During the screenwriting course I am doing we had to do a little exercise today, to develop ‘character voice.’ We had to take a character, one we didn’t have much info on, possibly a new character, and write a piece on their eating habits and then stress them. You know, rob them, arrest them, have their credit card declined. Something to make the character struggle to get out of the situation. The character’s dialogue and action would then create the basic elements of voice.
I took a vampire from my ‘Vampires Anonymous’ short story (top right-hand side of my page) and came up with the following:
VAMPIRE: Prepare to die!
Vampire takes hold of victim’s coat and moves to bite the victim’s neck.
VICTIM: Oh dear! Did you, eh, did you fill your quota yet?
Vampire keeps a hold of the victim, but retreats his head.
VICTIM: Did you already kill two people this week?
VAMPIRE: Yes, and you are next!
Vampire moves to bite again.
VICTIM: Ha, you can’t kill me then!
Vampire retreats again.
VAMPIRE: Why not?
VICTIM: Because you’ve reached your quota.
VAMPIRE: But I am thirsty.
VICTIM: You still can’t kill me. It’s against the law.
VAMPIRE: It’s a stupid law.
VICTIM: But it’s still the law. If we all did what we wanted we wouldn’t be here right now, would we?
VAMPIRE: I would.
VICTIM: Yes, I suppose so. But I wouldn’t, that’s for sure, haha.
VAMPIRE: I’m so glad you are a law-abiding citizen!
Vampire moves to bite for the third time. Before he reaches the victim’s neck a shot is heard and the vampire slumps. The victim is standing with a smoking pistol in his hand.
VAMPIRE: What did you do that for? It hurts!
VICTIM: I’m sorry, Mister, but’ you’re busted.
Victim reaches inside breast pocket and shows police badge.
VICTIM: You’re under arrest.
Of course the exercise was supposed to be a more dramatic piece, but I liked it :).