Feature Film Plot Change

For those of you who may remember I posted this post not so long ago:

Well scrap that idea! (Well, I haven’t scrapped it I’ve just filed it away for later use)

Yesterday I had a lecture based around Characters, and how to make them believable. To do this we thought about the back story for the character and how this affects how they are during the start of the film.

We were set the task of getting into pairs and answering the “ten questions” you should ask yourself when creating a character and thinking about how they fit in your story. I will include the ten questions at the end in case you’ve never seen them before. Needless to say, I could answer the questions but they didn’t fit with my plot, and the key concept I wanted to tell was of the character over coming his nerves and shyness, his fears etc. And I was trying to force him into a plot that wasn’t right for him, like pressing a square peg into a round hole. 

So now I have gone back to basics and removed the fantasy element from the story, instead it will be an almost coming of age story still based around my time in America but sticking more in reality with no lurking shadows, or earth shattering menaces. I already have an idea for where to set the old plot of the film (the one that I have filed away).

So with this in mind I will be doing a new plan it seems, so expect to see more of that in the coming days.

Here are the questions, and once I have figured out my character a little more I will answer the question so you can see how I would interpret them.

1) Who’s story is it?
2) What do they need? What is their flaw?
3) What is the inciting incident?
4) What does the character want?
5) What obstacles are in the characters way?
6) What’s at stake?
7) Why should we care?
8) How do they change?
9) Are they confronted with the consequences of NOT changing?
10) How does it end? (Does it pay off the inciting incident? Is it moral? Ironically?)


5 thoughts on “Feature Film Plot Change

  1. I use a “the usual suspects” type line up for all my main characters – on old fashioned index cards, where I write down their essentials like age, height, colour of hair etc to start off with, then flesh them out with their likes, dislikes, wants, desires, obstacles in their way, flaws etc. That way I can quickly refer back to the main characters’ profile, when I’m at risk of getting muddled by giving false characteristics to a character that started off timid, a bit of a coward or a louse.

    As I’ve said before, to use one’s own experiences is good – making the character too much like oneself is dangerous. The critique you might get from your peers or your tutors might really hurt you, because you will be that much closer to your main character, so my advice would be to install a little distance between yourself and your character (I find it much easier and safer to write a man/boy/child’s story – a character as much removed from myself as possible).

    1. It’s interesting you say that because I find it easier to write from a female perspective, most of my short stories have a female character as the protagonist.

      As I mentioned I have changed the name to distance myself, and I am going to take some flaws from myself and from other people around me and create a new character, so by the time I have sculpted them they will only have a part of me, as for the story and the events most of those will be true, maybe exaggerated or underplayed depending on what the situation calls for but I think it would be good to do something for a change that isn’t high action or fantastical and will instead focus on characters and relationships etc.

      Thanks for commenting (:

      1. well, the very best of science fiction, horror etc is also character driven, not explosion here I come stuff. But you are right, as a “training exercise” using reality rather than fantasy is better, because we don’t get distracted by the scenery.

  2. Hi Daniel, nice to meet you – great blog you’ve got here. Thank you for your visit and follow at art rat cafe – much appreciated…

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