Great Characters Series: as we have been saying for the past three posts in this Character Series, there is no formula for creating a great character. There are some things we can do, as we talked about in the previous post, but none of that guarantees your character will become one of the greatest ones.

In this #tiptuesday blog post, we will talk about a movie I believe shows exactly how a great character is crafted. I am talking about the 2017 film “Mary Shelley.” What does this movie can teach us about creating an unforgettable character?

Mary Shelley

The mastermind behind Frankenstein. The movie follows Mary through some of her darkest years (although she did not have an easy life afterwards). She falls in love with a married man, Percy Shelley, and lives a scandalous life for her time. But it is the experience of abandonment and loss that drives her to write Frankenstein.

Mary was also fascinated by Science. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were many scientific/medical procedures intended to bring back the dead. As a woman who had experienced death so many times (her daughter after only a few days after she was born, and a sister who committed suicide), we can guess that “bring back the dead” was a constant on Mary’s mind.

On top of her interests in Science, her feelings of abandonment and despair, which are brilliantly shown throughout the movie, we can see that Mary Shelley could be the only writer able to put together a novel like Frankenstein because she herself is the abandoned, lonely creature the famous doctor created.

Great Characters Series: when we read Frankenstein

We are appalled by the doctor’s abandonment of his creation, and we suffer the creature’s grief throughout the whole novel. The only thing the monster wants is to feel a connection with people, but once people look at it, they are afraid. That is what drives him mad and furious by the end of the book.

This movie shows us that to create an unforgettable character, you must put your heart and soul in it. It must speak to the inner pains in you, so when people read it, they will understand the suffering, the pain. It must teach people without preaching them. And it must make them feel. And that is what the creature in Frankenstein does to us.

Enjoy the movie and enjoy the novel!

See too: First Writing Memory!

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