Monday, August 9, 2010

The chick in the mirror, the characters on the page…

Has someone ever read one of your scripts and remarked, “that character is so like you!”? I’m sure this has happened to all writers at some stage – unless you only write about human skin-wearing psychopaths. And even then, I’m sure they could share some of your character traits :)

But I was thinking recently about how much of me goes into the people I write about. Do any of them share parts of my personality or are they all total figments of my imagination? And if everyone keeps saying the burned-out secretary with the multiple personalities is like your twin, should you be worried?

First of all, I LOVE writing the bad guys in my scripts. They’re the best – you can indulge all your fantasies about being an evil boss/mom/sociopath. I guess you could say the villains have all the best of my worst side, and it’s nice being able to express all that on the page instead of in person. People don’t really like it in real life when you randomly try to fire them, after all.

And the good guys? Well, they’re my best side, on a very good day, with a few shots inside me. They’re braver, more resourceful, better-looking and more patient than I will ever be – and I try to love them for that.

But my favourite characters of all are the characters in between. The people who aren’t perfect, who get sucked to the dark side but not too much. Who get dragged along with the hero and have to face their worst fears, even though they just want to sit on the sofa and watch some telly. The actual humans, in other words. They’re the characters I identify with and enjoy sitting down to write: because we’re never as great as our heroes or as evil as our villains. We’re somewhere in between, trying our best.

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