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B&N Week 3: Characters

| January 11, 2011 | 21 Comments

“I yam what I yam an’ that’s all that I yam!”

Did I just date you again? If I didn’t, you haven’t done enough reading or watching good television, and I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, the above statement is from one of the best known sailors in the world–right behind Sinbad–and goes very far for making a case for all characters everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Scarlett O’Hara, Phillip Marlowe, Charlie Brown, or Superman; a character is a character, and they have to be true to themselves.

Last week was about plotting, and like I said, this week will be about characters. We can spend a VERY long time talking about characters, but we won’t. My objective isn’t to teach you how to write, my objective is to teach you how to write in comic books. Vast difference, there.

In comics, writers have a very unique power. There is no other medium that allows them to play with their audience as much as we do in comics. In film, everything has to be connected, one to the other. There are camera tricks and so forth that can be played in order to evoke a visceral experience in the viewer, but it doesn’t get as deep as they do in comics. In prose, the paragraph has to make sense with the others around it, building on each other until something resembling sense is made. That takes time. Not so in comics. In comics, everything is right there in the panel, immediate and accessible. We can play with time, go forward and back, and see directly into a character’s head. We have the best of both worlds: a limitless budget for visual effects, and the ability to get right into the heart of a character through words. Film and prose don’t really come close.

However, even though everything starts with the Great Idea, the Great Idea turns into just a regular idea if it’s not populated, and even then, it has to be populated properly. “Proper” will be defined by what the Great Idea is, and the overall thrust of the story.

So, what makes a good character? I’ll be the first to admit that that’s a great question, and that I don’t have the foggiest clue. Now I guess it’s time for me to explain.

Even though all characters have certain traits, it’s really about their reactions to situations. These reactions have to be true to the character, not to the writer, and I think a lot of that is missing from today’s stories. The characters are behaving like the writers would, instead of as the characters would. In and of itself, that’s wrong. The characters should have something of an internal consistency, and while that’s built over time, it’s also something that needs to be taken into account whenever you write. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing Spidey or The Mighty Pen-Man, correct characterization is key.

The question becomes, what’s good/proper/correct characterization? That depends on the story you’re telling. In Spider-Man, Peter always has the choice to either beat up on Electro, or try to make it across town to do something with family and friends. He always, ALWAYS, tries to do both, and ends up failing at either one or the other. However, the dictates of his characterization states that he has to try. If not, something even worse is going to happen [or so it will seem in Peter’s world]. He always cracks jokes as Spidey, as well. It started out as a way to cover up his fear while being Spidey, but has evolved into something totally different. To my mind, Spider-Man is the comic book version of Bugs Bunny–someone who always finds a way to win, and will make you absolutely crazy because he’s humiliating you while doing it. Now, this example is blatant and obvious, and paints characterization with a wide brush. Definitely unsubtle.

So what’s subtle?

Deadpool. [Can you tell I’m a Marvel fan?] Okay, pick your jaw up off the ground, and stay with me. Under Joe Kelley, Deadpool became more than just a merc with a mouth. He became a three dimensional character. One that has hopes and nightmares, and a twisted way of showing his emotions. He does the wrong thing in trying to do the right thing, and we all fall for it because it’s both tragic and hilarious. Under Kelley’s direction, Deadpool became a hard character to write, because you had to put him in situations where doing the wrong thing for the right reasons became enjoyable to watch. Compared to Spider-Man, Deadpool is difficult to write. While the characters seem similar on the surface with their big mouths and hilarious dialogue, they’re both very different characters underneath. Their motivations are different. Peter operates out of guilt he can never get over, and Wade’s enforced mental state has him doing things he normally wouldn’t.

I guess the next question is, how do you get subtle? I have an entire universe of characters–a hundred million and growing–and I know all of their names and powers. First, there’s the main–

Stop. Hold it right there. Take those hundred million characters and put them to the side for now. We don’t need a hundred million characters for the moment. Right now, we only need one. No, you don’t get to pick. I do.

Pen-Man. Writer of words, coverer of paper. What he really needs is to undergo an interview.

No, I’m not talking crazy. You want subtle? This is the way to go. Stop yer whining. I know you have a hundred million characters. I didn’t tell you to make them. You want people to read the stories? You want the characters to be better than Gambit [cool powers and a name and nothing more]? Then put them through an interview.

