Friday, October 2, 2015

Characters Who Surprise

There are so many things to talk about when you get to thinking about character. We want characters who surprise us--in a good way. By that I mean not in a WTF way--that character would never act like that. Or, I don't understand at all why that character would do what he did or think what he thought. One of the surest ways to lose a reader is to have them feel a character is inauthentic, that he is doing things because the author needs him/her to do them. But a real surprise that fits with the character, those can really involve a reader.

One way to do this is to have the character play against a certain Trope. See this clip from Firefly for a great example of this. The hero acts in a very different way than most heroes and it both reveals characters and entertains...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPRlHwwVIug

Another way to do this is to make a character act against some controlling belief they have in themselves. Like they think they're evil and they have done lots of evil things because of this. But some shift in the plot causes them to see the event or time that makes them believe themselves evil in a different light. This causes them to do something that is surprising and different and that also makes their character grow. Anytime a character's actions can advance both character and plot, that's a good thing.

Another way to make a character different (and so surprising) is just to put a character in a situation that would usually be taken by a different kind of character. Make a Buffy a vampire slayer instead of the heroic warrior or make a detective have some personality trait that seems like it would make it hard for them to do the job but, in fact, also helps them to do it. For example, MONK. Not your usual tough-guy detective and interesting because of that.

In screenwriting there is this idea that audiences love the familiar and strange in plot. They want to recognize the type of story they're being told but they want to have twists to it that make them feel they're watching something that is also completely new. I think this is something to shoot for with characters. And one aspect of that is creating surprises.



32 comments:

Susan L. Lipson, Author & Writing Teacher said...

Another example from TV: Carrie, the hero of "Homeland," who is bipolar and handles classified information and highly dangerous missions. Imperfect characters are more memorable than perfect ones, I think.

Brian Yansky said...

Good example, Susan. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for this great read. Your blog is one of the finest blog . Thanks for posting this informative article.
business writing process

Anonymous said...

have read many blogs in the net but have never come across such a well written blog. Good work keep it up
Contract Automation

Jr. Williams said...

Hi there, I just wanted to say thanks for this informative post, can you please allow me to post it on my blog?
Research Paper Help

Unknown said...

wow i love t hat SO much... can i cut and paste it into my blog?? but give u credit, of course???
انجام پایان نامه کارشناسی ارشد

Brian Yansky said...

Feel free to repost. Thanks for asking. Sorry, I didn't see this sooner.
Brian

Jr. Williams said...

I think this post will be a fine read for my blog readers too, could you please allow me to post a link to my blog. I am sure my guests will find that very useful.
business writing process

Brian Yansky said...

Thanks so much, Jimmy, and to all who have commented!

Jr. Williams said...

Nicely presented information in this post, I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.
school Teacher Resume Writing

Unknown said...

I have been reading your posts regularly. I need to say that you are doing a fantastic job. Please keep up the great work.
uk essay writing

Unknown said...

Nicely presented information in this post, I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.
dissertation writing service

Jr. Williams said...

I like your post & I will always be coming frequently to read more of your post. Thank you very much for your post once more.
academic writing grammar

John Steven said...

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it.I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
dolls

Jhon Marshal said...

Your Post is very useful, I am truly happy to post my note on this blog . It helped me with ocean of awareness so I really consider you will do much better in the future.
Tutoring

Unknown said...

I have read many blogs in the net but have never come across such a well written blog. Good work keep it up
английский для начинающих

Farah Lie said...

Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! regards farahlie | farah | dvdkomiku

mehdi said...

لوله و اتصالات پليکا
لوله و اتصالات سفيد آب
لوله و اتصالات آب آشاميدني
لوله و اتصالات فاضلاب
upvc لوله و اتصالات
لوله و اتصالات يو پي وي سي
لوله و اتصالات پي وي سي
لوله و اتصالات پ پ
لوله و اتصالات پلي پروپيلن
pp لوله و اتصالات
لوله و اتصالات سبز
لوله و اتصالات پلي اتيلن
آبراهان پايپ
لوله آبراهان
کاسپين پليمر
لوله و اتصالات


ساخت ويلا در رامسر
طراحي ويلا در نور
طراحي ويلا در شهرک غرب
طراحي و ساخت ويلا در لواسان
طراحي و ساخت ويلا در بابلسر
طراحي حرفه اي ويلا
طراحي تخصصي ويلا
طراحي مدرن ويلا
طراحي ويلاي کلاسيک
طراحي داخلي ويلا
طراحي ويلا در مازندران
شرکت مهندسي معماري در شمال کشور
طراحي و ساخت ويلاهاي لاکچري
طراحي و ساخت ويلاهاي لوکس
طراحي و ساخت ويلا در انزلي
طراحي و ساخت ويلا در متل قو
آتليه تخصصي طراحي ويلا
بازسازي دکوراسيون ويلا در تهران
دکوراسيون داخلي ويلا در تهران
طراحي محوطه و فضاي سبز ويلا
طراحي و ساخت محوطه ويلا
شرکت معماري در شمال
ساخت ويلا
طراحي ويلا
نماي ويلا
ساخت ويلا در شمال
ساخت ويلا در نوشهر

mehdi said...

