I am up late worrying about possible Halloween costumes, many of which I will probably not choose, settling instead for wearing a fabulous beaded dress a friend gave me. This dress actually makes me feel more like myself than some of my other clothes, so I guess for Halloween I will be a (funny, sexy or scary) version of myself.
But if I had to pick someone else to impersonate, I realize that any choice I make will define me in some indelible way, and so I immediately panic. This is a good exercise when developing your screenplay characters.
How to do the exercise:
Step 1: Figure out whom you would choose to dress up as. Write a short paragraph about why you made this choice.
I would be The Oracle at Delphi because she was free of all the rules of her time and had a unique and helpful job to do.
My assistant Chris would be The Green Hornet because he has always loved the character and wants to “beat the 2010 rush” that will no doubt come with next year’s movie.
Step 2: Decide whom the main character of your story would choose? Write a brief first person monologue about why they made that choice.
The main character of the story I’m currently working would be Dorothy Parker because she was a successful writer known for her wit, and didn’t obey any of the rules of her time.
By taking a moment to think about which costume your character would choose, you will no doubt find interesting layers of their personality you never knew existed.
Good luck and happy writing.