When conducting the interview, you have to do a few things. You have to step outside yourself, so that the character’s responses are not your responses, and you have to remain consistent with the questions. And you have to do it for every character in your story.

A lot of work, you say? “Whiner,” is my response. Alan Moore, writer of some of the best comics you’ve ever read, creates entire worlds when he writes. Character bio’s, political affiliations, how the world governments work in minute detail. Things you’ve never even thought of because right now, all you have is Gambit.

Do the interview.

Okay, what questions to ask? Start with the basics: full name, family, physical description, powers [if any], and basic character trait: hero or villain, nice guy or prick. You get the idea. Besides the basics, I suggest you go to the web and do a search on fictional character interviews. Use them, modify them as you wish, but only by knowing your characters intimately will you be able to say your characters truly have character. It doesn’t matter that Pen-Man likes lemon sorbet, or that it may never come up in a story. It’s a tool to help make him more real.

The interview will do other things for you, as well. Besides uncovering intimate details of Pen-Man’s life, it might spark other ideas for future stories, or help determine a new path to take the story you’re already writing. Don’t forget to make notes on how the character speaks, mannerisms, quirks, or anything else that might help to make the character more real to you. I know you have a cast of a hundred million, but are they all real to you? All of them? Favorite colors are easy. Did you know that Pen-Man is allergic to tofu, and has nightmares about being drowned in cottage cheese? Yeah, didn’t think so.

After you do each interview, print them out, punch holes in them, and put them in a binder. Separate them as you would, but keep them. When you don’t use a character, details fade, and keeping the interviews on hand means that you don’t have to do the work over again. You can just brush up on the character’s interview and bio to make sure they fit the needs of the story, and you’re off to the races.

The kicker? It’s not hard. It’s tedious, yes, but it’s not difficult. You’ll be surprised how much info a decent interview will pull from you. The tedium of doing it over and over again will be more than offset by the gains you’ll have when actually writing.

Eventually, you’ll reach a point when you feel you don’t need to do the interviews. What will happen is that you’ll be writing all of these stories after doing the interviews, and then you’ll create more stories and only want to do them for the main characters, and then you’ll create more stories and think you got it down. You’re only writing a limited series, so who needs to know that Frank Wells likes to knit as a way of releasing tension? This is normal. It happens to us all. It may even be true.

My simple advice is to fight it. I suggest you do the interviews and write the stories for at least a few years [yes, I said years] before deciding you don’t need it any more. Trust me, you’re not the prodigy writer you think you are. You’ve been listening to family and friends who love you and don’t want to hurt your feelings. Generally speaking, they wouldn’t know a good script from trying to land a 747 safely. Sure, they’ll recognize a few dials, but will crash and burn almost every time without some training. So with that going against them, why are you going to listen to them when it comes to your writing?

So fight the urge to take the shortcut. The interviews are self-training to creating believable characters, and after a few years, you can let up a little or let up altogether. However, it’s needed for your development as a writer. Think of it like this: can you tell a story without the use of a character? Everything becomes a character when you start to talk about it: inanimate objects, pets, emotions, whatever. In the Batman milieu, even Gotham City is a character. So, can you really tell a story without one?

So, I guess it’s time for homework. Homework is simply this: create a character, go through the interview, and talk about your results. Paste one to the thread. Superhero, non-superhero, spy, supporting cast member, bum on the street–I don’t care. The object is to learn something, and talk about what you’ve learned.

There’s the bell. Be safe out there. Next week: writing the pitch!

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Category: Bolts & Nuts

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

Comments (21)

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  1. David Grodsky says:

    This is a great idea, it’s similar to what I do but just different enough that it can give me a new angle on getting into a character’s head.

    What I normally do is take a page from DC’s Who’s Who and create an entry on each character. It includes all the various stats (sex, age, H/W, etc.). I then do a two-part history, one for prior to when the character became relevant (usually the origin story) then one for important events that directly relate to the story just before it opens.

    I then do one more thing. I call it Secret File. This is where I put things about a character that aren’t really told in the story but are alluded too or that I think can drive the character and give him/her a unique voice. The Green Harpy and Mr. Mighty are having an affair, Dr. Power has a twin brother he loathes, the Supreme Team’s secret origin is that they destroyed an invading alien race by accidentally committing genocide, things like that.

