Monday, February 1, 2010

BOOK CLUB: How You Order Coffee (Ch. 26)

[Today we're reading Ch. 26 How to Create Characters That Are Really Really Really Alive, from Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters, by Michael Tierno (2002).]

In this chapter, the author writes that Aristotle considered 5 areas that make up a person’s psychology, & thus can be useful in creating characters:

1. Nutritive Life – eating habits
2. Desiring Life – hero’s desires
3. Sensitive Life – 5 senses
4. Locomotion – how they move
5. Capacity for Rational Thought – irrational vs. rational

I found this helpful, as I’m always looking for new ideas to express a character through action.

I hadn’t thought about eating habits, nor the 5 senses. But if you think about it, how someone orders a coffee tells you a lot about their mental state.

Ex. “Coffee, black.” Vs. “I’d like a choco choco chip moccachino with whipped cream, but real cream, not the kind in a can, & I’ll take carob chips if you have them, but if not, then regular chips are ok.”

WHAT I’VE LEARNED: I don’t drink coffee. Maybe I'll have my character order something non-caffeinated in a coffee shop.

[DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked, nor paid, to read or comment on this book.]

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