So, last night I answered a question about character creation, and on my drive home from the office, I realized I didn’t really answer the question as it was presented. I apologize for that. My initial read of the question and the answer it prompted from me was really just scratching the surface of what it takes to create characters in stories. I realized that what was really being asked was about character dynamics.
So, let’s pick up where I left off in the last post: We have discovered a need for a new character, and we know what that character needs to do plot-wise in the story…but that’s only the beginning.
Now we need to flesh out that character, breathe life into it. And the question was about character dynamics – not the what of a character but a why and how.
For this discussion, let’s talk about Lexa.
So, Lexa. She serves a very specific purpose/role in the world of “The 100″ – she’s the Grounder Commander, leader of all 12 clans, which she alone was able to forge an alliance between. That’s a lot of story. But who is she?
When the writers determined that the Grounder Commander character needed to be introduced, there were so many ways that could happen. It became clear that we needed to upend the expectations people had about what the Grounder Commander would be. On the surface it seemed logical to expect that the Commander was an older man, someone who has lived a lot of life and has used his experience to forge alliances. But we also expected that Commander to be ruthless. After all, the Commander sent 300 Grounders to attack the dropship at the end of Season One. Clearly the Commander is someone who should not be underestimated.
And yet, that’s exactly what you do when you meet her. The writers determined pretty early on that the Commander should be a woman, just to go against what most would assume was a masculine role and position. That was the easy part. The more difficult part was deciding what kind of woman she was. Early on an idea was floated that the Commander was a child; Jason had the notion that the Grounders would believe in reincarnation as a way of selecting leaders, much like the Dalai Lama, an intriguing idea that made it seem possible that these tough, warrior people would actually choose to follow someone so young. Ultimately we aged up the character, as it was unrealistic to hire a 10 year-old to be the Commander, logistically. Also, we knew this was not a ‘one-off’ character. The Commander would have a role for most of the second half of Season Two, and work rules for children being what they are, it would have been very difficult to execute that idea.
Then, the discussion of character dynamics came up. We knew this Commander would be working with Clarke, and a lot of talk was specific to their relationship. How would they relate to each other? Would they like each other? Respect each other? We also knew that we wanted to introduce non-heterosexual relationships into the show, so the idea that Lexa was attracted to women came up. Everyone liked this idea a lot. And the idea that Lexa would be attracted to Clarke, who had just killed the boy she loved…well, that was juicy for storytelling. The big question was if we could tell a story about Clarke having interest in Lexa beyond their mutual respect for each other as leaders. There are to date very few leads of network TV shows who are bisexual or homosexual. This would be something “new” for most people, even if it wasn’t a huge deal for us as writers, it could be a huge deal for viewers. Fortunately, the studio and network were supportive of the story, so the writers were able to execute their vision.
In talking about those early interactions between Clarke and Lexa, it was clear that the two would approach each other cautiously. Lexa would even come to see Clarke as the leader to the Arkers, even though she spent time with Kane and Jaha. Clarke was, after all, the one who orchestrated the Ring of Fire and was responsible for the deaths of her warriors. Given what we had already learned about the Grounder culture, that act alone was enough to make Lexa consider Clarke a force to be reckoned with. It would only be through their conversations and actions through the season that these two leaders would bond on a deeper level. Clarke would finally have someone who could understand her burdens of leadership, as would Lexa (yes, Bellamy gets it too, but the story dictated he be active in the Mount Weather story, so someone else would need to fill that void in Clarke’s life).
When you talk about characters, you work hard to get into their headspace, try to understand what they are thinking and feeling in every single moment of the episode. You talk about what has happened to them in their lives, how it shaped them and how current events are changing them in small, subtle ways. Lexa explains her philosophy to Clarke in episode 209 that “love is weakness,” based on what she experienced with losing the girl she loved to the villainy of the Ice Nation. But Clarke chipped away at that – and by episode 214, it was clear when Lexa kissed Clarke that she had moved away from that philosophy enough to take that chance that Clarke might too feel a connection to her. And she does…but Clarke’s experiences through the season had changed her too – she killed Finn, and she had to heal from that, and she wasn’t done healing by the time that kiss happened. But Clarke didn’t pull away. Clarke wanted connection, but realized she wasn’t quite ready for that kind of intimacy with Lexa, though she definitely was attracted to her.
