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Friday, May 23, 2008

The Psychology of Your Characters

One of the delightful benefits of working with and getting to know writers from all over the world is that the Wave-inatrix not only makes many friends and connections but my client list is a virtual fountain of talent and resources.

One example is Jeff Cotton. He is a client, a friend and a psychologist of great accomplishment and experience. Jeff was kind enough to invite me to one of his recent training sessions to see him at work and I was blown away.

Yesterday, as Jeff and I were chatting, our conversation turned to a sociopathic antagonist I am currently writing. We spoke at length about the banner symptoms, past and present, of sociopaths. What can drive them to violence. What makes them tick. What their childhood is usually like. Just where that sociopathy comes from.

I took probably four pages of notes about my antagonist as a result of our conversation yesterday - and about my main character as well. Because who is a nice, ripe victim for a predatory sociopath? My main character's flaw leaves her wide open for such a person to come into her life. But why? Jeff gave me so many insights it was amazing.

The thing I love about Jeff is that he keeps it real. No lavender-scented office and piped in Enya for Jeff - he has, in his own words, been to hell and back in his own life and between that and his many years of working in his field has pretty much seen it all.

Suddenly, in the middle of this amazing, informed conversation, the Wave-inatrix had a brilliant idea. What if you could email or chat with Jeff with any psychological questions you might have about your characters?

The Script Department will soon announce Jeff's availability to consult with writers about the psychology of their characters for a nominal fee but for a short time only, the next five Rouge Wavers who order any Script Department service* will be eligible for a drawing and one winner will win a free 30-minute phone consultation with Jeff.

I know many are on vacation this weekend, or otherwise hanging out with family, but in addition, for TODAY only, you can email your (brief) questions to me and I will forward them to Jeff for his review. I will accept a limit of five email questions for Jeff and the cut-off is today at 5pm pacific time. Email your questions HERE.

So take advantage and truly dig deeper into your characters with the help of Jeff Cotton, our resident psychologist.

Have a good, productive weekend, everybody!

*minimum service - basic coverage

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1 comment:

Christina said...

Good idea. There was a clinical psychologist in my last screenwriting group and her insight into what makes characters tick was really valuable to the group. If someone had a question about why a character would do something, all heads would turn to her and she'd fill us in.