Writing Can Be Murder

January 17, 2007

Ego

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 10:07 am

I’d like to thank Meryl Streep for her inflated ego and I’d like to thank the Foreign Press Association for giving her the opportunity to show it off in public.

 Did you happen to catch Ms. Streep’s acceptance speech on the Golden Globes the other night? It was, like every other acceptance speech she gives, long and boring. She seems to think that she has the right to hold court whenever she wins an award. She always goes over her allotted acceptance speech time, trying to be drolly witty (um, newsflash hon, you’re not!) with no thought to the winners who will come after her and have their speeches cut off because she has to hog the spotlight.

 But I’m grateful to Ms. Streep because she helped me to finetune a character in a WIP. I’d been struggling to understand what drove this character. How she could do the things she did. Then I realized that she was all ego. Ego that needed to be stroked. Ego that needed to feel superior. Every action she takes, every decision she makes, is driven by her overblown sense of self-importance.

 Do you ever witness anything in “real life” (a term I’m using lightly when it comes to the world of movies) that helps you to understand the motivations of your characters?

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