Reflection-7 Tortured soul






+Character talk about himself

+Others talking about a character (e.g voiceovers in election)


Character express opinions opposite to each other



+Conveys essential exposition

+Characters talking about what happened establishes storyline



-Dialouge should be used sparingly and not tell the obvious like soap operas do!

+Dialouge not a subsititue for action

+dialouge should sound realistic e.g “real talking”






-story begins with character

-is the heart soul and nervous system of the story

-without character=no action

-without action-no conflict

-without conflict-no story

-without story = no screenplay

developing the c.h.a.r.a.c.t.e.r.

What to ask?

Who is my character

WHAT does he want

WHAT is his quest?


Friday had been a bad day for me. My reflection is going to be something outside my class and school. Today, Mr. Ryan showed us USUAL SUSPECTS and how a character (Keysar Soze) who was not shown in the movie, made up a main core of the story. Just like that, a similar incident happened in my life. When i came home, my Mother told me there is bad news. She told me  she had a call from Kerala that Nawfal passed away.

My heart stopped for one moment. I never met this guy in my life. But, i have heard alot about his family through my Mother. She told me that Nawfal’s father was a lawyer back in Kerala. And, he was murdered brutally due to a drug case he was handelling, and his body was chucked into a “goods” train. And my mother recalled and told me, that Nawfal was only four years old and on the same day his father was being murdered, he woke up from his sleep and cried for his Dad.

And now Nawfal is gone too? Nawfal was about 28 years old. I believe i met him once in Kerala. He was a good looking guy and was very close to his mother. Apparently, he left for Malaysia a year back for work. And his mother recieves a call that her son’s body was found in a lake last Tuesday and they are not sure if that body is his.

My Mother called today and she confirms and tell me that the dead body might be Nawfal after all. And his body is being sent back to Kerala.

I feel numb. What do i tell a women who lost both her husband and her son in a tragic way. Can consoling her help? I feel so helpless.

I guess no matter how much i feel upset about this. This is still a reflection. And i have to connect it back to what i learnt back in class. I am not being forced by it. It may even seem selfish. Characters?

It is true what Ryan said, audience connect to characters because of emotions. We never know a character personally, but we connect to him by feeling with him the emotions that are displayed. And by relating the emotions back to ourselves, like what if this happens to me?

Nawfal was a guy we initially decided to get my sister married off to. Is that why i feel a certain closeness to him. Why does he move me so much if i am not close to him. Is it the fact, i share emotions with his Mother. Human beings no matter where they come from are tied together by a common thing. Emotions. That is why stories and movies are emotional.

Back to what i wrote in reflection two. A story existing without characters. It is possible. But, it will never stay in the hearts of the audience. Maybe it might for its unique quality. But emotions cannot be displayed if there are no characters. And i understand why Aristotle and Mr.Ryan believed strongly about this. After all, what is a writer’s job? Touching and connecting with the audience. And this can only be done by characters.

And back to thinking what Mr.Ryan said about memory and experience. Experiences are things that happen daily in our lives. We learn from them. Why do memories live and experiences die? Memories live because we attach an emotion to it. Human beings are emotional people. That is another reason why, how much we argue characters are not needed for a story, characters are needed to display emotions. Without emotion, there is no action.  Without action, there really isnt a story. This also links back to observation and mindless looking. When we observe something, we attach an emotion to it too. More of an interest to understand what we are observing. Whereas, mindless looking doesnt have that. That is why observation helps us record incidents in our mind which may turn out to be memories. With characters, it is easy to capture your viewers. But if we go ahead with the challenge of a story without characters, we must be prepared to create a “spectacle”. Something unique that may capture or disturb the mind. Like Mr.Ryan’s idea of a room telling a story. Or an island that sinked? City of Pompae(wrong spelling?) told a story. Evidences lying there told a shocking story. If i were to think in that angle, emotion can be displayed without character. But you need spectacle. Something distinct. And it will be more difficult to put across a message, but certainly a challenge it will be!

It reminds me of what Shakesphere said. Was it him? The world is a stage and everyone are actors. Then God must be the director? Haha! Sometimes, we meet characters that arent significant to us but we feel so deeply for them. In my case, Nawfal and his mother. Or the time, when a four year olf child missing body was found in Singapore. The whole of Singapore was upset. What moved all these people? Did they even know who was four year old NONO? Emotions and the fear of what if this might happen to us. That is what makes stories live.

I am really not feeling well. Depressed i guess. Probably because of my helplessness. That i am unable to do anything. Or even hug Nawfal’s mother and tell her that everything is ok and it is happening for a reason. This is one reason, i hate the fact i am so far away from my relatives in Kerala. Sometimes, i feel the meaning of “Family” when i am with them. I guess my family should be called “THE ORPHAN FAMILY”.

(last minute editing)  

I am going to extend my reflection with more news of the demise of Nawfal. I was in denial, to be honest till today. Something, kept telling me they should have done a DNA test. But if he is alive? Where is he?

The immediate family seemed very composed during the conversation and said the friend identfied the body by his nose and teeth. I have nothing more to say. Even though, sometimes i think he might call out of the blue and say he is coming back.

He was so close yet so far. He could have been our brother in law. All i am worried now is about his mother. And i find myself praying for her strength. It is better in believing he is dead than he is missing. Atleast there is some conclusion.

Everything happens for a reason. And a good reason it will be. I remember the whole week, my sister Zareena and i were so upset. We asked for a premonition and to test her, i asked about the future of my friend’s brother who isnt alive anymore. She told me, she recieved a “blank”. I slowly pushed Nawfal’s topic. She said she does get a blank but not very clear about it.

Both of us decided to believe he is no more. I dont want to think about it. The thought of his mother makes me upset. I will do something for her, someday. Even though, i can never compensate her son’s loss. I can fill her emptiness.

Rest in peace Nawfal. Some part of me, still dont believe you are dead. ..

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