Years ago, when the writers group I belong to met at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End in Boston, we went out for drinks after one of our meetings. A common occurrence. On this night, we went to Coda. There was a guy at the group that night that was friends with the person who was running our group at the time. I’d never seen him before, and I’ve never seen him since.
Out at the bar, while we were having drinks, he said something very simple and interesting about character. And it was this: “A character’s attitude stays the same until something changes it.”
There’s that cause and effect again. And I’d add that if that thing that changes a character’s attitude happens off screen or off stage, then it might be confusing to the audience or at least less dramatically interesting.
Photograph: Foggy Morning on Plum Island