Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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The Strike Is On...

...and I'm not busting my ass to get to work while I'm on light duty. I've already talked to one of my managers about it, and since I'm not doing "productive work" I won't be required to be there. And it is going to be a madhouse out there, even in the outer boroughs, so I'm staying in. I'm not at my one hundred percent still, I know it's been a while since the operation, but if I twist wrong or get touched in the wrong place it is extraordinarily unpleasant. And the cold weather isn't helping either.

It may be a good day to go see King Kong.

Hey, that means that if anybody wants to call me, go right ahead.

Drusilla Goes To College

suitboyskin, we never got around to having that discussion last night, although I'm reading your Dru post right now. I liked your point about how fictional characters come personality first and history second, which makes them the opposite of people. Because there was so much evolution of the characters in Ecology, it didn't really occur to me to think of it this way, but it's true. We filled in the background based upon what we worked out about the character, making it consistent with what they're like at the time of the story that we were telling.

I've always compared it to a drawing; you start by sketching the general shapes, then you form those shapes into a face, then you shade the face to make it appear three dimensional. Looking at the creation of a character from a psychological standpoint, you see it reach a certain state of functioning (in a writerly sense, which is not so different from the social sense - you can successfully put a character in a scene to interact with other characters), and then you gradually work backwards from there to round out who they are with where they came from.

While authors often regard characters they've created somewhat parentally, in a practical sense, writing characters is more like befriending people than it is like, say, raising children. When you meet somebody new, you learn what they are. As you get to know them better, you begin to understand why they are what they are. A fictional character's function in the story comes first, their personality then fills out, along with their history, and so the author's perception parallels a deepening friendship.

It also makes it clearer to me why those prospective "ten years later" ideas we were idly toying with once never really stuck. The characters were designed to get to a certain point. That is the point that we see in the film. Beyond that, they serve no purpose as the story is over. What is interesting is that I've seen this happen. It is also evident in the writing of television series that have gone on too long, or sequels that are rendered pointless by being an afterthought, like Alien³ and The Godfather Part III.
Tags: buffy/angel, ecology, new york, subway
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