1. Ron Aberdeen
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    Ron Aberdeen Banned

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    Finding Characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ron Aberdeen, Jul 6, 2010.

    I write screenplays, mostly to indulge my wayward creativity but occasionally for a film producer or director as a commission.

    The commissions are always a challenge as normally it involves taking somebody else’s idea and turning them into a commercially viable screenplay.

    Although that does occupy the creative juices, to a degree, they have to be controlled to fit within the parameters of another person’s limitations.

    Yesterday I had the luxury of sitting in a Costa Coffee Shop at an Airport for two hours, waiting for my wife to return from visiting her family in France. As usual the flight was delayed.

    As a writer, pen and paper or at least a laptop accompany me everywhere, so I had an opportunity to do some creative doodling. What a wonderful canvas for an imaginative mind, watching people wait and then greet friends and relatives arriving from all over the world.

    To me, all great stories exist because of interesting characters. At an Airport the supply of possible candidates for the next intriguing, mysterious character is endless.

    Writers should be observers with a blank mind at the ready to create the next James Bond, Miranda Priestly or Hannibal Lector.

    I saw them all yesterday going or coming from somewhere.

    James on entering the arrival lounge immediately contacted M on his iPhone as Miranda strutted past with her girlie entourage dressed in Vivien Westwood ensembles’ following in her wake.

    The Lector look-a-like (without the mask) leered on as he selected his next victim.

    I was amused by the old guy in his Bermuda shorts with his Wensleydale Sheep legs exposed to the elements.

    The young couple who had obviously been apart for so long that the young man was devouring the girl’s neck in a copy-cat Vampire attack while she studied the deco of the airport ceiling.

    Not forgetting woman who removed a sweater from her exploding suitcase and then struggled controlling her escaping clothes for the next hour.

    People often ask me where do I get my ideas from, and I always answer the same, “from other people”.
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a great people watcher, too. I never get bored going in to work on the bus or ferry. It's great that people have loud, unabashed conversations on their cellphones all the time these days--lots of chance to eavesdrop.

    Have you read 'Arrivals and Departures' by Leslie Thomas? It's set in an airport with lots of behaviour like you describe.
     
  3. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    I agree mad; watching people is the BEST way to gleam ideas for your story :)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've been an inveterate people-watcher since earliest childhood, so am never without ideas for characters or stories...

    ron...
    just wondering... is your imdb credits listing up to date?
     
  5. BecauseIWasBored
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    BecauseIWasBored New Member

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    I agree, I've gotten some great ideas from listening to conversations on the bus and observing the people around me. That's probably why quite a few of the characters end up reminding me of people I know. XD
     
  6. theSkaBoss
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    theSkaBoss Member

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    I don't get my characters from reality, I don't think. Nowadays, my characters are entirely my brainchildren. Take that any way you want, but when I look around, I wouldn't subject the good people of this world to the worlds, universe, and dimensions that my character's live in. I have to tailor my characters to their setting, and my settings are certainly not Earth as you know it.
     
  7. Ron Aberdeen
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    Ron Aberdeen Banned

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    Personally I don’t know how it is possible to create anything without the influence of your environment, the people you have met, the loves of your life, the books you have read, the places you have visited and even the films you have watched.

    Our subconscious observations manipulate our creative thoughts without us being aware of the effect on our reasoning.

    No matter what world you create you can only create it because of what you know, not what you don’t.

    The opening from my poem Behind the Frozen Waterfall is as far from reality as you can get but only because I knew what reality was in the first place.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    true, but in today's world, it's easier than ever to add to what we 'know' at will, thanks to books, film, tv and the internet...
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can definitely understand that! :p I'd say my characters are a mixture of real people inspiration, while leaning more towards being my brainchild. :p
     
  10. Ron Aberdeen
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    Ron Aberdeen Banned

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    Precisely, once you have read the books, seen TV and movies and researched on the web, you use information that you have gathered to create your invention, creature, world or character.

    Man cannot create the future without knowing the past.
     

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