“The Barrier”, “The Disruptors”, and Relationships

relationship_mapThis week, besides work on “The Barrier”, and “The Disruptors”, I also thought about how I should develop the relationship back-stories for characters.

“The Barrier”

My rewrite of “The Barrier” has gone quite slowly, but I managed to finish 5 of the 39 scenes I plan to rewrite. Once do I get started it goes smoothly, but I find it far too easy to put it off.

So far all of the revised scenes run longer. Version 0.6 of the movie runs about 86 minutes. If all of the scenes I rewrite end up longer by the same amount, it looks like the new version could run almost 2 hours. That is longer than what I’d like it to be.

There several existing scenes that seem repetitious to me. Maybe I can shorten the movie if eliminate those. It can get tricky when you try to cut stuff out though. I read somewhere recently that it is much easier to add material to a script than take it out. On the other hand, I’ve found with some of my earlier movies, that cutting out material would often improve the movie.

“The Disruptors”

I had planned to leave “The Disruptors” until later, but I had a bunch of ideas about the characters that I had to write down before I forgot them. I have a plot in mind, but after I did “The 89th Key” I decided I needed to put more effort into creating the characters before I develop the plot in more detail.


Another thing I learned from “The 89th Key” was that it is important to define the relationships between the characters. Relationships develop during the course of a story, but what I have in mind is to develop a back-story for the relationships. I am not sure how I should go about that. I’ve seen questionnaires writers have set up to help them develop their characters. I haven’t seen any to help you develop your characters’ relationships.

I came up with a few ideas:

  • Are they friends, enemies or neutral?
  • Are they rivals or team mates?
  • Do they trust each other?
  • Do they like each other?
  • How strong is the relationship?
  • When did they meet?
  • How did they meet?
  • Was it one event that brought them together, or did it develop slowly over a longer period?
  • What do they have in common?
  • What do they normally talk about?
  • What do they disagree about?
  • What aspects of the other are they unaware of?

I’ll need to give this list some more thought. It seems to me that there must be many other important questions to ask. Some of questions seem to duplicate others.

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