Line ‘em up, pal.
John August says if you’re having a hard time finding a character’s voice, get him talking about something unrelated to the scene at hand.
Let your hero knock back a beer with his college roommate. Have your corporate spy meet-cute a potential suitor at a ski lodge. Pick situations that couldn’t possibly fit in your actual movie. Pick something that happens between scenes. You just want to get your character talking so you can eavesdrop.
Open a new document and start listening and, yeah, typing.
- You’re paying and it’s costing you nothing.
- The more they drink, the more they’ll open up.
- With their defenses down and their bravado up, they’ll probably say (and do) something stupid and illuminating.
- If you listen hard enough you’ll find their weakness.
- They’ll probably try to drown their flaws.
- It’s on the page so there’s no hangover.
Think of it as your new drinking game.