Friday, April 29, 2011

How To Use Cars (and other forms of transportation) To Enhance Character Development.

I started writing my book "What Car Would Hamlet Drive? 2000 questions to ask fictional characters for students, actors, writers and readers of fiction" because I had a very hard time making small talk at social events. I feared I might have as much difficulty thinking up things to ask fictional characters as a writer. Along the path of compiling thousands of questions, I discovered that I have written a seminal book about Character - not definitive because every time I let anyone read the book they came up with a dozen questions I'd forgotten - but definitely seminal. And the book in itself is a great conversation piece, because people I meet have all kinds of ideas about questions to ask characters and all kinds of suggestions as to how the answers advance understanding of people, plots and stories. The following is an excerpt from the book.

Cars and Other Forms of Transportation.

A car is generally a statement about the person driving it. Car choices convey how the character thinks about himself – how he wants other people to perceive him. Car ownership often has history behind it.
* A character drives a Cadillac because he thinks they make him look successful.
* Another character would never drive a Cadillac because he thinks they are a reflection of being nouveau rich.
* A character would never buy a new car.
* Another character would never buy a used car.

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