Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Character Research

I came across this article. Organisational Sociopaths: rarely challenged, often promoted. Why?

Why indeed? After reading this, you can see how the economic collapse happened. Not only are people promoted to their level of incompetence but the way large companies are set up, they reward pathological behaviour. Managerial decision-making suffers from unhealthy symptoms, due to over-complexity, slefishness, and rewards systems that encourage narcisstic behaviours.

I'm currently reading Jasper Kent's 'Twelve'. It's set during Bonaparte's Russian campaign. Desperate Russians hire vampires to help defeat the advancing French, with predictable results. (Having said that I'm enjoying the book. It has a real sense of time and place).

How does someone like Bonaparte view the world?

If a psychologist interviewed Napoleon Bonaparte, he'd be declared dangerously delusional. Yet, this is the stuff, plot conflict is made of.


Havock21 said...

which would lead me to the question, just how does an alleged sane person get into the head of such a character and make him real, in a sense we could believe. Or do we simply create the so called nutter and on the basis its severely off axis to us, believe its what the character would be like.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Good question.

But aren't well nursing one or more inner demons? We hide them behind socially acceptable behaviour.

Being a writer, is about being able to assume characters -- a bit like an actor stepping into a role. As long as your protagonist believes everything he/she does is justifiable, then they are consistent.

Havock21 said...

yes, its been an eye opener, as in all the scenes I have written so far, the BAD GUYS, have had actions and comments, but are really paper thin as characters.

The latest, scene actually goes into a characters head, relationships with his counterparts, some back story , history, inner head conversations and then, back and forth discussions with his subordinates. IT then makes you create him and all of a sudden you start to develop a sense of.....who he is. can't think of the words I really wanted there.

That makes an actors job slightly easier I think, they have the basis of who he is, they get to then fill in the unpainted areas some more and shape it also. The writer does all the bloody hard work I think.

thanks. H

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


Writers do all the hard work.

Didn't they discover that during the writers strike in Hollywood last year?

Havock21 said...

Now at the risk of blowing some egos out of all proportion, I am firming up the opinion that writers, not only do the HARD work, but must master several or at least try to, several different traits. these would in an actors world be their strengths, like Bruce doing action, but also like Tom doing sleepless in Seattle, then toss in some Robin Williams as well. Last and by no means last, comes not the actor, but Hitchcock.

Really, its only just dawned on m, as i have attempted to inflict some Humour and suspense into my scribbles online, that its simply not as easy as it looks.

sometimes its just flows, other times and I fin this with the suspense, its must be thought through, i guess even then a screw up is definitely possible. Buy writers go to the top of the page.

NOW: If in any way, this Filters back to the Big wollie fella or the northern, sun drenched feral JB, I will, in all probability have to track down the perp, egos...they're bad enough!