I grew up in a town so small that traffic lights were, and still are, completely unnecessary. There were seven bars, but to balance things out, there were also seven churches. Main street was only a couple of blocks long. There were only about 80 kids grade 7-12 when I was in school, and that number has since dropped to around forty or so. I started shooting a rifle when I was four, just like all of the other country kids, and I started driving about the same time. (No lie.)
According to the latest census, seventy-nine percent of the U.S. population lives in urban/suburban areas. I don't know if seventy-nine percent of U.S. authors live in urban areas, but I think it's safe to say that the majority of America's authors do.
To me, the disparity shows. If a small town is used in a setting in a story, it's nearly inevitable that one of the following negative stereotypes will be included. Nosy gossips.Ignorant yokels.Inbred, ignorant yokels.Homophobic, inbred, an…
I have good news and bad news. The good news is my blog is picking up a lot more traffic. The bad news is that, since some of the new readers know me personally, I had to delete a very popular post called, "The Real Horror Story Behind My Character's Motivations."
The children involved in that years-long ordeal are not yet safe, and I'm terrified word will get back to the psycho they have for a mother that I posted their story. She holds the upper hand because the law will not step in, even though her abuse has been reported. I fear what she will do if she is angered.
I took great pains to disguise the kids' identities, but one reader recognized enough details to know who they were. It's not her fault. It was mine. I had hoped by posting it I could show people how kids fall through the cracks, but it's too risky.
The psychopath is a perennial favorite character-type amongst authors in every genre, though they are most often used in mysteries and thrillers. Often authors get the very nature of the psychopath incorrect. I'm not a criminology expert, but I've studied them extensively, both on my own and through my sociology coursework, and seeing a story with an unrealistic psychopath is an instant turn-off for me.
I've long wanted to do more than screech incoherently at the television or book that portrays them as the product of abuse or other fallacies, but the topic is quite large and I've been hesitant to broach the subject. Tonight, I'm fueled by enough caffeine to wire a moose and I'm trapped inside by yet another winter storm. I've decided to do a series of blog posts based around the characteristics of a psychopath, and how we authors often get them wrong. Myths about Psychopaths