. In order to really solve the problem of character, it's essential to go into your characters and build the foundations and fabric of their lives, then add ingredients that will heighten and expand the portrait of who they are.
four things, four essen­tial qualities that seemed to go into the making of good charac­ters:
Ø  (1), the characters have a strong and defined dramatic need;
Ø   (2), they have an individual point of view;
Ø  (3), they personify an attitude; and
Ø  (4), they go through some kind of change, or transfor­mation.

The sucess of IRUTHI SUTTU's is characterization of each one the coach, Mathi,etc . The main character Mathi has a defined dramatic need in initial of movie that is earn money for her family then this need transform to a national achiever. Her character has a attitude and point of view about her surrounding,  

The big failure of the good movie THARAI THAPPATAI is the conflict confusing characterization.  

Those four elements, those four qualities, make up good char­acter.  Every main, or major, character has a strong dramatic need. Dramatic need is defined as what your main characters want to win, gain, get, or achieve during the course of your screenplay. The dramatic need is what drives your characters through the story line. It is their purpose, their mission, their motivation, driving them through the narrative action of the story line.

What is your main character's dramatic need? 

The dramatic need is the engine that powers the character through the story line. 
Point of view The second thing that makes good character is point of view. Point of view is defined as the way a person sees, or views, the world. Every person has an individual point of view. Point of view is a belief system, and as we know, what we believe to be true is true. that means that what's inside our head—our thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories—is reflected outside, in our everyday experience. It is our mind, how we see the world, that determines our experience. Point of view shades and colors the way we see the world. that a point of view is acquired through personal experience.  If your character is a parent, she/he could reflect a "parent's" point of view. Or he/she could be a student and view the world from a "student's" point of view. A housewife has a specific point of view. So does a criminal, terrorist, cop, doctor, lawyer, rich man, poor man—all present individual and unique points of view.  Point of view is an individual and independent belief system. Knowing your characters' points of view becomes a good way to generate conflict.

Attitude: The third thing that makes good character is attitude. Attitude is defined as a manner or opinion, and is a way of acting or feeling that reveals a person's personal opinion. An attitude, differentiated from a point of view, is an intellectual decision, so it can, and prob­ably will, be classified by a judgment: right or wrong, good or bad, positive or negative, angry or happy, cynical or naive, superior or inferior, liberal or conservative, optimistic or pessimistic.. Sometimes it's difficult to separate point of view from attitude. 

Transformation: The fourth element that makes up good character is change, or transformation  Transforma­tion, change, seems to be an essential aspect of our humanity, espe­cially at this time in our culture. Change, transformation, is a constant of life, and if you can impel some kind of emotional change within your character, it creates an arc of behavior and adds another dimension to who he/she is.

Character building: 

you're writing a screenplay, the main character must be active; she must cause things to happen, not let things happen to her. It's okay if she reacts to inci­dents or events some of the time, but if she is always reacting, she becomes passive, weak, and that's when the character seems to disappear off the page. like wise  Minor characters appear more interesting than the main character and seem to have more life and flamboyance(very confident in behaviour

A scene like that can illustrate a lot about your character.  Every action, every word of dialogue, every individual character trait expands our knowledge and comprehension of the character.your character occupies the center of a circle and all the other characters he interacts with surround him, then each time a character interacts with the main character, the other characters can reveal, or illuminate, different aspects of the main character. In the same way, different aspects of your main character can be illuminated by what other people say about him or her.


Dialogue is really a function of character. If you know your char­acter, your dialogue may very well flow easily with the unfolding of your story. Writing dialogue is a learning process, an act of coordi­nation..
Dialogue serves two main purposes: Either it moves the story forward, or it reveals information about the main character

Source : Syd field 

4. The Creation of Character-The Character Biography

"What is character but the determination of incident? And what is incident but the illu­mination of character?"
—The Art of Fiction Henry James
What is Character?
 What is character but the determination of incident? And what is incident but the illumination of character?

The incidents we create for our characters are the best ways to illuminate who they are—that is, reveal their true nature, their essential character. How they respond to a particular incident or event, how they act and react, what they say and do is what really defines the essence of their character.The elements within the character really determine the incident; how the character reacts to that incident is what illuminates and truly de­fines his/her character. 
It is the character that determines the incident, The incident is what ultimately reveals and illuminates the character. In VEEDU case, it is an incident that happened to her when she was a find out the malpractice of contracter , instead of accept his crime he try to assassinate her character.  

