Today’s writing quote, one of my favorites on character, comes from Robert McKee’s powerful book STORY: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting.
“TRUE CHARACTER is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure–the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.”
Whether you are writing a screenplay, novel, play, or memoir, I believe the quote holds true. Think about people close to you, think about yourself, think about your characters–and now make a quick list of defining, revelatory choices made. What was the context of the choice? What does the choice tell you about the person who made it? What kind of person would make the opposite choice? What about those choices that seem to contradict everything you thought you knew about the person? Or about yourself? Dig deeper–the choice reveals deep character.