This subject comes up frequently for authors, I would expect. Recently I went to Goodreads without realizing I was there as Roxanna Haley, not D.L. Hungerford. Later I got an email telling me I was now friends with Roxanna. Really? Because that chick owes me money!
One time, Facebook locked me out of my pages because someone who had different political views reported me as a menace to social media. So for two weeks, I had to go to all my sites and post as Roxanna. I had to state in all my posts that I was Demi’s alter ego. By the time I got out of FB Jail, I wasn’t sure anymore who I was. Maybe I really am Roxanna and Demi is my alter ego. Won’t my husband be surprised!
Split personality is an archaic term for schizophrenia, which is a fancy term for multiple personality disorder. The funny thing is, as a writer, I need to get into the head and speech and behavior of ALL my characters. Not just the man and woman who are the center of my story. I need to totally understand the ambulance driver who responds to the 911 call at the darkest moment in my Work in Progress. I have to be sure about the barista at the indie coffee shop who identifies the killer. And I really need to know the wife of the murderer when she runs into the hero and blithely assures him she had no idea he had gotten out of prison.
For me, it’s not a disorder, it’s a requirement. And not only must I be able to change sexes, I need to be younger, older, black, Asian, Pacific Islander, and a person with no respect for human life. At the end of the day, I’m exhausted.
A British definition for split personality is the tendency to rapidly change moods or temperament. In the course of one chapter, I can change from an accomplice who is scared that he’s about to be caught, the real bad guy who knows what’s really at stake and will stop at nothing to keep out of police custody, and the woman who opened her home and her heart to a nice guy, only to have her house blow up. Okay, that’s more than one chapter, but you get the idea.
I was hoping to find some super high-tech article on understanding the author’s brain, but instead, I found a lot of results that were guidelines for authors who want to submit an article to a journal called Brain. There must be grant money out there, somewhere. What are you waiting for? Apply for it! Apply for several, using all your writing names.
There is an article that tells us How to Think Like a Writer. And there is a blog that tells us why that might not work for us. Somewhere in-between those two points, Roxanna and I are pounding the keyboards and churning out the words. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.