Sunday, December 12, 2010

Character Development in Precious by Sapphire

I hadn't intended to watch the movie Precious
because I knew it dealt with child abuse.
I work in a school where I have had at least
four students removed from their families due
to abuse. I never find out what happens to them.
I can only pray and hope for the best. So you can probably
understand why I would rather watch movies that make me feel good,
but my significant other wanted to watch this movie,
and I'm glad we did.

The film is based on Sapphire's book, Push.
What struck me was the character development.
It dealt with more than this girl's abuse, it revealed
how she dealt with it, survived it. Every time this
child faced a horrifying experience, she escaped
in a dream world where she was a star.
As writers, we put our heroes and heroines through
tumultuous circumstances and we need to
]remember to let our readers know how these
characters handle these situations emotionally.

I always include in my stories why the bad guy
became the bad guy. It adds depth to the story.
I remind myself that every character is their own
hero in their own story. In Precious, the mother
rips apart every bit of self esteem this child has with
both her hands and her words. In the end, the
mother explains why she hates her daughter.
It was a powerful scene. Precious finally learns that
she wasn't beaten because she was worthless, but
because of her mother's own fears and lack of self esteem.
I don't think the movie would have been as good without
this moment. The heroine was able to summon her
inner strength and move on with her life. Her character
arc was complete and that is what we strive
for as writers.

Until next week,
Happy Writing!

Tina LaVon


Dee said...

I loved your description of the character development of Precious. I've never seen the movie for essentially the same reason as you. I see and go through enough hardships in life and I do not want to see it in a movie. So I choose to read feel good books and watch feel good movies or sitcoms. But I will take the time to watch the movie "Precious" because of your post. Thank you for sharing!

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Now I'm gonna have to watch it, too. :}

Anonymous said...

the book is called Push..not Precious.