Friday, December 16, 2011

Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities?

Yes, I have but it’s usually pretty limited because it’s so hard to write. This is largely because I’m fortunate enough to be healthy myself, and my friends are as well. As a result, I have little experience in dealing with disabilities and therefore don’t trust myself to write it effectively.

I have one character who lost his leg in an accident when he was very young. By the time the story opens he’s already largely healed from the trauma and learned how to live with his condition, so the story doesn’t actually focus much on that aspect of his life. I chose to give him this condition for metaphorical reasons rather than drama.

As for mental disability, one character of mine is a blatant sociopath. However, he’s only affected by this in the beginning of the story, since the turning point is that due to supernatural reasons he’s given a conscience, and thus the rest of the story is about him dealing with the horrible things he’s done to others in the past, their reactions to that, and his mission for self-redemption.

Other than that, I haven’t really dabbled too much in disabilities. I’ve toyed with addiction before, mostly side characters who are alcoholics or have the desire to quit smoking or are dependent on some medication. Recently after reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I’ve become interested in asperger syndrome, but I don’t know if a character will come out of it yet.

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