I joke sometimes, that I minored in ‘Psych’ to my friends. Truth is, it started in high school when we were forced to take Psychology and Sociology. I couldn’t stop. I went to the public library and began checking out psychology books and reading them on my own. I purchased used college bound psychology books and dove into them as well. At the time, I had a compulsive need to understand why I had suffered at the hands of a sicko and what I had to do to heal from it.
In college, it was the only subject I seemed to be interested in. Go figure that I studied business instead. I don’t want to be a shrink, if reading all those books taught me anything, it taught me that.
And it seems that all my reading has served me anyway. I still read up on the subject. I am amazed how much psychology evolves.
Character development is strongly rooted in building a psychological profile. Readers have a desire to know why the characters do the things they do. Why do killers kill? Why do people lose their tempers, laugh at the wrong thing/time, bite their lip or nails? Everyone has a personality quirk. These make more sense to us when we can see the cause.
The one thing I notice about writers, is that we are constantly questioning ourselves, our abilities and that of our characters. I see it all the time on blog posts and tweets. I am guilty of the same.
After publishing Taking Control, I read a post that said every character is part of us and I thought holy shit! I have a seriously demented serial killer in that book. I couldn’t possibly…
Do you question your characters? Yourself? How do you overcome your insecurities?