Posted by: steveonfilm | June 27, 2011

When It Clicks

I’m going through another round of polish before sending the first draft of “The Prey” over to Michael. However, with the amount of tinkering I’m doing with it, I’m tempted to consider my finished product a second draft.

A funny thing happened when I started going over it again. I realized something about Kate and Eric that was sort of bubbling underneath the surface. Something that I had sort of played around with, and even mentioned in a post on here before. I realized that Eric is Kate’s “half brother.” Same mother, different fathers. In this case, Kate is George’s daughter, but Eric is not George’s son. Eric from his wife Claudia’s previous marriage.

This realization sort of helped me get my head around the troubled relationship between George and Eric. It also helped explain why George favored Kate. Eric is his step son. But Kate is his daughter. Sure, Eric calls George “dad,” but their relationship is not the same as Kate and George’s.

This isn’t huge plot device, but it helps flesh out my characters. Helps add tension. Gives them more to talk about. Adds in depth. Helps me show their relationship better. And above anything else, provides us some more ways that we can relate to them.

When I first started writing, Kate, George, Eric, Julie, and Donnie weren’t my characters. They were Michaels. He created them. He introduced me to them. They weren’t much more than a friend of a friend. We had a cordial relationship. But not one where we were close enough to really share any intimate details.

That all changed when I finished the first draft. Suddenly “it clicked.” We’d been through a lot together. Experienced things. Seen the best and the worst in each other. We had crossed that line and become friends. And now that we were at that level, I could finally write them as my characters… and that feels good.

Until next time, keep writing!



  1. Awesome job, Steve. I think it was playwright Tony Kushner (but I could be wrong) who shared this writing tip: Have your “minor” characters write letters to home. You discover them in a new way, they become fleshed out and will no longer really be ‘minor.’

    • That’s a neat idea Dan. Obviously the “letters to home” is a bit dated, but the point and concept it solid. That might be a cool exercise to try the next time around.

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