Characterization Lessons from Pop Culture

Saw this re-blogged on Misha Burnett’s site, gave it a read, and loved it — it has some great insights into modern superhero films, not to mention advice we can carry over into our own writing/editing. Check it out!

Drew Chial

1. Narcissist

Audiences love watching characters in dire situations work their way out. We want to believe that with enough determination anyone can lift themselves up by their own bootstraps. More than that, we want to believe that people have the power to look inward and turn themselves into someone better.

A character’s growth should account for shifts in his attitude, but if his personality does a complete 180 it will affect his believability.New situations should nurture the hero’s evolution, while his nature should remain the same. Inconsistencies in the hero’s essence will feel like a betrayal to the audience. The more the hero changes, the more parts of them need to remain the same.

Allow me to illustrate my point with a sampling of references pulled from pop culture: from Bill Murray’s filmography, to panned superhero movies, and the Star Wars rereleases.

What Bill Murray Teaches Writer’s About Constructing Characters

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Categories: Random | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Characterization Lessons from Pop Culture

  1. Basically, never forget that Han shot first.

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