All of that was discussed at length in the room. The actors bring so much to the table though in their portrayals and no matter how much writers talk about how the characters feel and act toward each other, it goes to another level when you finally can see it on screen. And those performances certainly help shape the story and characters going forward…
I hope this is helpful to writers who are trying to understand their characters better. You have to think like them, and try out different scenarios until you get to the character dynamic that feels right. And of course those dynamics change over the course of the story. Certainly how Clarke and Bellamy interact now is far different than it was in the first episode, and it will continue to change.
The fact is as writers, you are a small god, dictating the world you create. But it is also true that when you begin to know your characters, they speak to you, and before long, it feels like the story and those characters guide you.
And that is just one of the many reasons writing is something I love so much. That feeling when the story, the characters and their scenes begin to sing…nothing else compares.
1. Kim Kardashian - Libra. Aquarius is all about communication and Libra is all about networking - a powerful dynamic duo for the creation of an amazing brand. all about networking. Aquarius is all about networking as well but their networking skills are more so organic while Libra has networking skills that are practical and strategic. Although Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton grew up together, Kim noticed that Paris Hilton became a tabloid target that soon became infamous for creating a lifestyle brand out of partying and being famous for being famous. Paris Hilton was more so in the fame game for the fun and the attention, while business minded Kim Kardashian noticed this ‘brand’ could turn her into a future mogul with strategy and balance. Far ahead of the movement, Kim begins networking practically throughout The Simple Life production, creating brief cameos while she cleaned out Paris Hilton’s closet and sold the unwanted items on eBay (the internet having influence on her career - of course). Intellectually curious Aquarius snaps into reality and notices Libra’s practical strategy with basically creating a virtual online store and get’s the idea (because Aquarians are all about innovation and ideas) to start creating a lifestyle brand behind the socialite world - begins selling cosmetics, jewelry, perfume, etc - basically what Kim did but in extravagance. Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton soon become 'spotlight’ bestfriends after The Simple Life - of course two Air signs would get along they way Kim and Paris did. Refined and super posh Libra is enjoying the glamour and galore that comes with being bffs with a jetsetting socialite, the perfect lifestyle for a Libra, to be honest. Libra is all about balance like I previously stated, Kim wants Paris’ lifestyle without the trouble making, the negative notoriety, and drugs - and does this, literally releasing a sex tape with Ray J and branching into her own spotlight the same exact way that Paris did. Aquarius are very original people - Paris was the first one to originate intentionally branding off creating a sextape - so it’s no surprise that Paris inspired Kim the way that she did. Free spirited Aquarius doesn’t want anything that will restrict their freedom and precisely coinciding the Kardashian and Hilton brand would exactly do that - they soon cut off lines of communication.
2. Lindsay Lohan - Cancer. Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan used to literally be best friends but there is usually trouble awaiting Paradise in most Cancer and Aquarius relationships. Cancer and Aquarius both have very hot tempers. Cancers expresses their tempers in aggressive moodiness and Aquarius expresses their temper in a 'I don’t give a fuck - I’ll do what the fuck I want to do’ manner. It’s no surprise that Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan had one of the biggest feuds in tabloid history. Constant competition and ideas clashing - the Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton beef is notoriety for the main goal being to become more famous than the next - I believe Lohan’s feelings got the best of her. Cancers emotions will boil in a toxic manner by Aquarius’ complete non-chalance towards their emotions, it’s a constant vicious cycle. An emotionally vulnerable Lindsay is in constant scrutiny via Paris through the media. Paris begins taunting Lindsay via the paparazzi and even ends up getting into a physical altercation with Lindsay at a party - she literally doesn’t give a fuck, and expresses multiple time that LiLo is 'dead to her’. The only one damaged in this scenario seems to be the emotionally sensitive Cancer, drug abuse seems to be the common escape goat for most water signs. “I only did coke 10-15 times” - Lindsay.
3. Nicole Richie - Virgo. Virgos are super over analytical, - after becoming an adult and understanding the dynamics on power within friendships - I often notice that Nicole has a subtle way of bringing Paris Hilton back down to reality with little jabs in that passive-aggressive, snarky Virgo undertone. I feel like Aquarius is a bit turned off by Virgos super keen down to earth nature, misconstruing Virgos humility with lacking couth. Aquarius and Virgo are two super communicative signs just in different aspects. Virgos use their communication skills for helping others and creating practicality, while Aquarians pretty much communicate just to communicate - I feel like Nicole Richie always felt as if she was secretly more intelligent than Paris and that her common sense makes her more attractive that Paris. I could definitely see envy growing in an Aquarius and Virgo friendship, it’s a constant battle of wits!
