Thursday, March 3, 2011


I seem to view the world largely in terms of archetypes, and have done so since I was a kid.
I never remembered people's names very well, either in real life or in movies or TV shows.
In film school, I had one teacher whose tests consisted of asking if you remembered the name of the maid in the throwaway scene or if you remembered the favorite shoe of the incidental character in the other film.
I fumed that it wasn't a test so much as a trivia quiz.
Eckhart Tolle, in one of his many lectures available in audio format,
insists that he can't remember names but it doesn't imply any disrespect for the reality of the person behind the name. The audience laughed when he said this, they weren't buying it.
That was his excuse, and this one is mine: archetypes.
I don't expect you to buy it any more than Tolle's audience did, but I may as well finish explaining the theory.

On a recent project, I'd been fleshing out into a full treatment a one page idea written by one of the producers. She had the wives of the main characters doing things, I began separating them into individuals with the help of the original author. By the end, we had specific ideas about their personalities and looks, but we still were referring to them as "Mrs. This" and "Mrs. That." Neither of us felt the need to name them other than in terms of their relationship to the main character, however, we had given them all back story and motivation so that they could each write their own lines practically in any situation we put them in.

In this new long-form fiction thing I'm working on, the main character is a mix of two historical figures, several fictional characters, and myself. His supernatural girlfriend is DEFINITELY based on one of my own personal supernatural ex-girlfriends, and the woman he wishes he could be with instead is based on two actual women who were unrequited loves of two of the historical figures. So for now, while writing, they all have names which remind me of who they are based on, so I keep them in character throughout. Dumb names, the kind Joyce would use-- haha just kidding.

OK time to make the podcast, speaking of archetypal figures.

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