Creating a Cast - in 1-2-3
One of the challenges…and maybe one of the greatest pleasures…of creating a series is populating it with a cast of heroes. I know I spend many weeks or months tinkering with characters and deciding who they're going to be. …And how many heroes will be needed.
The Power of ONE
A single protagonist is likely needs to be created with his or her plot solidly in mind. With their own wants and needs, wounds and flaws in the forefront, they probably need to be designed to fit a given story perfectly. Of course, ‘fitting the plot perfectly’ might entail making them the LAST person who would want to experience that story. The perfect fish out of water.
Examples: Dexter, Superman, Harry Dresden, Hercule Poirot, Kill Bill, The Hulk…
Comics on the Duck: The Godstrain and Godstrands, Barbarian Adventure, Inappropriate Irving, The Epic of Blitzov, Pinky TA
Just the Two of Us
For creators, a two protagonist series actually seems a more natural starting point than one. At least to me. It's a handy way to get writing, to have two contrasting types of people talking to each other. More than that, it's very useful as a tool to deliver exposition, express character, and have conflict.
Of course, other characters can serve those functions without being co-protagonists, but a “two hander” can have its own built in drama, before the plot even takes shape!
Examples: Hart to Hart, Simon & Simon, Bosom Buddies (Oh yeah, I'm kickin' it old school, now!), Sherlock, The X-Files, Supernatural, Bones, The Odd Couple, Clerks, Back to the Future, and on and on and on…
Comics on the Duck: Ying and Yan, Death P0rn, Minion.
You and Me and the Devil Makes Three
In terms of that “built in drama and conflict” thing, the trio can be even better.
There can have two extremes…the Id and Superego, with a negotiator “Ego” in between, and an increasing flexibility in storytelling, whether it's the three bumping heads with one another, or having the characters spreading out into separate adventures that can be edited to their most exciting and cliff-hangery.
The classic trio is probably Kirk, Spock and Bones from Star Trek, where one is all logic, one is all emotion, and the Captain is somewhere in between.
Then you have your Three Stooges group, with the grumpy “leader”, the “fool” and the…the… “Larry” ?
The director Ivan Reitman talked about his template of “The Brain, the Heart, and the Mouth” in his comedic groupings:
Examples: Star Trek, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, The Three Amigos, Dr. Katz, Two and a Half Men.
Comics on the Duck: Leon, Bottomless Waitress
What are some of your favorite Loners, Duos and Trios? How do you create your casts?
Happy Thursday to you…or both of you…or all of you!
Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 2, 2018
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