    Sometimes the entire entry is a page or more, sometimes it’s just a paragraph. It depends on how important the character is to the story.

    • Thanks, David!

      Sounds like you have a plan that works for you. Good show!

      Personally, I’m more particular to the Marvel Handbook, myself. I think that the histories are explained better, as are the power descriptions, and how they measure them.

      The most important thing, though, is that your system works for you. Nothing else matters except the results.

  2. John Lees says:

    I know I said I was going to write a pitch for a new story idea, and then interview a character from that. But the pitch I wrote was so bad that, reading it, I actually unsold MYSELF on the idea. So instead I’m going to a story I’ve already plotted out to some degree. I submitted the first issue to The Proving Grounds. A new character joins the cast in the second issue, which I haven’t written, so I figured I’d do an interview with this character I’ve not had a chance to write for, to maybe get a sense of his voice and personality.

    A quick disclaimer: my story is a Western, set in 1899. That’s more a detail of the plot than of character, so I thought I’d just mention that here rather than asking “What year is it?” in the interview.

    WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
    I go by Rudy Gallows, my friend.

    THAT’S AN UNUSUAL NAME.
    Yeah, I picked it myself.

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
    Never did know my kin. My mama died in childbirth, and my pa, who the hell knows who he is, or was. Never met him. I was bounced around a couple of places when I was young, picked up the name Rudy at one of them. Just Rudy, though. Gallows I gave myself.

    WHAT AGE ARE YOU?
    35, or thereabouts.

    WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
    Georgia, originally. But I travel a lot, so I just like to think of myself as a man of America.

    ANY EDUCATION?
    I can read and write if that’s what you mean. Don’t look so surprised, my friend!

    WHAT’S YOUR JOB?
    My job? Well first, if I may declare, I am to some degree discomfited to call my preoccupation a job, as if pressed I must confess I find it to be in equal degrees a combination of business and pleasure. A hobby that pays handsomely, if you will. But for lack of a better definition we’ll speak of my job. My job… I suppose you could say I provide the remedy to a very particular kind of problem, the problem one individual may have with another individual walking the mortal plain.

    WAIT, YOU’RE A KILLER!?
    That would be as good a term as any, my friend. Don’t look so horrified, it’s just a word. I’m not offended to be called as much. If a man that farms is a farmer, and a man that preaches is a preacher, then a man that kills is a killer. It’s as simple as that, each applying themselves to their calling in life and thus being named by their trade.

    BUT MURDER IS WRONG
    Yes, but what is murder? Is the bullet that goes through a man’s heart guilty of murder? Or is the gun it shot from? Or is it the man with murderous intent in mind who raises that gun, finds his target, and pulls the trigger, sending that lethal weapon on course to kill the man he desires to be dead? I don’t have a murderous bone in my body, my friend. There is not a soul alive I personally would wish dead. But I provide a service, and that is to act as proxy for those who are murderous, to act as their weapon. They point at the man they want dead, and I shoot. The way I see it, I am no guiltier of murder than the bullet or the gun.

    YOU LIKE TO TALK, DON’T YOU?
    Ha ha! Yes, yes, my friend! My pa always used to say, “Son, never say in 10 words what you could say in 100.”

    YOU SAID YOU NEVER MET YOUR FATHER
    Heh, heh, I did, didn’t I?

    WHEN YOU’RE NOT KILLING PEOPLE, WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
    I seek the same leisure that any red-blooded American man enjoys: the taste of good liquor and the company of beautiful women of questionable morals. I’m one hell of a card player, too. I make as much money at poker as I do killing folks!

    WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL LIFE? DO YOU HAVE A HOME, A FAMILY?
    No to both, my friend. I might have a few kids running around, but none that I know of to a certainty. The hotels and saloons of the frontier are all the home I need. A bed, a bath, a piss-pot… that’s all you need, and any more is just sentimentality talking.

    I found this pretty helpful. The character, as I plotted, was essentially a blank slate, a walking plot device used to take other, more prominent characters from point A to point B. Certainly, the details of his personal life will never be explored in the script. But in forcing myself to think a bit more about how he might answer questions about his life, it started giving me a sense of his voice.

