Revealing character

Stumbled across notes from a class of yore, so I thought I’d share this nugget of wisdom: How a character acts or reacts reveals character.  There’s a car crash.  That doesn’t tell you anything.  How the character reacts does.  Does he freak out, run around screaming?  Does he calmly get out of the car and walk away, ignoring everything else?

Another example.  Most characters work or have a job.  In HITCH, Will Smith is a consultant who works with clients to make them date-worthy.  He is secretive about his work, meets his clients in the park, and will be with them from the first “hello” to getting waxed.  Now how about a different person with the same job?  In the reality series Confessions of a Matchmaker, she is open about her job.  She meets with clients almost exclusively in her office.  She throws mixers to get people together.  She even has a reality show about herself.  Same job, different method.  How they work reveals character.

I wonder how different people write reveals character.


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