انجام پايان نامه
انجام پايان نامه کارشناسي ارشد
انجام پايان نامه ارشد
انجام پایان نامه دکتری
وايت برد
سئو سايت
وايت برد
انجام پايان نامه
انجام پايان نامه ارشد
انجام پايان نامه کارشناسي ارشد
دستگاه سنگ شکن
عينک آفتابي ريبن
عينک ريبن
وایت برد شیشه ای

braincarve said...

nice post...
Abacus institute Training Class in Chennai
Vedic Maths Classes in Chennai
Abacus Training Class in Chennai

Aixonne said...


طراحی فروشگاه اینترنتی در شیراز
شیراز سان با بیش از 10 سال سابقه و تجربه درخشان در زمینه ی
سئو
بهینه سازی موتور جست و جو
بهینه سازی سیستم فروش در فروشگاه اینترنتی
بازاریابی اینترنتی
تولید محتوا
دیجیتال مارکتینگ
برندینگ

BCL India said...

After School Activities franchise India is the best option to run a successful After School Activities franchise business. You can explore Brainy -A established and well known Institute.

education business opportunities in india

braincarve said...

nice post..
Abacus institute Training Class in Chennai
Vedic Maths Classes in Chennai
Abacus Training Class in Chennai
Low Cost Franchise Opportunities in chennai
education franchise opportunities
franchise opportunities in chennai

درج آگهی رایگان کافه نیاز said...

سایت درج آگهی رایگان کافه نیاز قصد دارد آگهی های رایگان شما را در این سایت ثبت کند و همچنین این سایت در زمینه رپورتاژ آگهی ارزان قیمت هم فعالیت می کند
https://kafeniaz.com
https://kafeniaz.com/page/13

Academic Assignment Writing said...

Please let me know if you're looking for a writer for your site. You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd absolutely love to write some material for your blog. Please send me an email if interested. Thank you!
how to start a research paper

crcmedia said...

خرید تنباکو
خرید تنباکوطبیعی
خرید تنباکوطعم دار
خرید تنباکوساده
خرید تنباکوآنلاین
خرید تنباکوساده
خرید تنباکوراحت
خرید تنباکوارزان
خرید تنباکومقرن به صرفه
خرید تنباکوسریع

TN Hindi said...

Ducat provides digital marketing training in noida as per the current industry standards. Our training programs will enable professionals to secure placements in MNCs. We are providing our world-class training facilities for all the students who want to become professional java developer.

kavyagaur said...

Your post is very great.i read this post this is a very helpful. i will definitely go ahead and take advantage of this. You absolutely have wonderful stories.Cheers for sharing with us your blog. python training in noida

SeoKing said...

معرفی سایت شرط بندی
معرفی سایت شرط بندی فوتبال
معرفی سایت پیش بینی فوتبال
معرفی سایت پیش بینی
بهترین سایت پیش بینی فوتبال
بهترین سایت شرط بندی فوتبال
بهترین سایت شرط بندی
لیست سایت شرط بندی
لیست سایت های معتبر شرط بندی
لیست سایت های معتبر پیش بینی
لیست سایت های معتبر پیش بینی فوتبال
سایت بازی انفجار
بازی انفجار
بازی رولت
سایت شرط بندی دنیا جهانبخت
سایت شرط بندی پویان مختاری
سایت شرط بندی محسن فروزان و همسرش
آموزش شرط بندی فوتبال
سایت شرط بندی پیام صادقیان
معرفی سایت های معتبر شرط بندی
معرفی کازینوی آنلاین
معرفی کازینوی آنلاین با درگاه پرداخت
بهترین کازینوی آنلاین ایرانی
بهترین کازینوی آنلاین ایرانی بت من
بهترین سایت شرط بندی تاک تیک
سایت شرط بندی هات بت
سایت شرط بندی حضرات
سایت شرط بندی تاینی بت
آموزش تخته نرد
سایت شرط بندی بت فوروارد
اصطلاحات بازی پوکر
آموزش پوکر
شرط بندی میکس
سایت شرط بندی ساشا صبحانی
سایت شرط بندی امیر تتلو
سایت شرط بندی تتل بت

Unknown said...

دارو کلیک یک فروشگاه اینترنتی محصولات بهداشتی و زیبایی به همراه تجهیزات پزشکی و محصولات ارتوپدی می باشد که باهدف تمرکز بر بالاترین کیفیت خدمات دهی به مشتریان و بهترین قیمت در ارائه ی محصولات ایجاد شد است. جهت درسترسی به فروشگاه از لینک زیر استفاده کنید.
دارو کلیک
داروکلیک | داروخانه اینترنتی | ارسال به سراسر ایران (daruclick.com)

شامپو مناسب موهای چرب - داروکلیک (daruclick.com)

دارو کلیک

Tamika baden said...

We are providing the best Zoho books accounting software in Pakistan, UAE, KSA Bahrain.

Zoho Books Pakistan

jes said...

Thank you for sharing valuable thoughts.
The right trainer will lead to a bright future for your kids. ADHD treatment in Chennai will provide the best core techniques for the brain. Giving the proper training for your kids' brain in the early stage itself will be great for kids' future. The training for the memory improvement techniques should be practiced at least 10- 15mitunes a day, their proper training will lead your kids towards the right path. These proper techniques will also give improvement to the concentration level. Other than this you can also give child concentration exercises so that they can do work without any distractions.