Birthing an Original: Characters & Story Integrity

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Authentic - true to ones own personality, spirit, or character; not false or imitation

Authenticity - the quality of being authentic; genuineness

So, if you read my last post, you know that I haven't written ANYthing in a very long time.  That being said, I'm finding it difficult to express the thoughts and actions of my characters in a realistic way.  

I came across an article (link below) that really helped me put this in to perspective. It described in depth 5 ways to get into the mind of a character: 

  1. Method Screenwriting - "[our] work is the door that is presented to the actors while the actors have the task of opening that door to explore further."
  2. Research - hearing from people who have actually lived through those situations 
  3. Atmosphere - having a sense of the locations in which your script is set elevates your storytelling 
  4. Imagination - "Only when you truly know your characters can you possibly write about how they react to any given situation or conflict that you throw at them. That’s what makes cinematic characters believable."
  5. Acting - "Written words aren't always cinematic..."  Make them believe it! 

I'm convinced that NONE of the above is possible unless you are absolutely honest with...you.  Thus, authenticity is KEY!  How can I expect my characters to open up to one another or work through their inner conflicts if I refuse to do the same?!   'Writing is rewriting' - very true.  I also believe that writing is walking down a very dark hallway full of memories you wish you could forget and feelings you swore you'd NEVER allow yourself to feel again. When executed from a genuine place, it can be the most raw, yet beautiful expression of the writers heart. It's healing, it's freeing, and it's what the story deserves. 

Whether your script is heavily dramatic, comical or somewhere in between, it's your duty as a writer to carry that story to full term and deliver a healthy, bouncing baby. And after you've birthed that authentic story, you and everyone else around you will fall in love at first read, and all of the discomfort of stretching yourself emotionally will disappear! (Or so I've heard lol)  You might even choose to take another trip down that hallway and see where other memories might lead you.  Either way, there are stories locked inside of you waiting to be told!  

"Feel the fear and do it anyway."
Whit