What's the strangest medical or psychological condition you've ever given to one of your characters?
It would be easy to say that many of the characters in my Free Wolves series suffer from clinical lycanthropy. In simple terms, that's the condition of thinking you are a werewolf (or other animal.) In more technical terms, it's defined as a rare psychiatric syndrome that involves a delusion that the affected person can transform into, has transformed into, or is a non-human animal. Its name is associated with the mythical condition of lycanthropy, a supernatural affliction in which humans are said to physically shapeshift into wolves. (from Wikipedia.) But since my characters can actually shift, it's not a delusion. Or is it?
I'll leave you to ponder that question and move on to Oak Grove and Harmony. If you've read the books, you know she has a few quirks to her personality. Counting stairs is one of them, and being obsessed with naming things is another. Her morning habit of coffee and reading the newspaper in the summer borders is more than a pattern. Then there's her weekend cleaning ritual, chores always done in the same order.
Although I didn't plan it, those symptoms point to a slight (and undiagnosed) case of OCD. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) It's defined as a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.
That may be part of what makes the librarian job so perfect for Harmony. There's a certain sense of ritual in many of the daily tasks. Shelving books, for example. Not only does it involve finding the right spot for each book, I can see her straightening up all the neighboring books in a perfect line, all the spines the exact same distance from the edge of the shelf. Or carefully arranging the magazines in the periodicals section so they are in chronological order.
Here's one example from The Marquesa's Necklace:
I climbed the stone steps, smiling, counting them as I had habitually done all those years ago. As a teenager, the library became my second home. One, two, three ....fifteen. There is now a wheelchair ramp in the back, but the steps are unchanged.
I don't consider Obsessive Compulsive Disorder strange, but it opens up a whole host of quirks for me to play with in exploring Harmony's personality.
Now, let's see what the other authors inflicted on their characters!
June 11, 2018
whats the strangest medical or psychological condition you've ever given to one of your characters?
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