Writer’s Craft #20 – Character Psychology
This week’s guest author is Ann Gimpel, here to introduce her new blog on character psychology and invite your questions or comments concerning the psychology of your characters. (Lynda)
When I was wracking my brain to come up with an interesting idea for a blog, I spent days considering and discarding topics. And then it came to me like a bolt out of the proverbial blue and I felt quite the fool. It’s not accidental that the wisest amongst us always say, “Write what you know.” Well, I know psychology. In fact, I know it far better than writing since I’ve spent the past thirty years as a practicing psychologist. Over that time, my field has changed. And not for the better. The advent of managed care has altered what used to be a very intimate relationship into a ménage a trios: just you, me and your insurance company…
But I digress. The juxtaposition of psychology and writing is obvious. Hence, my blog on The Psychology of Character Development. http://anngimpel.blogspot.com. My hope for this brand new blog is to do a comprehensive job covering how authors develop characters that are sympathetic and believable. Characters that leave the reader panting for more. If you think about it, when you’re anxiously awaiting the next book in a series, what you’re really waiting for is more of the protagonist because you’ve bonded with him/her. They feel like someone you know and care about. And you want to share more of their journey. Face it, if the protag is dead—as in wooden, one-dimensional, or dull—so’s the story. No one reads genre fiction (or any other type for that matter) because they’re hooked on descriptions of alternative worlds. It’s the characters that make those worlds come alive.
Without further blathering from me, I’d like to invite questions/comments from you. Pretty much anything about problems (or successes) you’ve had infusing life into a fictional character is fair game. It would be interesting to hear how you’ve gone about researching the psychological aspects of some of your thornier characters, too.
That’s likely enough from me. Questions are welcome. I’ll do my best to answer them. To borrow a line from Charles Schultz: The (character) doctor is in!
P.S. Through the end of May, I’m throwing a contest. Anyone who becomes a follower for my blog will be automatically entered into a drawing for a signed copy of Psyche’s Prophecy, my debut novel, released by Gypsy Shadow Publishing in February. The odds are good, folks! So far there are only six followers.