Have A Compelling Main Character, Please Oh Please!

Just finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson. If you want to get your stuff read, get good coverage, and perhaps get your work produced, you must have characters as interesting as his.

When they start casting the Hollywood version of this puppy, actresses will fight dirty to play Lisbeth Salander.

Which is what you gotta have for your script!

Lisbeth Salander is NOT LIKE ANY OTHER CHARACTER IN ANY OTHER MOVIE. EVER. She’s wholly, completely, totally (enough with the adverbs!) original, not derivative in any sense. As soon as she enters the stage, you know you MUST read more about her, she’s that compelling. My family was dukeing it out on the beaches in Spain to get the book away from each other. And it’s because of Lisbeth Salander.

Lisbeth Salander lives in Sweden. Mysterious, she lives in a world of shadows. She has one hell of a dark and complicated past, that takes at least the sequel to reveal, and is explosively surprising when you find it all out… She is a recluse. Goth-looking with assorted tattoos. Lives alone and never cleans her apartment. She is thin to the point of anorexia, but isn’t anorexic. She hates to be touched and can’t tolerate any violation of her space. Nearly flat chested, she is sort of bi-sexual, but only to a point. She has Asperger’s, so she is wicked smart, but nearly impossible to carry on a conversation with. When she’s done talking with you, she walks away. She is close to no one and makes zero effort to have friends.

Lisbeth is also, and by now this is not going to be hard to believe, a KILLER computer hacker. One of the world’s finest.

She has a strange moral code, but it works for her and she adheres to it rigidly. She would never betray a friend, or a business confidence. Gifted with an iron (or titanium) will, you could hold her hand in a fire and she would never tell you something she didn’t want to. She does not take shit off ANYbody. If you wrong her, expect terrifying over-the-top retribution. If you allow Lisbeth her freedom, she will repay you with relentless loyalty. Like Garbo, she only wants to be left alone.

What kind of job could a woman like that hold down? What kind of person would she allow herself to become close to? What pleases her? What makes her angry?

Here is a sensation that children reading Harry Potter feel, but I had not felt in years: when I read the sequel, I could not wait to get back to reading. I would be at a dinner party and would want to leave so I could head home and pick up the book again.

Lisbeth Salander is why.


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