Monday, January 22, 2007

A head's up

Not that I feel like getting into another long-winded shpiel right now, I'll spare you, but just so you know...

In college I was an English and Psychology major. And for my honors thesis, even though it was really just an english honors project, I drew upon my knowledge of psychology to incorporate into my main characer (primarily). See, I like my characters messed up. If I can screw them over emotionally, I will. I don't know why exactly, except that I think it makes them more interesting. Maybe I'm a little sadistic? Who cares if your main character is a nearly-all-powerful mage? That's boring. Give them mommy issues, or daddy issues, or class/caste issues, or appearance issues, or all of the above and then throw in some repressed childhood memories that tie-in to the current situation (there's a point about that which I'll make in another post).

I think in my first story, the honors thesis one (high fantasy, I guess you'd call it, with medieval castles and whatnot) that basically incorporated all of those, mostly in the same person.

So anyway, the heads up is that I'm going to try and include posts about psychology, specific things like the DMS-IV (Diagnostic manual of symptoms, I hope that's the acronym) requirements with which to diagnose depression, or the different types of schizophrenia or mood disorders, personality disorders, sleep disorders or what constitutes Down syndrome and the like.

It just seems like I keep running into references about that sort of thing, on Patricia Wood's blog (the main character in her book, Lottery, has an IQ of 76), Written Wyrdd talked about sleep apnea, or I've come across other medical discussions. Not like I'm an expert, but I took classes on abnormal psych, developmental psychopathology (we discussed autism and conduct disorder among many others), cognitive (which I loved and later did research on, specifically problem-solving), regualr developmental psych, and loads of others, so I do remember some stuff and have plenty of notes because I'm OCD like that (keeping far too many old papers).

I tend to think knowing how people work, how they think, can help a writer create more realistic characters. You don't have to say they're borderline or narcissistic, but I think those attributes can make a character stronger.

So why not? And maybe I'll come across something that will strengthen one of my characters.

Happy writing.

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