Trying to balance wonder between the truth and lies woven into a story is difficult. Characters need to be believable, plausible, recognisable and interesting. Nobody wants to read about an ordinary person.
When we place ourselves into a character we try and walk in their shoes. We want to feel what they feel, think what they think and respond in the same way they do.
What I will attempt to do in this story is to portray one or two characters as high functioning and successful dysfunctionals. They will be charming, charismatic, warm, likeable and empathetic. I shall maintain this veil of authenticity until that single moment when they incite change and cause the unimaginable to happen. They have to, it’s in their DNA and it is what they live for. To them, it’s normal.
Not all Narcissists are psychopaths or sociopaths. However, all psychopaths and sociopaths are narcissists. They lack guidance, they have no empathy and they are manipulative creatures. They are attention seekers and defensive when challenged. Narcissists are fascinating characters as you never quite know how they will respond.
Psychopaths are cunning and smart whereas sociopaths are sullen and creepy. Psychopaths make great military operatives as they act on orders and without conscience. Sociopaths are different. They have anger issues, they have been made to feel inadequate, they are socially unskilled and we see them as pathetic.
Psychopaths are normally victims of some physical trauma to the Orbital or Anterior Temporal Cortex which links them to a genetic flaw in their MAOA gene. This is (normally) passed on to men by their mothers whilst in the womb through abnormal levels of serotonin production when pregnant. Sociopaths have been subject to emotional trauma such as bullying, belittling and physical abuse or exposure to extreme events like witnessing harm inflicted on loved ones.
Which of these will be revealed in this book? How will you, the reader, respond to these characters? I am dying to read the feedback on who they are to you and how you relate to them.
I intend to finish my penultimate draft and then spend a month or so fine-tuning their dysfunction and unorthodoxy as it weaves through the plot events. I’m already looking forward to the final month of doing this. It’s still some way off.