    First came the response to his name. At first I just had him answer “Rudy Gallows”, but that seemed a bit too robotic. So I added the “my friend” to the end of it. It reminded me of an unsavory Scottish politician called Tommy Sheridan who when addressing people would always finish with, “my brother”, even though most of the time it didn’t sound in the slightest bit genuine.

    From here, the whole vibe of cloying, false friendliness, and by extension this overly verbose way of speaking sprung up around Gallows, giving him a more fully-realised presence that might make his interactions with my other characters more interesting than just “point A to point B” stuff.

    • Y’know, John, this is a great example of exploring a character in order to get more out of them. Finding their voice as you tell the story can sometimes lead to characterization that isn’t consistent. By doing interviews, you can get away from that.

      You’ve also revealed some things about the character of the character that you probably didn’t know: he’s verbose, he’s a liar, and he’s got a pretty interesting world view. I’d see if you can fit some of that into the story you’re telling. It’s interesting.

      Good work!

  3. Tyler James says:

    Great job on that, John. I’m currently working on a script that’s very very plot heavy, and if I’m not able to breathe some life into the characters, no one is going to give a damn about my plot twists. Conducting an interview with my characters could help me move past my blocks…gotta get on that.

  4. Johnny Vinson says:

    For this homework assignment, I’m going to interview a character from the first script I crafted. This script was written with zero comic book writing experience, so it’s probably garbage for the most part. However, I want to see the “great idea” come into fruition. So, here’s an interview with – Kamel Robinson.

    – What is your name?

    My name is Kamel Robinson

    – That’s a unique name. Where does it come from?

    It’s arabic. Its literal translation is “unique”. My father gave it to me before he passed while my mother was still pregnant.

    – I’m sorry to hear that. How did he die?

    He was gunned down while on a historic expedition in the Arabian peninsula. It’s funny, I never thought about the name’s significance until just recently.

    – What do you mean, its “significance”?

    Just thinking back on everything that’s happened to me in life, it certainly has been a unique experience. I meet it all head on though; I’ve always felt determined to tackle the problems set before me.

    – Huh, you certainly sound ambitious. Did you become a historian like your father?

    No, I’m studying to be a doctor. Neurology. I passed all of my undergraduate courses with a 4.0 GPA. I studied the french language through high school and college so I could study for my P.H.d in France.

    – Ah, any reason why you wanted to study there?

    The location wasn’t important. I lived in Virginia all my life with my mother. While I had a good childhood there, I always wanted to venture out in the world. In high school I chose French as my foreign language, and didn’t stop studying until I was finished in college.

    – You had a good childhood. Must have been hard to leave your mom when studying abroad. Care to comment?

    It was difficult. Mostly, I was worried about her. She’s a hair stylist, so we never had a lot of money. Though she still works, and she was able to put me through school. Still, all those years of determination definitely rubbed off on me. I think it’s why I’ve been able to make it away from home.

    – You stated how you were studying Neurology. Any particular reason you chose this field?

    Ha. It’s the basis of what makes us human. Everything we define as “being”, we can find in the study of neurology. It’s one of the growing fields, and the hardest to study. You mix all of those elements together and it seemed pretty obvious what field I wanted to dive into.

    – Everything you’ve provided so far has sounded rather positive. What do you think is your greatest weakness?

    Oh, putting me on the spot. I’d have to say my temper. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I have a tendency to get angry if I meet an obstacle I can’t conquer. My mom said it’s a quality inherited from my father.

    – Let’s shift gears for a moment. Do you have a girlfriend, a lot of friends?

    I’ve never been a recluse or anything like that, but I stay so focused that my social life always seems to take a hit. I date a few times in high school and college, but nothing ever panned out. Too much of a time investment.

    While studying neurology, I developed some close relationships with my classmates. I guess when you’re in a group of people who are driving towards one goal, it’s easier to develop a relationship with them.

    —————

    Wow, I loved that exercise. It’s funny because as I was writing the interview, I felt as though I fell into the trap of what you mentioned. Letting the plot, and story drive what my characters are. Conducting this interview definitely gave me direction I didn’t even think of taking before. Hope you enjoyed

    • Glad you liked it, Johnny!

      It looks like you were able to open some an avenue or two to your story, but the real question is this: did you learn something new about your character?

