1. Mask
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    Mask Member

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    Explaining a Character to Another Artist

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Mask, Mar 28, 2013.

    I was wondering... if you have a writer working on a film, or a comic, or whichever else--how do they convey what a character is like, effectively? With visual media, the body language, voice and appearance of a character has a huge effect on how they are portrayed to the audience--so it's important the writer and the actor/artist are on the same wavelength.

    What I'm wondering is... do you just have them read your story? Perhaps you write out a version of the story which is clear about what they're thinking and feeling at various points, so they can get a grasp of the characters, and communicate that via body language?


    Anyone have experience in this, or has thought about the subject?
     
  2. C996
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    C996 New Member

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    I think the second idea, that of an annotated visual friendly script is a great idea. A very good artist might be able to divine great stage directions from an unaltered book but I think it would be a great help to a director, improving both the quality of the work and its fidelity to your visions, you know your characters the best.
     
  3. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    I'm a little confused by this but,

    I think what tends to happen is a screenwriter writes an adaptation. That adaptation becomes their work, and it's their name that will appear as the writer for the film. That said, you will be credited as the source of the adaptation. From little stories I've heard and read, a screenwriter will normally examine you and work with you, so they get the best idea of how to pull it off.

    Comic books are completely different, there isn't much point to having subtle gestures, people simply won't see it.

    If you like fantasy you should read Robert Jordan's wheel of time. He has a real knack for gestures in the writing. His descriptive beats add a great deal to the tone of the dialogue, without actually spelling it out. I have also noticed that the characters he writes have little ticks and mannerisms that are unique to each.
     
  4. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    The Wheel of Time would be my first suggestion as well. Also on the same topic, i liked Peter V. Brett's The Demon Cycle (or The Warded Man in some areas), where you can see enough gestures and mannerisms of the characters to more or less imagine them talking as you read on. Another good example of the same genre is Brent Weeks's The Night Angel trilogy.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    screenwriters convey a character's character with a very brief description when the character first appears, then their actions and dialog do the rest...

    a comedian would use his/her own body language, accent/dialog et al., to actually 'become' the character...

    writers of fiction have a much more difficult task, than the comedian, since their readers must visualize the characters in their mind based on how the writer describes them, whereas the comic 'is' the character...

    but it's much easier for them to pull off than it is for the screenwriter, since novelist/short story writers have as many words at their disposal as they need for the job, while a script has to be 'lean and clean' to fit a whole movie into only 110 pages...
     
  6. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Warded man is called The painted man here for some reason. It's funny you brought Brett up because I'd never heard of him until about a month ago when I stumbled upon the painted man in a book shop. After reading a few pages and was really intrigued and liked his style, but I was in a rush and, then couldn't find it at my library. I'll get them to hunt it down for me, I think.
     

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