An excerpt from my script review for Hunter Killer which will be available 02/25/19:
3.) Quality of Characters
Most of us know by now the importance of well drawn, “three dimensional” characters in a stories.
These characters should feel like real people, with histories, beliefs, moral codes, etc.
But just flushing them out isn’t enough.
Good stories make these individuals contradict one another, forcing them to cooperate to achieve goals.
Glass vs. Edwards
Glass is assigned to the Toledo as captain, where Edwards and the rest of the crew are used to a more relaxed set of rules. In addition to that, Edwards is a Naval Academy man who hasn’t seen “real” action and Glass has worked his way up to a commanding officer from the bottom via combat experience.
These two characters (should) promise drama later in the story.
Fisk vs. Norquist
Or the Pentagon versus the CIA is a more appropriate way to look at it. Both characters have different “masters” (if you will) they need to satisfy, and although the end result of avoiding a war with Russia may be the goal, they’re going to go about things differently.
Luckily they find common ground early on, and the relationship develops into a respectable rapport that we enjoy especially as new adversaries are introduced.
Durov vs. Smitrov
The “old school” Soviet versus the modern Russian president. The latter wants to seek peace with the rest of the world via denuclearization, and the first wants to start a war to solidify his power in the government.
A quick NOTE here…
It’s pretty evident early on that Durov is behind the attack on the submarines at the beginning, but be careful how you handle this information.
DO NOT DRAW IT OUT via a twist!
If his motives and involvement are pretty obvious, just come out and say it, because saving it for a lame twist later will lose the respect of your audience.
Glass vs. Andropoyov
The only man who can help save the Toledo, by navigating a mine field, is a Russian captain who Glass has unknowingly clashed with in his past.
There’s a mutual respect between these enemies that makes for good drama. Can he be trusted? Glass did risk his crew’s lives to save the few remaining Russian survivors when a fellow Russian sub would not.
Can Andropoyov choose the American lives at the expense of his fellow comrades?
Beaman vs. Martinelli
Almost a father and son relationship here. Martinelli has a few slip ups, which Beaman silently chastises him for, but ultimately keeps his word and goes back because Martinelli is still a part of the team.
Another brief one while we’re talking about Beaman, is his short lived relationship with Olev, President’s Smitrov’s bodyguard.
This “enemies become friends” approach is fun, and should inspire you to think up ways to force your characters into situations that could potentially lead to disaster. Can they make it to the other end with a believable outcome?
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