Sunday, July 28, 2013

How TV Can Help Your Writing

While watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, I realized this show would be a good example of a character study.

We have Raymond, who plays the Victim. He is negative and frequently has the "poor me" attitude, everything bad happens to him.

Next is his wife Deborah, who plays the Martyr. She complains about Ray and his family constantly and how much she has to put up with. But she doesn't confront them and when she does, she quickly backs down or physically hides behind Ray.

Marie is Ray’s mother. She is the Boss. No one messes with or questions her. Her word is law.

Frank is Ray’s dad and believes in the Tough Love philosophy. He bullies his sons to counteract Marie’s coddling of them, according to Frank.

We have Robbie, Ray’s older brother. He is the Peacemaker, sometimes physically standing between Marie and Deborah when an argument gets heated.

Last is Amy, Robbie’s wife. She is Miss Congeniality. She wants everyone to like her. When she occasionally says something mean or biting, she quickly apologizes and begs for forgiveness.

It occurred to me, for one’s next story, look to your favorite TV show, family or friends for your next character study. Is someone a leader or a follower, a questioner (Why? How do you know?) or from the Show Me state (prove it)? Are they a narcissist? A psychopath? You get the picture.

Mix up traits from a few people for your character. This will “protect the innocent” and keep Thanksgiving dinners peaceful while making an interesting character for your next work-in-progress.

Have you used a TV show to help you with your characters?
(Original post: 7/17/13)

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