Screenwriting : Character Development/Backstory by Brandon Flemmings

Brandon Flemmings

Character Development/Backstory

How much character development do you do? Paragraph? Page or Pages? Or let them come to life on their own?

Gabriel Perez

Depends on what exactly your goal for them is. Personally I have a paragraph of what at the moment I want from them and then decide how it affects the story. Remember that you might get a random Oh this might be good moment when thinking of a situation.

J Medina

Sometimes I sprinkle things into the description of the action which helps the reader understand the character. For example, I might write something like this: "John looks right through her, much as he has every other woman in his life."

Brandon Flemmings

Thanks for the input, everyone! When I first started writing, I let the characters come to life on their own without really fleshing them out. Now, I'm doing paragraphs to maybe a page of backstory and motives. But don't get me wrong, letting the characters form on their own is pretty fun.

Becky Fink

For my last script, I wrote out the story as told from the perspective of each of characters. I found this really helped flush out what each character is feeling in each part of the story, and it helped me form the characters and their dialogue based on that. I do like to write a page or two of backstory too, but just to get an idea of where the characters are coming from, so I can tell where they're going, if that makes sense. But my scripts are usually more character-driven anyway, so I might spend more time on developing that aspect of my script than other writers with different focuses would. If you subscribe to the notion that every character believes the story revolves around them, you can come up with some pretty interesting characters fairly easily.

Aray Brown

Me too John

Shawn Speake

The further I get down the writing road the more I realize, with the help of my co-writers/producers, that it's all about the backstory. The A Story is the result of the backstory's climax. More backstory the better!

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