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drunk characters

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bookworm452

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A bit of a strange question but does anyone have any tips on how to write a drunk character in a script? I've never touched alcohol nor have I ever really seen anyone drunk.
 :-|
#1 - April 29, 2013, 11:10 AM

Does the character have to be drunk? This may be one of those things that is best researched by experiencing, or observing.
#2 - April 29, 2013, 02:16 PM

In a movie script?  You could just say they are drunk.

De Niro's famous "you talkin' to me" scene from taxi was completely add lib. I believe the script read:

Bickle talks to himself in mirror.

:) eab
#3 - April 29, 2013, 02:36 PM

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Okay, you are going to need some tequila.

Just joking. The answer would depend a great deal on what "kind" of drunk person you are writing about. Falling down, black out drunk? Just a little tipsy? Functional alcoholic? A grown up? A teen? Alcohol makes different people do different things - get sleepy, get happy, get cry-y, get angry...

I'd say rent movies about drunks - Flight (drunk pilot), Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (drunk couple), maybe some of those college / frat type movies like Old School...
#4 - April 29, 2013, 04:54 PM
MIND YOUR MONSTERS (Sterling, 2015)
HYPNOSIS HARRY (Sky Pony, 2016)
LUCY LOVES SHERMAN (Sky Pony, 2017)

And like everything else in the world, there's probably a YouTube video or two featuring it.  You could do some research there.
#5 - April 29, 2013, 04:58 PM

People get drunk in different ways. Some get really happy. Some get quiet and brooding. Some get silly. :) If you aren't old enough to go to a bar, then perhaps you could go (safely!) and wait outside a bar. Watch the people coming out. Again - I'm not advocating you go hang out in a dark parking lot at 2 am, but you know, you can be around drunk people all kinds of ways. Crash a party and just take notes in the corner. Go to a street with lots of bars where people are moving from one to the next. When I was in college, we all went to State Street (a main drag in Santa Barbara) and would move from club to club (or bar to bar) and people were spilling out into the streets a lot. Or, you could go near a college on a Friday night and watch kids coming and going to parties. You'll find plenty of drunk ones. And there's always You Tube.

But, I might suggest that you reconsider how much you need a drunk character if you don't have a ton of experience. If it were me and the person really needed to be drunk, I'd zoom out on that scene. Pick a couple of points to make so that the reader gets that the person is drunk, then focus on other characters so that you can be authentic in your writing.

I hope that helps!
#6 - April 29, 2013, 05:09 PM
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Bookworm452, if it helps any: a drunk person will have impaired motor control. Their balance will be off, they may sway slightly, and they're more likely to knock something over or walk into something. Their reaction time will probably be delayed (so if you toss them an orange, it may hit them in the chest).

Alcohol removes a filter, so a person will talk about things they wouldn't otherwise, and may feel that people they've just met are best friends. Their judgment will be seriously impaired (I won't get pregnant. I'm safe to drive.) Some people are happy drunks and will sit in your lap, some are mean.

Their breath will stink. If they're really in bad shape, they may have impaired bowel/bladder control.

If someone is a long-time abuser, they're likely to have a rougher, redder complexion and glassy eyes. They may have mis-buttoned clothing and a shambling walk. An alcoholic often becomes an habitual liar, and will be unreliable. They won't show up when they said they would, because they don't remember saying it, or need a drink more than they need to keep the commitment. They deal with a lot of humiliation, but can't stop the behavior that causes it.

Overall, drunk people are loud, laugh a lot, throw their arms around each other, partly from that false sense of familiarity, and partly to keep their balance, and are generally obnoxious. Oh, and they're likely to vomit on your stuff.
#7 - April 29, 2013, 06:18 PM
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YouTube.  :werd
#8 - April 29, 2013, 06:46 PM

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Also, it lessens inhibitions and bring outs parts of personality some people may try to hide. So shy people may seem more outgoing, etc. My husband, who normally suffers from debilitating smart-assery ;) becomes disgustingly full of love and affection when he's had a couple drinks.
#9 - April 30, 2013, 08:16 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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My husband...normally suffers from debilitating smart-assery....
:dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr :dr

I think it may be an epidemic, Artemesia--my husband contracted that, too.
#10 - April 30, 2013, 09:20 AM
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 :lol4

total epidemic.
#11 - April 30, 2013, 10:09 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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