      • Johnny Vinson says:

        Most definitely. It’s funny, because as I was writing the interview it dawned on me how my story didn’t really have a character at all. I kind of fell into the “great idea” trap you mentioned, where I really wanted to just get my idea written down in script form. Without even giving thought to who was really going to be in it.

        Just with these first three posts, I’ve already learned quite a bit.

  5. I’ve got to say I’m really loving this website.

    It’s got me more enthused about writing than ever and tips like this will really help me with my screen writing too.

    I’m working on a comic book that’s a little bit Alias meets Dollhouse.
    But I wont pitch it now as I belive that’s next weeks lesson 😀

    So here is the interview I conducted with one of the main characters:

    AW What’s your name?

    LA It’s Lisa, Lisa Adams… and yours?

    AW Erm… It’s Adam actually.

    LA Ha, no way, neat.

    AW Where do you come from Lisa?

    LA Around L.A mostly. I got moved quite a bit.

    AW Your parents kept moving house?

    LA No, I kept moving parents.

    AW Oh I’m sorry, so you were a foster kid?

    LA Hey it’s cool, I’m 23 now and it wasn’t all bad. I lucked out with some nice digs here and there, could have been worse.

    AW So where do you live now?

    LA What? You want an address? Cause I got a tell you I’m in a pretty sweet relationship right now!

    AW What? No… I meant…

    LA Relax, I’m just yanking your chain. I’ve got an apartment in New York. It’s not exactly upper-eastside but we get along ok.

    AW You and your boyfriend?

    LA Yeah, Jack. He’s really sweet and treats me best he can. It’s… normal… you know?

    AW I think so. Moving on. What are your super powers?

    LA What are my what now?

    AW Erm… sorry wrong interview. What do you do for a job?

    LA Well that’s in a bit of flux at the minute! You see I’m just about to start this new job, that’s kind of like my old job, which I kind of got fired from for not being very good at, so… ask me again in a week!

    AW Are you an active person? Do you like sports?

    LA I feel pretty athletic, but to be honest I’ve no clue why? I don’t think I’ve played sports since it was mandate.

    AW So what do you do for fun?

    LA I don’t know? I’m always kind of busy. Jack’s constantly surprising me with things to do so I never really get a chance to be bored?

    AW So you have a pretty busy social life? Do you have plenty of friends?

    LA I used to. But since I moved to New York it’s mostly just me and Jack! Although we sometimes go out with his friends from work.

    AW So what made you move to New York?

    LA I’m not sure, it just kind of happened. Then I met Jack and I decided to stick around.

    AW You’ve talked a lot about Jack. How did you meet him?

    LA Erm… I can’t really remember… I just kind of did. Wait… is that weird? That seems kind of weird?!?

    AW It does seem weird. But thanks for taking the time for the interview again, it’s been enlightening.

    LA Sure, no probs it’s… wait? Why were you interviewing me again??

    AW OK, take care now. BYE.

  6. Conner MacDonald says:

    You sounded like a spam bot for a sex site there Yannick.

    “Lots of interesting and interested folks over at the Comixtribe. They even go Greek. *winks*”

    Seriously though come and join us Adam.

  7. Conner MacDonald says:

    There’s such thing as going to far Yannick.

  8. Paula says:

    Hi! I’m really, really late to the discussion, but I only just found this site yesterday. There’s too much good stuff here to skip around, so I’m starting at the beginning of the series. 🙂 Thanks for putting this up here – Comics are a new media for me.

    Here’s my interview with my main character, Penance Copper. She’s reserved at first, but warms up if given a safe space.

    Interview with Pen.

