It is time to add another book to your shelf. Today I would like to recommend a handy guide I purchased a while back, The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman, Psy.D. If you want to write about characters with mental health disorders, or to take a closer look at what might make your maliciously scheming villain capable of committing such atrocities that your protagonist should hate him or her with body and soul, this is where you should look.
Kaufman touches on all the essentials, covering diagnoses and treatment and debunking various myths that have pulled the so called plausibility carpet from beneath the most experienced writers’ feet. The book discusses a full spectrum, from depression and eating disorders to psychopathic villains. Her tone is engaging and straightforward, and surely interesting even for those of you not predisposed to her subject area.
As characters are a fundamental aspect of all fiction (and many argue they are the fundamental aspect), it makes sense that as authors and author-hopefuls alike we should take an interest in and attempt to accurately portray human nature in all its forms.