Screenwriting 2: “Characters” by J. West

Thursday, November 7th, 2013|Guest posts, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity

 

FADE IN:

INT. LOUNGE – DAY

JAC (40s) wannabee screenwriter -- scratches her head, and
slurps coffee. She takes a moment before bashing on the
laptop keyboard.

                    JAC
          Characters... characters.

ALFIE (5) cat, local, writing consultant -- is curled up, on
the back of the sofa. He tries miserably, not to nod off.
                    JAC
          Are you even awake?
                    ALFIE
          Yep. I’m with you. Mow.
                    JAC
          So once you have the bare bones of
          your story, it’s time to flesh it
          all out.
                    ALFIE
          My intelligent side says eww. My
          feline side says yummm...

Jac ignores the silly kitty.

                    JAC
          So, fuzzy, smarty pants, how do you
          write characters?
                    ALFIE
          Base them on smart cats you know?
          That’s me of course, not you.
                    JAC
          Ha. You could do. I hate to admit,
          some reality T.V. shows have a
          great range of entertaining peeps.
                    ALFIE
          Let’s not get silly here.

The two exchange a look.

                    JAC
          For me, it’s a combination of their
          words in their dialogue. And what        
          they do, in the action lines. One
          has to back the other up. The
          combination can create a real,
          three dimensional person.
                    ALFIE
          So it’s not great to have them say
          they’re sad, then go dancing, all
          merry like.
                    JAC
          Not really. Plus, you actually want
          to avoid people saying outright,
          exactly how they feel.
                    ALFIE
          Wait? What, you wouldn’t?

Jac shakes her head, and points to her nose.

                    ALFIE
          Doesn’t make much sense to me, and
          makes writing peeps doubly hard.
                    JAC
          Yep. But we’ll tackle dialogue next
          time. With characters you do need
          to concentrate on showing quirks,
          flaws and all.
                    ALFIE
          Claws and all.
                    JAC
          Geeze, you’re in a daft mood today.
                    ALFIE
          I would work better, if you fed me,

         perhaps.

                    JAC
          Too early, but nice try.
                    ALFIE
          Meh. So reality sucks. Ergo.
          Question!

Alfie shoots a leg up. Duly cleans said leg.

                    ALFIE
          Do all characters have to be real

         like?

        JAC
          Depends. For comedy for instance,
          or even horror at times, you can
          get away with less developed
          people. But I think, for any story,
          especially like a drama, it helps
          to have your characters grounded on
          convincing personality traits.
                    ALFIE
          Hmm. Interesting... so they can be
          as simple or complex as you want.
          Use yourself, and what would you do
          in that situation. Like method
          acting, darling...
                    JAC
          Whatever suits the story needs.
                    ALFIE
          Well I can tell you now, this furry
          character needs feeding.
                    JAC
          You, my kitty friend, have a one

         track mind.

                    ALFIE
          No. I also think a lot about
          sleeping.

Alfie yawns.

                    ALFIE
          And as exciting as this chat is, I
          might just close my eyes for a
          while. But please believe me, when
          I tell you that I’m listening, that
          I’m not.

         JAC

    Thanks.

                    ALFIE
          You may pay me in tuna.

Jac snaps the laptop shut in a huff.

                                       FADE OUT.

 

Author: J. West

 

NOTE: Unfortunately blogging platforms don’t allow to maintain the typical screenwriting format, and it’s why the page formatting is out of sync. Please, open the following links to see the script as it should be.

Page 1 - Page 2Page 3 - Page 4