Fever: About Characters
I get into creative fevers a lot when I go through major emotional issues in my life. It helps me to get out all my problems by using my own personal relationships with others as the basis. I don’t use anyone’s name, nor do I ever directly comment on something, but I try and give characters I write a little piece of myself.
I guess the truth is that every character that one person makes or writes is part of them, part of how they feel, and part of their mentality about life. Granted, some characterizations go further than others, but most of them tend to come out like you think they would.
In some cases, you have to step outside your comfort zone to approach a character. For instance, say I’m writing a teleplay about a Serial Killer. I would have to put myself in the killer’s position and figure out what makes him tick, how he would make himself believe that what he was doing was alright, and his reasons for doing what he’s done. For the most part, a villainous character usually is villainous out of a sense of Narcissism or Insecurity. It helps to know a little bit about psychology when approaching characters such as these.
So despite all of this, there are characters that have no moral compass, but they feel incomplete. The Joker is one of those rare exceptions, but the reason why is because he just is what he is. We take him at face value, and we get exactly what we expect, which is why the character is so dangerous. We don’t really know what is going on the back of his head, why he does what he does, but he just does it anyway, if only to see what happens. This was brilliantly used as the basis for the character in The Dark Knight, which is why it was so resonant with so many people.
In my experience, people in general are characters, myself included. There are reasons why I act the way I do, things I will and won’t talk about, things that have happened that I regret, and so on. But that’s what makes me interesting, and makes most people so interesting to me. Almost always, we never know someone’s back history going into a situation. It would be much easier to handle if we did, but that’s the beauty of NOT knowing. It is a challenge to go into any situation, even just going to the supermarket. I’m not saying personally, but you understand what I’m going on about. The point is that decisions we make, challenges we overcome, they shape us and make us more into people.