    Q: So, what’s your name?
    Penance Grace Copper. Call me Pen.
    Q: That’s… different. 
    Yeah. I think my mom belonged to a cult. 
    Q: Oh? Tell me about her. 
    She died when I was six. I remember… her hair was soft and brown. She smelled like vanilla and cinnamon. She sang weird songs, wore a little cross around her neck. She blew up lightbulbs and fuse boxes sometimes. 
    Q. She what? 
    You know, when she was upset. The air would charge up and blam! Things go dark, we get the flashlight, we fix the fuse box. 
    Q. What about your dad? 
    Acid. I don’t know his real name. He killed her and took me away. 
    Q. …
    Q. How would you describe yourself?
    Um. Homeless chic? I like nice things, used to shoplift, but I can’t keep anything nice. My hair is brown, kinda red in the sun, my eyes are mostly green. And I’m real pale, I don’t tan, I don’t burn.
    Q. Anything else? 
    I generate a kind of plasma field around my body, and I’m pretty strong. I’m a good fighter, been training most my life. I live clean, not like some of those other guys. They wash up too quick, get caught on bad days, end up passed out in the middle of a crime scene just in time for the cops to show up. And that’s the *nice* retirement plan.
    Q. So you’re a fighter?
    Not really. Not the honest kind, with fans (Grins quickly, shyly). I’ve worked intimidation, bodyguard, diversion, vandalism… Acid’s idea. He’s got clients. That gig to kill a guy, though… I couldn’t do it. That’s why I’m here. It’s gonna keep getting worse, the longer I let him control me. 
    Q. You look so young. 
    Don’t tell anybody, I’m sixteen. I can’t join the what-you-call, the good guys that defend the planet? Not until I’m eighteen. Right now they don’t know. Didn’t stop them from putting me on probation, though. 
    Q. Why are you on probation? 
    Um, that gig where I was supposed to kill a guy? He’s one of them. And I don’t know if he’s gonna be okay. He’s half-alien, has this force field he makes, and something about my plasma field messed him up real bad. I feel awful, but… not many people believe that.
    Q. Moving on… What’s something you really want?
    Promise you won’t tell anybody? 
    Q.  Nobody in your universe will hear it. 
    I kinda always wanted a kitty.
    Q. A kitty? That’s a big secret deal? 
    You don’t want to know what Acid did to my last pet. He’s sick. I told you, I can’t have anything. Anything I love gets destroyed. People, friends, boyfriend? Not even on the radar. What I really want? I want to not have everybody I talk to die. I want to not always wonder what the real game is. I want… normal. School. Maybe not school. I’m not going to get normal. Maybe I can get a GED. Maybe a boyfriend. (another quick shy grin). He’d have to be ten feet tall and bulletproof, though.
    Q. I’m almost afraid to ask. What’s your biggest secret? Is it wanting a kitty? 
    Heh. Well, I don’t want to come off as stupid or anything, but… I’ve never been to school. Kidnapped by a psycho at six years old, and all. It’s a miracle I can read. My mom taught me, I think. I don’t remember how. We used to read together. I still know the Lord’s Prayer. 
    I learned weird stuff – game theory applied to combat, bits of science from the wackos who experiment on people like me, counting cards in poker, the current price per gram of… never mind. 
    Hey, don’t look at me like that. I’m a new person, I have a new life. I… I can do this. I don’t have to be the person Acid was trying to make me into. All I have to do is lay low for … the rest of my life. 
    I know, didn’t work for my mom either. 
    Fine then. 
    I’m going to be good. I’m going to be the opposite of Acid. And if I go out, it’s gonna be with a bang. 

  9. Jason High says:

    First, let me say that I’m finding your column invaluable. I’ve written on and off for years and always wanted to write comic books, but just never thought it was a realistic goal. I’ve finally decided to start working an idea that I’ve had for a couple of years, and I’m reading all of your columns sequentially for help.

    So here’s my question: I’m trying to do a character interview for the main character of my story. She’s a 17-year old girl named Jada Ferrari. My struggle is that who she is in the beginning of the story is dramatically different than who she is going to become. She starts the story as a spoiled brat who, after losing everything very early on, matures and develops into a hero.

    So which character should I be interviewing, the spoiled brat or the hero? Both?

    Your thoughts would be most helpful. Thanks for all of the great work.

    • Hello, Jason.

      First, I want to say thanks for the kind words. They’re truly appreciated. I am extremely happy that you’re finding the columns useful.

      To answer your question: personally, I wouldn’t do two interviews. What I would do is a single interview of the older phase of the character, but it would be an in-depth interview going as far back as necessary to get her thoughts of herself as she was then, and compare and contrast it to who she is now.

      That’s just me. Remember this, though: I’m lazy.

      Hope that helps!

      • Tyler James says:

        This is an interesting question, Jason. Thinking about a great character…let’s use Walter White from Breaking Bad for an example. Clearly, he’s a character that is in a far far different place in Season Five than he was in Season One…and yet, there are a lot of things about his character and personality that haven’t changed a bit. His ego for example…so much of it was all there in season one, buried under the surface.

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