Thursday, July 1, 2010

Character Development

When we create characters we need to consider who they are in their entirety. What do they look like; how do they dress; what are their relationships with other people; and what do they want? Every decision we make is calculated.

The same might be said about individuals with a public persona. I mean publicists, PR specialists, and campaign managers all carefully craft the information flow and the appearance of those in the limelight.

That's why we're always shocked when a person behaves "out of character" (e.g. Tiger Woods, John Mayer). In writing, inauthentic dialogue and actions by a character can be downright devastating; it can make someone stop reading altogether. We know these people, don't we?

That's what's so interesting about multiple points of view: We get to know what characters are thinking and what others think about them. We understand them more fully... but what if characters just came out and said everything they were thinking? What if they explained all of their motivations? Would it be refreshing or frustrating, intimate or intimidating? I suppose it depends on who's talking.

In the case of this spoof video (once you get past the 30 second intro), it's just funny as hell:

1 comment:

  1. Politicians would gain more trust from the American public if they were honest and straight forward with voters (maybe not as honest as this video). While the hyper partisan atmosphere in the United States is one of the reasons for the disintegrating political discourse – the 24 hour news cycle is mostly to blame. With politics becoming more and more about the “gotcha” moment and the 15 second sound bite rather then the style and the substance, it has to be hard to get press unless they slip up and say something wrong. How do you really get to know what they are thinking in 15 seconds? To cut through all the crap – there are a few key words to listen for to know if a politician is telling you the truth. If you hear any of the following key words or phrases, you are not getting the whole story:

    • “I have decided to not run for reelection because I want to spend more time with my family.”
    • “I voted for the bill before I voted against it.”
    • “I want to go to Washington to represent family values.”
    • “I want to change the partisan atmosphere in Washington.”
    • “I have no interest in running for President.”