Writers create characters in a variety of different ways. the first thing he did was to choose a simple dramatic need; then he would add to it, coloring it until it became a universal chord common to Everyman. 

Character is the essential internal foundation of your screenplay. The cornerstone. It is the heart and soul and nervous system of your screenplay. Before you can put one word down on paper, you must know your character.

In a screenplay, the story always moves forward, from beginning to end, whether in a linear or nonlinear fashion. 

 what is character? 

Action is character; a person is what he does, not what he says. Film is behavior. Because we're telling a story in pictures, we must show how the character acts and reacts to the incidents and events that characteரr confronts and overcomes  during the story line. 

But first, who is your main character? 

Who is your story about? You can have more than one main character, of course, but it certainly clarifies things if you identify a single hero or heroine.  Frequently a story is about what distinguishes the main character from the other characters. Who is the main character,  The main character—he is the character who plans things, who acts. 

There are several ways to approach creating your characters.
First, establish your main character. Who is your story about? The character we can divided  into two basic categories: interior and exterior. The interior life of your character takes place from birth up until the time your story begins. It is a process that forms character. The exterior life of your character takes place from the moment your film begins to the conclusion of the story. It is a process that reveals character.  We must find ways to reveal our char­acter's conflicts visually. We  cannot reveal what you don't know. Thus, it's important to make the distinction between knowingour character as a thought, notion, or idea in your head and revealing him or her on paper.

Diagrammed, it looks like this:

ThCharacter Biography

The Character Biography is an exercise that reveals our charac­ter's interior life, the emotional forces working on our character from birth.
 Is our character male or female? If male,
 how old is he when the story begins? 
Where does he live, what city or country? 
Where was he born? Was he an only child, or did he have brothers and sisters? 
What kind of childhood did he have? Happy? Sad? Physically or medically challenging? 
What was his relationship to his parents? Did he get into a lot of trouble as a kid? 
Was he mischie­vous?
 What kind of a child was he? Outgoing, an extrovert; or stu­dious, an introvert?

When we begin formulating our character from birth, we begin to see your character build. P
ursue his/her life through the first ten years; include his/her preschool and school years, relation­ships with friends and family and teachers.
 Did a single parent raise your character? Mother or father? Aunt or uncle? 
How did they get along? Is your character streetwise or sheltered? 
What kind of jobs did the parent(s) have to make ends meet?

Move into the second ten years of your character's life, ages ten to twenty. That means middle and high school.

 What kind of influ­ences did your character have while growing up? Friends?
 What kind of interests? School, athletics, social, political? 
Did your char­acter take an interest in extracurricular or after-school activities, like a debating club? 
Did your character have to work part-time during high school?
 What about any sibling relationships?
 Any envy or hostility present?
 In other words, you want as much information as you can get about your character as he/she is growing up. What about rela­tionships with teachers? 
What kind of relationship did your charac­ter have with his/her parents during these years? 
Did any major traumatic event happen that may have emotionally influenced your character? 

Once we have  established the interior aspect of our character in a character biography, we can move into the exterior portion of your story.

The exterior aspect of your character takes place during the ac­tual time of the screenplay, from the first fade-in to the final fade­out. It is important to examine the relationships in the lives of your characters, as they have the potential of becoming a resource for greater depth of character, including subplots, secondary actions, and any possible inter cutting you may want to do to build the rela­tionship between characters and story.
How do you make your characters real, believable, and multi ­dimensional people during your story? From fade-in to fade-out?

The best way to do this is to separate your characters' lives into three basic components—their professional lift, their personal life, and their private life. These areas of your characters' lives can be dramatized over the course of the screenplay.
Professional: What does your main character do for a living? We need to know this.
 Where does he or she work? Is she the vice president of a bank? 
A construction worker? A doctor? 
A sound technician? 
A sci­entist? 
A professor? 

