Wednesday, 3 March 2010

52 - Last action weirdo

When we create characters, how much responsibility do we take for their actions? Sometimes we create characters who have a set path and a set purpose; characters who are defined by their actions. But really we should be hoping to create characters that are so fleshed-out that we should know how they'll react to any scenario; characters whose personalities defines their actions, not the other way around.

Some of my characters have started behaving like dicks, and I think that's a good thing. We all behave like dicks from time to time, and to have characters behave thus makes them that little bit more human. I'm beginning to get a feel for how my characters will behave in certain situations, but how much is their reaction my responsibility?

I've been thinking of Last Action Hero in which the hero, Jack Slater, learns that he is fictional and, not only that, has been forced to live a hard life in which his son was cruelly murdered. He hates the films' writers for this.

When I purposefully dangle something good in front of a character, then snatch it away and torture them, that's my fault. I'm being sadistic to these people, even if they are fictional. But when I've created a character and know that they'll now start behaving like a dick to another, is that my responsibility? Or once my characters have become fully fleshed-out, do they have to start taking responsibility for their own actions?

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