Saturday, July 06, 2013

Dealing with sociopathy

While working on my new version of Double Edged Sword (I really need a new title for that) I realized that one of my main characters is a sociopath.

I've always known he was unrepentantly "evil", but as I've written him, and researched, I've discovered it's a bit more than that. He's not so much evil as... practical. He does what he must, and doesn't fret over guilt or self-flagellation.

In short: A sociopath.

This provides interesting opportunities. I recently came upon the blog for a diagnosed sociopath who often talks about love, and sociopathy. She says that while it's commonly thought that sociopaths can't love, in fact, they can. The intensity she describes is what I think is going on with my MMC; he is consumed by it. To the point of obsession.

So I'm going to continue to research this line of reasoning, and see where it leads me. It's certainly  already providing interesting insights. And a more nuanced character who isn't so blunt-force trauma.

I'm really enjoying my rewrite; it's slow going, but I'm letting myself take my time and think. The result is already feeling more polished. I swear, reading back over the original, there were so many colloquialisms and such that it was painful.

I may even hit my camp word count goal for the first time!

3 comments:

June Clarence said...

Wow, that sounds like a really interesting character!

If you want to further your research, I suggest watching BBC's "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch.
In the show, Sherlock describes himself as a high-functioning soziopath and you get a couple of nice insights into his thinking. Also, the show is simply awesome ;-)

Good luck with your writing!

Anonymous said...

Heather, apologies for going this route, but I signed up to nanowrimo.org a few days ago and haven't received my verification email, so I'm stuck and there doesn't appear to be any contact link on that website. My username is TheVitalMessage and email is dave@healthyenterprise.com. Is it something you can help sort out? Many thanks, Dave Patrick, Nairn, Scotland (I am a member of the Highland Literary Salon).
PS Somewhat synchronistically my first book 'The View' was written to honour Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - I don't believe Sherlock is a sociopath...

Heather Dudley said...

I don't deal with official NaNoWriMo stuff through the blog. Anyone who wishes to contact me can do so through the contact page on the website. There's a "Help" link at the top of every page that will lead you to the contact information.