I saw where someone asked you about writing characters with dissociative identity disorder and if you're interested, many people on tumblr actually do have this disorder -myself included. It's quite a sensitive subject because we're dealing with a TON of misrepresentation, misinformation, and hate right now, so if you want, you could refer inquiries over to me at strangersinside. prismata and bellthekat might be willing to field some questions too.
Awesome, thanks! I’m sorry to hear about that. Anyone with questions, check these blogs out.
A note on dissociative disorders: there is much dispute over accuracy about the disorder. The most famous case, Sybil, was proven to be highly manipulated by the psychologist "treating" her. The study itself and the girl was manipulated and, in my opinion, abused and exploited. I would advice extreme care and scrutiny while researching.
Hi. I love your blog. I am writing a story about a person with dissociative identity disorder and i was wondering if you could give me any advices for writing a character with this characteristics. Thank you. <3
Hello! I don’t know the most about dissociative disorders, but if I were in your position I would probably try to make clear distinctions between the different personalities. Movements, voice patterns, and even a noticeable shift in appearance/clothes could be distinguishing factors, but it may be hard to get this all out on paper. One study I’ve learned about by Thigpen and Cleckley (http://www.holah.karoo.net/thigpenstudy.htm) had to do with a woman with multiple personalities, which were given names. There was Eve White, who was composed and moral; Eve Black, who was more inappropriate and wild; and Jane, who acted as a middle ground between them. You may want to take a similar approach in naming the personalities inside one character, but this may prove to be confusing for readers. There should also be something that triggers the shift in personality—in the study, for example, the woman would get a severe headache. You should also try to think about how the different personas would serve the plot. Do you want there to be conflict caused by the personalities? If so, think about who they have to interact with and the best way to form problems. There’s many options available when it comes to determining the characteristics. The personalities can be complete opposites or even similar but with different mindsets and reasoning skills. Also, consider what the personalities think about each other. Are they aware of the others’ existences? Maybe one persona does not like the other/s and wants to be the one running things. There’s a lot to take into account!
Ultimately, you always should aim for accuracy when portraying disorders and other conditions, so it’s essential to do as much research as you can. Try to find videos of people who have had the disorder, and do lots of internet research. Maybe even check out a few books. Look up causes, symptoms, and other information. Be patient and always double check facts you may choose to include in your story. My top piece of advice would be to make sure you treat the character as a human first rather than just somebody with a disorder. I hope this helped! Good luck writing.
If any Scribblers have anything to add, shoot it my way!
Just so you all know, you have the ability to pick and choose what writing advice you want to follow. Don’t let anyone tell you they know the right way or there are no exceptions to any rule. There’s no one way to write and be wary of anyone who tells you so.
Keep these things in mind!
The beginning of your novel is super important and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Planning out the first few chapters of your novel can be difficult, so I’ve come up with a list of things you should try to avoid. For the most part, pulling from this list will weaken your story. I know there are always exceptions, but I can almost guarantee you many publishers and agents are tired of seeing the same plot devices used over and over again.
So, here are a few ways to automatically weaken your story from the first few sentences:
Start with a long description of your character.
Sure, it helps your readers to have an image of your main character in their minds, BUT you don’t need to put the full description in the first paragraph. There might be a few things you want to mention, but try not to go beyond that until the opportunity presents itself. A full report is not necessary and it will drag your writing down from the beginning. Get creative with how you introduce your character and their appearance. What’s important? What do your readers absolutely need to know? Go with that.
Start with a dream.
I know this does work occasionally, but it happens so often I’m sure most people are sick of it. Starting your novel with a dream is no longer very creative and your readers will just want you to get to the point. However, if you do start with a dream make sure it ties the story together in some way and it’s not just boring story filler.
Start with your character waking up.
This happens so often it’s crazy. It’s alright to begin your novel with something other than your character starting their day. In fact, it’s more exciting when it does. We don’t need to see what they do in the morning or read about them staring at their reflection in the mirror as they get ready for the day. You can start your novel where you want, so do something interesting.
Start with the weather.
Unless your story directly relates to the weather, please try to open your novel with something else. No one really cares about the weather that much, unless it’s some sort of apocalyptic awesome weather, so avoid it where you can.
Start with character emotions/thoughts.
“Where am I?” Amy thought. This is pretty boring. So is, “Amy was sad.” You’re already starting off your novel by telling your readers what your main character is thinking. We want to see it and experience it ourselves. You want to give your readers something to picture. The first sentence of your novel should be exciting and draw your readers in.