While posting about “I’m not Rappaport”, it occurred to me that it’s really the conversations/dialogue that have drawn me to most of my favorite films. 12 Angry Men, Pulp Fiction, Chasing Amy, Before Sunrise/Before Sunset…all have this thing in common — really good writing that resulted in really good conversations. And I’m not talking of just witty repartee, but really drawn out, substantive dialogue: philosophical exchanges, personality-revealing rants, insightful processing of experiences, sharing of sometimes-silly, other-times-wistful observations about people and life and the world.
I am seeing now that key to coming up with a gem of a conversation is knowing my characters. What do they like and dislike? What kinds of experiences have they had? How do they view themselves? How do they view others? What principles do they live by? What are their aspirations, their hopes, their frustrations?
As if to give me affirmation, this just popped out of Twitter.
I found a couple of worksheets to get me started with developing my characters. Watch out as they emerge, one by one, in the next…uhm, weeks, months, perhaps? I will of course take all the time I need — not that doing so would guarantee great results — as this would be my maiden attempt.
I’m quite excited now.