Thursday, December 3, 2009

TODAY'S 2nd NUGGET: Flaws vs. Goals vs. Motives

I'm still wrestling with yesterday's comedy spec.

Yesterday, I wrote that I couldn't find the character's flaws. FLAW = what the character is supposed to learn by the end of the film.

Today it occurred to me why I'm struggling. The writer got so wrapped up in making the character overcome a flaw, that he forgot to complete the GOAL & give the character a solid MOTIVE, both which he lacks.

The character's supposed motive is to stay employed at a company in construction. His goal is to stay there so he can build one of his own buildings.

By the end of the script, he solves his flaw, but doesn't reach his goal. . . suddenly his motive is flimsy. I didn't believe he really wanted to stay there. There wasn't enough at stake for him. Why not move to another company?

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Writing is really hard b/c characters are doing multiple things at once. Make sure they have 1)a flaw to overcome while 2) reaching for a goal and 3) keeping the motive/stakes in the forefront. Easy, right?

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