4. Brandon Davis - Virgo. Hilton’s partner in crime with the destruction of Lindsay Lohan, like a real life Mean Girls - of course it’s with a Virgo - Virgos know exactly where to hit you where it hurts! A relationship with a male Virgo and a female Aquarius might actually be way more chill and compatible with two female Virgo/Aquarius. Virgo has a 'cool’ energy similar to Taurus that might be super attractive to the trendy, innovative Aquarius. Aquarius’ eccentricity and free spirited nature can be relaxing to the super neurotic Virgo. Hilton and Davis have a flirty - brother & sister relationship. They definitely value each others intellect.
5. Chanel West Coast - Virgo. It’s safe to say Paris has a thing for Virgos when it comes to the Earth signs. Paris/Aquarians love girls who know how to network their way through life, communication is key for catching the eye for any Aquarius! Chanel has managed to integrate herself into the popular reality television show, “Love & Hip Hop - Hollywood’ after co-hosting on the Ridiculousness show and has recently has made a very personal appearance on Hilton’s Snapchat - found partying and provocatively mingling, the overall vibe just seemed super chill and organic - Virgos have that cool edge although they can be very uptight mentally, they notice like - everything.
6. Nicole Lenz - Aquarius. Nicole and Paris both have that super dewy, galactic Aquarius energy. There will be a constant wavelength of attraction between two Aquarius’ hence they bond on a higher frequency than the other zodiac signs. Two Aquarians can quench each others undying thirst for intellectual stimulation and other areas as well, *wink. Nicole and Paris have showcased their very personal relationship in personal photographs - two complete free spirits! Don’t give a fuck till we die, eh?
7. Casey Johnson - Virgo/Libra cusp. Two signs that attracts Paris the most can definitely cause a dual sided relationship almost like being friends with a Gemini. On the outside, it seems as if Casey was secretly envious of Paris for stealing the spotlight that she always dreamed of. But on the inside, there were rumors of Paris stealing Caseys boyfriend and only gaining the spotlight she had because Casey was too sick to network. Either way, Casey used her super keen intellectual - Virgo/Libra networking skills to create individual spotlight through branding off her connection with being apart of Paris "Famous for being Famous” entourage.
8. Tara Reid - Scorpio. Super intense, emotional water signs are a huge turn off for Aquarius/Paris - which is no surprise that this friendship ended tragically as well as her previous friendship with another water sign that has a habit of brooding emotions - Cancer/Lindsay. Poor communication and negative energy could form within a Scorpio and Aquarius relationship. Aquarius is too care free to give a fuck about the toxic emotions that Scorpios hold.
9. Brittany Flickinger - Libra. Of course a Libra won on Paris Hiltons show, “My New Bff” - a show that revolves around networking yourself into the world of Paris. Successfully, another Libra managed to (temporarily) acquire the friendship of Paris through networking practically on a reality television set - this show being Paris of course. Brittany’s smooth communication skills are effortless beauty and Venus energy were definitely her strengths on the show. Wish they would publicly reconnect!
10. Lil Wayne - Libra. Kim, parts of Casey, her sister, and Britney - Paris loves the carefree, intellectual energy from other Air signs - and it’s obviously that Paris favorite air sign is Libra! One of the most intelligent, practical marketing moves that Lil Wayne has recently made was signing the super popular Paris Hilton to his record group - YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Business).
hey I wanna get into Shroombot bc it seems really cute, but I need more incentive?? I guess, anyway what I'm trying too say is, what are your headcanons for the ship??
So the way I like to think about Shroombot is that Sucy represents destruction where as Constanze represents creation. Their dynamics, in a lot of ways, are polar opposites of each other, where Sucy represents the traditional witch, okay with following the path of those before her and Constanze takes the ideas of those before her, and upgrades them to suit her needs. A lot of how I imagine their dynamic is they work together to combine modern and traditional magics and make something entirely their own. Now those differences work to help them push each other towards a greater goal, but their similarities also help bring them closer together. Constanze doesn’t speak. We know she can speak because she spoke 2 words at the end of the series, but she just doesn’t, and we know Sucy can be a very quiet person as well. They are both comfortable in silence, which works well. And Sucy, who doesn’t talk much in comparison to Akko or even shy lil Lotte, gets a lot more chances to talk about what she likes. Unlike most people, Constanze understands Sucy’s passion for arcane magic, and supports it in her own way. While Constanze’s methods might not always agree to Sucy’s own, they do help speed along the process and are a viable solution. Both Sucy and Constanze work with hands on magic, things that require careful hands, and time to put something together. While Constanze builds are semi-permanent, and are meant to help people, a lot of Sucy’s creations tend to be harmful and are meant to deconstruct. This allows them to give each other a balance, where Constanze can pick up where Sucy left off and help her should something go horribly wrong. Both of them enjoy practical jokes despite their otherwise serious nature and together manage to produce contraptions of epic feats for the sake of entertainment. They both work hard at their studies but keep each other on track as far as taking breaks goes, and the two of them have a shared love of ghosts, monsters, and explosives.
