Friday, March 21, 2014

Characters, like the characters who write them (i.e.: writers) are driven by needs or motivating drives to attain something of value. Drama itself is an exploration of a motivating drive as it is manifested in the actions of a character and his quest (the story). The psychologist, Abraham Maslow, grouped these drives into a hierarchy of categories. Maslow's hierarchy holds that drives form a kind of Great Chain of Becoming, so that one must first fulfill the needs of one category before moving on to the next. From the most basic to the most complex these can be expressed as follows:

Physiological needs - oxygen, food, water, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

Security needs - order, law, limits, stability, etc.

The need to Belong or be Loved - family, affection, marriage, etc.

Esteem needs - achievement leading to self-esteem, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

Cognitive needs - knowledge, meaning, etc.   

Aesthetic needs - appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.

Self-Actualisation needs - self-fulfillment and peak experiences.

Transcendence needs - helping others to achieve self-actualisation.

The iconic screenwriting & poetry blog of Billy Marshall Stoneking

Saturday, March 15, 2014

From the WORKING-AS-A-MEDIUM Dept. :

Because it can't just be about what your characters do or how they do it, but why they do it, and when they do it, and where they are when they do it, and which way they're facing and to whom they are doing it to or for, and what they are saying if they're saying anything at all when they do it, and whether or not any other character has done it or said it before, or even alluded to it, and to what purpose, and if the perception of that purpose meets, exceeds, or undermines the assumptions or expectations of any of the other characters, and whether what is done and said contrasts with what might've been done or said, and how the anticipation or dread of what 'might be' impacts on the characters' understanding about what is happening now, it is much better to simply become the character, every character, and let them write story as you go along.

Monday, March 10, 2014

RELIEF IS AVAILABLE at the SYDNEY SCREENWRITERS' STUDIO. Enroll now for the 2014 session - Weekly from 2-5pm, Tuesday at Randwick TAFE - see details at

The wisdom of every dramatic story resides in the potency of the questions that it presents, and the extent to which those questions evoke identification and empathy with those that are struggling to live out the answers, and whose struggle in some way intersects with our own. The enduring stories are constant reminders that the world is always a question - or a series of questions - which we answer with our lives, and that the most satisfying answers are always in one way or another connected with love. - Billy Marshall Stoneking      READ MORE