Monthly Archives: April 2010

Story vs Character?

I’ve decided to dust off the blog and instead of waiting a long time until I’ve got a feature-length essay ready, I’m going for a bite-size approach.

Anyway, I’ve finally been moved to write because I keep coming across scripts with a similar problem and that is story and characters that are totally divorced from each other.  For me, the best drama and comedy feels as if the story being told has come directly out of the characters involved in it.  Now, it might not have started out that way, you may have a come up with a great story and then figured out some characters to place in it.  When it’s finished though, your script should read as if that story is unique to those characters.  The story of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ only works with those two characters, or least characters very like them.  Put Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing (feisty, sarcastic, self-obsessed, cynical) into that story and it jars – you don’t believe that story for those characters. 

Lots of people argue about which is more important in a script, story or character, but my answer is BOTH!  With great characters and no story I get bored, with great story and poor or inappropriate characters I don’t believe it and I don’t care.  Create compelling characters and give them a great story that is personal to them, now you’ve got me interested.  Easy? No. But essential to the success of your script? Definitely.

Let me know what you think and what kind of stuff you’d like me to blog