Aw baby I’m sorry. I understand this. It’s horrible and absolutely draining. My advice is to remember that your body is an ever-changing, dynamic, beautiful creation and the only time you should be checking in on your body is to make sure it’s feeling nourished, fueled, energized, and well taken care of. Eat well, eat enough, cultivate other good habits like drinking enough water & getting enough sleep, moving your body in ways that make you feel good, and your body will naturally thank you for all of that. You are beautiful and strong and wonderful.
When I pick up my camera, it’s more than creativity; it’s worship. I’m joining God in His creativity and being most authentic to who I am and who He created me to be.
When He created Adam, He brought all the animals of the earth to him and gave him the creative liberty of naming them. Adam didn’t name them by numbers like an Accountant. No, he joined the Father in Creation! “God dared to leave something uncreated so His sons and daughters could sit on His lap and create with Him” (Jonathan Helser).
And so, as a child of God, I’m called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. I am echoing His creativity, and find true freedom in being just like Him; it’s in my DNA to create
Philosophically, this form is quite associated with the Grace of God.
Shiva and Shakti are one and the same Supreme. The formless God is called Para Shiva. On Its own free-will for the benefit of pashus (souls), which are drowned in pasha (bondage), It thinks to create the worlds. Its dynamism of creation thus springs out of It, which is called Shakti.
Now Shiva and Its power Shakti create everything. This is the form of their togetherness that springs out of Lord Shiva. Because of this the form is associated with the grace of God. Shiva and Shakti though the same may also act independently.
They are associated like the person and the action of the person. They are one and the same like the ice and the water - one becomes the other. For this reason scriptures describe that Shakti to Shiva is a wife (they are together), mother (Shakti becomes Shiva - so Shiva comes out of Shakti) and daughter (Shiva become Shakti).
You want to know the meaning of life? This is your highest calling: You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. This breath is your canvas and your brush. These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making. Nothing is off limits. Your backyard, your piano, your paintbrush, your conversation, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul. You’re making a living with every step you take. So when you make a living, do not merely make money. Why settle for cash when joy is on the line? You feel a thrill when you dance, when you sing, when you finish your poem; even when you sweep the room you see order pressing back against the chaos. So when you create, never settle for making a living – at least not the way that the world might define that phrase. When you make a living, you are speaking a new world into existence. You are creating grace within the confines, you are co-signing God’s blank checks.
Cruise Ship Robot Bartenders Provoke Questions About Work And Play
by Michael Keller
A thirsty vacationer on Royal Caribbean’s next cruise ship, the Quantum of the Seas, will belly up to a bar staffed by robots. The company announced this month that it is installing the Makr Shakr bartending system on the ship, which is expected to set sail starting in late October.
Guests will be able to choose drinks from a tablet at the bar and customize them as they see fit. Once the order is submitted, the Bionic Bar’s robot arms will spring to action, producing a precise and consistent drink.
“We were determined to take the best advances in modern technology, turn them into shipboard WOWs, and take the frustration out of the vacation,“ said Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain in a statement.
The Makr Shakr project was conceived and designed at MIT’s Senseable City Lab. According to the artists and engineers behind it, the robot is more than just a bartending automaton. Instead, it is meant to open a discussion and explore the role of advanced manufacturing, consumption and leisure–three things that are set to change with increasing deployment of automated systems.
It is so beautiful that for once it wasn’t the fans or the writers who created something and really wanted it. This was the creation/dynamic of the story itself. Shoot was always meant to be. Even the writers had no clue this would happen
and how amazing they would be. They just wrote a scene necessary for the plot. Denise The said “We didn’t really know. We were just discovering it along the way. … I didn’t know we were gonna go down this path this way,” But they saw it. “It was undeniable.” What is so beautiful is: Root and Shaw were created by the writers separately from each other with no intention to make them love interests for each other or for them to have some sort of connection. Yet, they were perfect for each other.
Root and Shaw were created by our real world but this fictional world and couple had developed their own and from us independent dynamic. Forcing us (writers, fans) in this real world to see Shoot as two people who are perfect for each other. The story itself created this couple. And that is beautiful.