Well, folks, turns out writing is a whole lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
This past week, I’ve been focused on developing my characters, emphasis on “my.” Though my characters come from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, my TV show characters can’t just be her’s; they need to be nuanced and feature my own spin on Lizzie, Jane, Mr. Darcy, etc. Which is where the struggle comes in. Austen created such iconic and well thought out characters that adding any traits to them almost feels sacrilegious. How do I add to Elizabeth without completing changing what makes her so loveable? First, I had to identify what I thought were unexplored aspects of each character. For example, Elizabeth is usually seen as more “prejudiced” than “prideful” in adaptations. Then, I needed to figure out how those traits would manifest. Sticking with the same example, Elizabeth needs to look down upon her younger sisters and mother, force her older sister into situations she really doesn’t want to be in, talk over or completely ignore other people. And now that Elizabeth more obviously has a big ego, it makes more sense why she’s immediately prejudiced against people who disagree with her.
Beyond Elizabeth, I’ve decided to make characters more awkward and exaggerated which makes for more entertaining television. One major issue I had with the novel was that characters were suave, and had the most perfect retort, and were cool and collected. In other words, they weren’t very relatable. Real people stumble over their words and think of a good response hours after an argument and do not have their life together.
To create my #quirky and #relatable characters, I decided to just go ham with their descriptions, giving them the most obscure traits. For example, Elizabeth cannot keep anything alive; in fact, there’s a mini graveyard of all the pets she’s killed all marked ‘Death by Bennet’. Mr. Darcy doesn’t know anything about pop culture but by god does he know books. Mrs. Bennet is so animated that even looking at her makes you tired.
That’s what I’ve been doing for the past week: specifying what vegetables Elizabeth dislikes and what books she’s read. I’ve also been studying plot structure in comedies which follow the traditional A-plot, B-plot, and C-plot and understanding how each of the plot lines relates to one another. As I work on that for the week ahead, please enjoy my character sheets and (practically) completed bible that I mentioned last time:
This week, I’ve been listening to the Captain Marvel soundtrack because it’s so good and spacey and amazing and I love it. I’ve been particularly enjoying ‘Let’s Bring Him Home’! (I’d include a picture but WordPress is being difficult)