something that plagues writers, is character introduction. It’s the point in the story where you introduce somebody to the audience they have never met before. You need to establishment as multi-faceted with our pandering to the point. Ie: answering a questionare online about something so that the character has to enter all the information about them. Or simply hanging out with friends who seem to have the need to rehash everything that character has told them about themselves in the first few minutes for no real reason. The other problem is character consistency. One might argue against this vie character archs. This is a good point but ultimately invalid. If a character changes then those changes too must stay consistent. Even when a character battels with themselves in a who-I-am who_I_was fashion there still should remain some consistency in it. You establish parameters and stick to them no matter where the story leads you. You should never write a story to fit a character, on the other hand you should never change a character to fit a story. If somebody hates doughnuts you don’t have them go “Oh I’ll get them this morning maybe they aren’t as bad as I remember” just to have them in the right spot for a plot movment. That makes your character seem inconsistent and you as a writer apear inept in your ability to problem solve your own script.
I hate brining up other properties because I try not to make my critisisms and observations personal. It also dates anything I say in here by referencing a pop culture specific. That being said I saw something in an episode of the CWs “Arrow” the other day which reminded me of this exact thing. A show BTW that I really enjoy and is in fact one of my favorites on ATM. In this episode the main character was shown in a past situation in which a potentialy important plot point and future exploitable story element was revealed. The problem was, it was well established in the first season and into the second. That the main character was very much a spoiled rich kid who’d spit on you soon as give you the time of day. Not out of meaness but out of a self-centered attitude in which he saw nothing, but himself. In this episode the character shows real remorse and confliction for a situation in which he had gotten himself into. This showed (Even if it’s from self interest) remorse, compasion, and sympathy. Things it was established before he was sorely lacking even to his own immediate family. It was basicly a lighter version of who he was now in the show instead of more of a reflection of who he was established before. It’s a moment manufactured for the point of the story in which a character was “Bent” to fit a plot point. In an otherwise well written, and original show this was a glaring miscalculation which could easly have been avoided.
It’s tough to show character consistency in a single scene, so instead I am simply going to go with the problem of character introduction. Being as in any single scene I do, all characters are bieng “Introduced” it will be more a focus on an introduction under the guise of establishment for the benifit of future, if not fictional, fruits.
Int – Day
Airport terminaljust after the TSA screening. (Most likely screening and arrival were part of opening shots to the film, Score only)
Aria – male early 40s dressed buisness casual
Voice – elderly man late 80s riding a motorized chair with a large dark grey backpack on the back rack.
Aria picks up his carry on, a leather laptop bag with pockets and spaces for extra items. He walks up to a near by terminal/gate map to see where he is heading. He sees his gate and peeks out around the sign for a moment to visualize the path in real space and steps back in for a second glance to make sure things add up. He take a step around the sign to head to his gate when he hears a voice behind him off camera.
Voice: Excuse me can you tell me where gate 17 is please
Aria: Oh I’m sorry sir I don’t work here
Aria turns around to see an eldery gentleman on a powered scooter and bottlecap glasses.
Voice: Sorry I just can see as well as I used to, if you can just take a look and let me know what direction to head in I’d appreciate it
Aria: Oh course, sorry about that, just a bit nervous for my first flight I guess, don’t want to be late
Aria steps back to see the map again and finds gate 17
Voice: Oh it’s no problem, everybody is in a hurry in these places. I usually have to ask a few different people before one will help me
Aria: Really? Sorry to here that, yeah your gate it about half way down this right hall here. Looks like there is a snack bar right before it, when you get there one of the hosts should be able to help you find it (Pointing out the way).
Voice: Thats great I got another hour before my flight though. Did you bring something to drink with you?
Aria: Yeah I brought a bottle of water, but they took it away from me, said it was too big
Voice: Yup happens to a lot of people, Let me buy you a water from that nice man over at that counter there, at least he looks like a man from here.
Aria: No, no Thats alright I got to get going
Voice: Whens your flight?
Aria: In an hour and a half
Voice: You have plenty of time, let me get you a water and I’ll get myself one too, you can help an old man grab them from the fridge. Trust me it gets dry in these places, you’ll need the liquid.
Aria: Ok maybe you have a point, I appeaciate this
The older man starts to head over to the counter, and aria follows him over. A small crowed seems to be blocking the path between them. Not moving just standing and talking, mostly likely friends or family catching up. the elderly man reaches into his bag for, aria assumes is his wallet and pulls out a small air horn and honks it at the group
Voice: You have this whole airport, you have to stand right here to talk? I’m old I can die any minute.
The group visably aggitated at the old mans huburis moves aside and a few of them peel off and finish their conversations a bit early. Aria isn’t sure what to do, he doesn’t want to be associated with this old man right now, but he also doesn’t want to be rude.
Voice: these kids nowdays, they think the world is thier playground, and taxes are thier entry price.
Aria: Most of them looked at least my age I don’t think they were kids really, we probabley could have gone around them
Aria quickly gathers the water from the cooler as the old man writes the lady at the counter a check. Aria hands the older man his water and walks away from the counter with him, hoping to lead him to the entry to the hallway containing his gate and head off to his own.
Aria: So you prefer checks still?
Voice: Nope. I hate the things, but the lady at the counter seemed to want me to go away as fast as I could, so I wrote a check.
Aria: Well (Indicates to the hallway) thanks for the drink I’ll leave you to your flight
Voice: (Growing father as aria walks away) Don’t let life give you crap young man, it’s too short to let it
Aria walks towards his gate undaunted by the last words and looks down at his watch for a few moments, yet seems to be lost in thought and not seeing the dial for a second. He them puts his arm down and walks two paces and looks at his watch again because he forgot to actually see what time it was lasty time. Satisfied he still had plenty of time he heads on down the hallway towards his gate.