Character Development
by Ian Birnbaum

[CAMERA fade In]

[A crowded, dirty, office meeting room. Trash litters the floor, and stacks of philosophy textbooks prop up the tables and clutter the chairs. Tattered pornography hangs in the windows]

JOSH: Hey, thanks for coming everybody. I know this meeting was impromptu, but we really needed a column idea for this Tuesday, and the deadline is coming up quicker than a freight train on a gimpy squirrel. Oh- sorry, Nutsy.

NUTSY: Yeah, whatever. Ass.

JOSH: Moving right along – I was thinking about something regarding writing good characters: how to develop them, how to really flesh out many competing personalities in just a short segment of writing.

NUTSY: Josh, I have a question.

JOSH: Yes?

NUTSY: You’re a tool.

JOSH: Let it go, Nutsy. Look, I’m just tossing this idea out there – any comments?

DR. HEIFEN: Jah, I theenk is good idea. Characters very important, no? All kinds writing. Verrrry important.

JOSH: Right – no matter what kind of writing you’re doing, the selection, development and use of the characters will be a key factor in the delivery of the story.

DR. HEIFEN: I theenk that most easiest way to show character is with dialogue. Capture how people talk - you show how people think. Make for compelling character, no?

PHILIP: Exactly! Like last night, on American Idol –

NUTSY: Oh don’t be that guy, Philip. Nobody likes that guy.

JOSH: Look, back on topic, please, ok? We have two tests in our classes this week and the less time we spend dicking around, the more time we have for studying.

KEVIN: Psh. Studying? So sorry to distract you from your books, there, Nancy Drew.

JOSH: There's no need for name-calling, Kev.

[NANCY DREW pokes her head into the room]

NANCY: Did somebody need something?

PHILIP: Um, no... but could you get us some coffee?

NANCY: Fuck you, Philip.

[NANCY DREW leaves]

KEVIN: OOoohh, SOMEBODY's still ticked about the office party.

PHILIP: Shut up, Kevin.

JOSH: Guys, PLEASE, we need --

NUTSY: Hey, you guys - you know what I hate? Winter.

KEVIN: Know what I hate? Rodents.

NUTSY: That's it - your nuts are mine!

KEVIN: Fine -just suck my dick while you're down there, Bullwinkle.

NUTSY: What? Bullwinkle wasn't even a squirrel - did someone lobotomise you when you were a child?

JOSH: Shit, guys, SHUT UP! How can we expect to get anything done when you're all running around in here yelling all the time? It's like watching a bunch of monkeys try to fuck a football.c$hpurecansugar.bmp

KEVIN: Hey, that football was asking for it - didn't you see the way it was dressed?

[ALL start talking over each other, laughing and throwing paper]
[HOBBES pokes his head into the room]

HOBBES: Josh, could I talk to you? Calvin and I are having a... moment.

JOSH: What, again? Shit... yeah, whatever. It's not like this bunch of cerebral palsy patients was giving me any good material anyway.

[JOSH gets up and starts to leave]

NUTSY: Aw, don't be that guy, Josh. Nobody likes that guy.

[JOSH slams the door shut, fluttering all of the papers in the room with a gust of air]

NUTSY: [stands up, stretches] Later, chumps. I'm going to go check out the memory archives and look at all our ex-girlfriends naked.

[CAMERA zooms out of office window, out of office building into the night sky, above the murky canals and dimly-lit back alleyways; CAMERA gets darker until it fades to black]
[CAMERA pulls out of black and appears to have just exited IAN's left eye]

IAN: Sweet - I think I have an idea for this week's column!

IAN'S GIRLFRIEND: Wasn't that column due, like, an hour ago?

IAN: Don't be that guy, baby. Nobody likes that guy.



"just suck my dick while you're down there, Bullwinkle"

somebody's gettin' hit with this gem...the sooner the better.


I found it curious that the character personality closest to my real-world personality - out of all of these - was Nutsy.

Frankly, it terrifies me.


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