Using real Life and Psychology as a source of inspiration for stories. My opinion. - Page 2


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Thread: Using real Life and Psychology as a source of inspiration for stories. My opinion.

  1. #11
    Thanks ralph. Any area of sociology worth studying? What subjects in sociology are worth studying for writers? I admit i have taken very few sociology courses. I know it can be handy for a character background study. Or their past history could be part of the character information and maybe could be in some cases examples.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  2. #12
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    It's not just what you think. Psychology is important in writing character and in this case, human characters.

    How and why someone think, talk, feel, behave like one; it's all psychology in its simplest form.

  3. #13
    Textbooks can be really amazing for studying sociology.
    Start with the basics and advance.
    Sociology is cool because it explains many of the conventions in our daily life.
    Essentially you learn HOW we got to where we are.
    Knowing that can help you to create dystopian worlds because you can parallel our world in fiction.
    Star Trek was famous for doing this.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by escorial View Post
    Math is the language of science but without human experience it has no value
    "Math is the language of reality" -- Jasper (a part-donkey satyr-looking man in Pinocchio)

    I'd never been a math person or really thought about it til he said that (and I had to write it down because it was so dang interesting and unexpected). Helped get me through two semesters of 9 AM engineering calculus. I've realized through taking that class that he was right the whole time. There's an equation for everything--even if we haven't figured it out yet. Everything can be mathematically modeled. Makes it all the more tragic that he's not allowed to study math and science and instead gets forced into super-hinky illicit stuff... and eventually murders his owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I find it hard to imagine a good writer who didn't grasp psychology. Without understanding a characters thoughts, feelings, fears, motivations, etc (and without making sure those are similar to that of a real life human being), you don't have a character with inner life.

    As far as inspiration, I guess so. I don't personally find a whole lot of creative spark from contemplating psychological principles and conditions or anything with an -ism or a -disorder or a -syndrome tagged to it. What I do is consider 'What if' a lot when it comes to human situations and dilemmas and try to view it through the prism of thoughts and feelings:

    - How would it feel to be stranded on a desert island?
    - How would it feel to go back in time and encounter Jesus?
    - How would it feel to murder somebody on accident?

    The third one is actually the basis of a story I wrote recently about a boy who accidentally murders his younger brother. There's a lot of scope for originality in conceiving not necessarily of new ideas but rather different angles on old ones. Accidental death itself is not interesting. Accidental death of a family member by a child? Total mind fuck. At least for me. YMMV.
    I don't set out to write characters with disorders--they just develop disorders on their own. I've unintentionally come up with all kinds of fun disorders--only to find out later that they were real disorders... and that said character definitely fit the criteria. I'll leave diagnosing them to professionals--in part because it was kinda scary for me. Dissociative disorders have been some of the neatest to see crop up organically.

    Purposefully setting out to make a character with a disorder usually leads to making the character fit the diagnostic criteria a little too closely. Then the character comes off as unbelievable to professionals and people close to the disease, which is sad because the work is usually done with the intent of illuminating the disorder/disease to people who aren't familiar with it--maybe even ginning up support for affiliated charities. Unless the writer's just trying to make a bad guy... which is kinda sad. Mental health issues are stigmatized enough without all the suffering parties being made to look like bad guys.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    Unless the writer's just trying to make a bad guy... which is kinda sad. Mental health issues are stigmatized enough without all the suffering parties being made to look like bad guys.
    I don't know, most psychopaths are pretty bad people
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I don't know, most psychopaths are pretty bad people
    Yes, they might not be the greatest, most wonderful people to be around...

    But they don't have to be the "bad guy". They don't have to be mindless evil villains. Sure, they're easy to turn into villains, but it could be a rewarding experience to have a psychopath who isn't some mindless evil. It's a spectrum disorder, so some aren't as bad off as others. Not all of them are criminals. They have the cards stacked against them for being "nice" friendly, sociable people, certainly. Sure, they don't empathize or socialize well, but being antisocial isn't evil.

    Even impaired or absent conscience and empathy don't necessarily mean such a person will act out against societal norms. People often avoid things they don't understand. They might never internalize the "rules" of society, but they can still follow them. They're not stupid; they can read and learn "the rules". Believing murder isn't inherently wrong but knowing it can get you landed behind bars might still lead to the psychopath not committing murder. Or there might just be things the psychopath would rather be doing (like playing video games at home). Some psychopaths can come off as quite charming (I'd suspect these are ones to worry about more). There's a lot of wiggle room with this diagnosis.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  7. #17
    The vast majority of books I have read that contained sociopaths, psychopaths, and serial killers, were penned by authors who just made shit up as they went along. Very rarely do I see a writer that has actually studied these people to any depth.

    A prime example of this is the show Criminal Minds.
    They have all of these serial killers whose primary motivation is the glee of killing, or of being the smartest guy in the world... which is absolute BS. Those things come along later.
    The truth about serial killers is that once you dig deep enough, there's always a penis in there somewhere.
    At their very core, they are doing the things they do for sexual reasons.
    Sometimes they don;t even have sex with the victim, but rather use manual stimulation.
    It's all about the dick.
    Even women serial killers. Dig deep enough, and there is a dick in there, somewhere.

    If you are gonna write psychologically challenged characters and want some credibility, then you gotta do the homework first.

  8. #18
    *Note: I was largely referring to Organized killers (as opposed to disorganized.)
    The latter may kill people simply because their neighbor's dog told them to.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    The vast majority of books I have read that contained sociopaths, psychopaths, and serial killers, were penned by authors who just made shit up as they went along. Very rarely do I see a writer that has actually studied these people to any depth.

    A prime example of this is the show Criminal Minds.
    They have all of these serial killers whose primary motivation is the glee of killing, or of being the smartest guy in the world... which is absolute BS. Those things come along later.
    The truth about serial killers is that once you dig deep enough, there's always a penis in there somewhere.
    At their very core, they are doing the things they do for sexual reasons.
    Sometimes they don;t even have sex with the victim, but rather use manual stimulation.
    It's all about the dick.
    Even women serial killers. Dig deep enough, and there is a dick in there, somewhere.

    If you are gonna write psychologically challenged characters and want some credibility, then you gotta do the homework first.
    First long fiction I ever wrote was about a female serial killer who targeted pedophiles... did a bunch of research. Writing it made me a miserable, nasty person to be around because I was spending so much time trying to get into character and write her. But, yeah, to make her authentic... I gave her a subplot/motivation where she couldn't orgasm during normal sex but enjoyed torturing really nasty people. I hadn't wanted to put it in there, but I felt I had to do justice to the psychology of it.

    Was a warped experience for a 17-year-old in the late 90's. It got out at school, and everyone thought I was some kinda sicko.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  10. #20
    Yeah, deep research in that genre will make you take more sleeping pills than Heath Ledger.
    It is some troubling stuff.

    My fav book was Whoever Fights Monsters. Netflix finally turned it into a show, but the guy wrote the book 30 years ago.

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