In a free-association essay of about a page or two, define your character's professional life. Don't try to censor ourself; just throw it all down on the page. When you can describe and explore the re­lationships of our main character with the other people in his/her professional life, you're creating a personality and a point of view. And that's the starting point of building and broadening and en­hancing the richness of your character's life.
Personal: Is your main character married, single, widowed, di­vorced, or separated?
 Is your character in a relationship when the story begins?
 If so, who is he/she with and how long have they been together?
 If your character is married, whom did he or she marry? 
Someone he met at school, or dated, or was fixed up with?
 Is the person your character is with when the story begins from the same background as she or do they come from "different sides of the tracks"? 
Above or below him/her in terms of education or profes­sion?
How long have they been married? 
What does the marriage look like?
 Here's where the length of the marriage comes in. I
f they have recently married, their relationship is different from that of a couple who have been marned for several years. Do they go places, do things together?
 Or do they take each other for granted? Do they have many friends and participate in social functions, or do they have only a few friends?
 Is the marriage strong, or is your character thinking about, or partici­pating in, extramarital affairs?
Finding ways to illustrate and reveal your character's relation­ships are challenging, but rewarding. Think about conflicts; he may want one thing, she another.
 It may be as important as whether or not to have children, or simply that he likes sporting events and she likes the theater. Go into this marriage and write it out. You can do this as it applies to your individual screenplay, either as a background relationship or in the foreground, as part of the action.

All these aspects of your character's relationships should be ex­plored, thought about, written about. When you have doubts about your character, go into your own life. Ask yourself—if you were in that situation, what would you do in your character's place? 

Aristotle says in the Poetics: "Life consists in action and its end is a mode of action, not a quality." That means your character has to be active, has to be doing things, causing things to happen, not just reacting all the time. 

Sometimes it's necessary for your character to react to a situation, but you can't have your main character constantly reacting only to things that happen to him. If that happens, he disappears off the page, and your story appears soft, without an edge. Your character is what he/she does. Film is a visual medium, and the writer's responsibility is to choose an image, or picture, that cinematically dramatizes his or her character. You can create a dia­logue scene in a small and stuffy hotel room, or have the scene occur at the beach or under the stars. One is visually closed; the others vi­sually open and dynamic. It's your story, your choice.

If we wanted to diagram the concept of character, it would look like this:

INTERIOR                   EXTERIOR
Forms character                      Reveals character
character             define      action is
biography            the need     character
professional personal private
(work)   (marital or   (alone)


Film is behavior. We can know a lot about characters by how they react, or behave, in certain situations. Pictures, or images, re­veal different aspects of character. Whereas character reveals the deep-seated nature of who people are, in terms of values, actions, and beliefs, characterization is expressed in the way people live, the cars they drive, the pictures they hang on the wall, their likes and dislikes, what they eat, and other forms of individual character ex­pression. Character is expressed in who they are, by their actions and reactions, by their creative choices. Characterization, on the other hand, is expressed in their taste and how they look to the world, what they wear, the cars they drive.
Form your characters by creating a character biography, then reveal them by showing who they are in the professional, personal, and private aspects of their lives.

"What is character but the determination of incident? And what is incident but the illumination of character?" says Henry James.
If you want to write a screenplay, decide who you are writing about. As an exercise, choose a character and write a character biography. .
After you've completed the character biography, think about your character's professional life, personal life, and private life. Focus on the relationships that occur during the screenplay.

Story and Character

There are really only two ways to approach writing a screenplay. One is to get an idea, then create your characters to fit that idea.Another way to approach a screenplay is by creating a character, then letting a need, an action, and, ultimately, a story emerge out of that character.

How do we go about creating a character?

Remember, we're building a character, creating context and con­tent, searching for a story that will soon appear. Create a character and a story will emerge.screenplay—an action and a character.
The screenplay would focus on the subject of nuclear power plant safety, a major political issue.

What about the story?
Act I is the Set-Up--we could open with the worker being con­taminated. A visually dynamic sequence:
Act II is the Confrontation.It must be some kind of incident, episode, or event, remember, that hooks into the action and spins it around in another direction.
Act III is the Resolution:There are different kinds of endings. In "up" endings, things work out.

 the sil­ver screen is a mirror, reflecting our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams, our successes, our failures.The best ending for your story is an ending that's real, believable, and true, , believable ending, in spite of its romanticism. 

There are two ways to approach writing your screenplay:

One is to create an idea, then create your characters and  "pour" your characters into the action.
The second way is to create a character and then let the action, the story, emerge out of character.