The Psychological Profile

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?


4 thoughts on “The Psychological Profile

  1. I question myself less as time goes on, but certainly have my moments. Reminding myself that I’m human and, like many writers, am harder on myself than others helps. So do breaks, writing, exercise and music. 😉

    Hope you’re having a great holiday!

  2. A really fascinating and thought-provoking post, Kim. I think each one of our pyschologies is a dark labyrinth that we maybe don’t want to know too much about. It’s certainly true that, when writing, a lot of myself goes into the male characters (though not deliberately) but less with the female characters, for obvious reasons, I guess. My wife tells me I can’t “do” female characters convincingly and that’s probably why. Is ‘Taking Control’ avaiable yet?

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