Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Undefined Gamer on Character Development

And Supernatural.

      This is the most common mistake I see in adaptations. Writers tend to
take a brief glance at whatever source material they're given, and
construct the plot however the fuck they want. This often leads to a
character, more often than not a beloved character, getting killed
because the plot demanded it, or because the director demanded it,
rather than because it was the best time for that character to go.
Fans hate it, because they know how much more that character was
supposed to go and new fans hate it because that character might've
been likeable but they weren't able to spend enough time with the
character to have their death mean something profound.
      What makes it profound?
      Character development.
      Why is this important? Why isn't this important.
      Character development often includes the fleshing out of certain
aspects of his/her persona but also indicates change. Like people,
characters change through experience. Little Jimmy is quite different
from point A than from B, and for that matter point C, D, E, F, etc.
By allowing the viewer to join a character on this journey, what
started out as simply a likeable character will develop into something
more; the audience will feel a kind of connection with the screen.
      The problem with many movie deaths is that many characters' journeys
are too short for that type of bond to develop. When it is blatantly
clear that one could've formed, outrage ensues.
      Adaptations aren't the only ones guilty of this; the writers of
Supernatural used to piss me off all the time. Come their original
run, they used to shell out likeable characters like there was no
tomorrow, only to kill them off when it was convenient. Worse, their
loyalty to their two leads made it impossible to properly experience
anyone else's journey except Sam and Dean's.
      The point is don't kill your darlings unless its the best thing to do.
Don't kill off Harvy Dent before he gets into the routine of being a
villain. Don't kill Professor X because the plot demands it. Don't
kill Ash because... you get the point.

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