Character Development: Ruth Dunne

I am taking part in a FutureLearn screenwriting course, and it was suggested that we use our personal blogs as a posting platform for the exercise below.

This is the main character from a modern fantasy story I am working on, for the purposes of the course I’ve been using this story for my examples.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

Major Actions:
Enters the faerie den, leaving this world behind for good
Takes a final stand against her abusive husband
Conflict with her husband, who transitions into a more physical form of abuse
Encounters another dreamscape with her ‘little creatures’
The tree is cut down, she has been betrayed by her mother
Has various flashbacks to her childhood
Prevents the tree from being cut down, against her mother’s wishes
Wakes up without a hangover for the first time in a very long time
Begins to truly remember her childhood again
Has her first dreamscape encounter with her ‘little creatures’ for the first time in years
Decides to spend the night at her parents’ house
Calls her mother
Husband tells her about the tree
Wakes up with a vicious hangover yet again

Wants & Needs:

She wants to get rid of her hangover. She wants to save the tree. She wants to leave her miserable home life. She wants to relive her childhood. She wants to escape.

She needs to let go of the past. She needs to take a stand. She needs to learn how to connect.

No, she isn’t aware of what she wants, and certainly not what she needs.

The Character:

Mind: She is selfish in how she thinks, the story is from her perspective entirely and she shows little to no care or attention to others. This is not malicious, it is eluded to that she has some form of Autism, or is at least on the spectrum. She is very involved in the past, and uses the stories she learned as a child as a way to prevent from having to connect with the real world, but truthfully, she doesn’t know how to do that.

Body: She is tall and slim. Her limbs are almost gangly and her forehead is slightly too big for her face. Her proportions are very slightly off, and visually she doesn’t quite ‘work’. She’s not unattractive exactly, she’s just a little strange looking. Physical descriptions of her ‘little creatures’ are not unlike her own, hinting that she may always have been destined to end up with them.

Superficial description: A little odd, perhaps not quite “all there”. A daydreamer, not particularly interested in people, but deeply connected to nature. An individual and an introvert, but clearly troubled in some way. An alcoholic.

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