EXERCISE State of Mind: Insanity

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS' started by Diana, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Insanity is something that roleplayers and writers love to display in their characters. Be it an enemy, side character, or even your hero. The problem, is that many people equate Insanity with Randomness or Chaos. It's easy to throw in something chaotic and shocking, something random and unpredictable and call that Insanity. To give no rhyme or reason to the actions and thoughts of characters is a simple thing, but if you put some clues and thought in to it - you can give a lot more depth to your character and really express the insane.

    In this exercise, you are going to express INSANITY by building it up in a more subtle way. Start with a character behaving normally and then progress the descent in to Insanity.


    • Looking up mental disorders and their symptoms is a GREAT way to help express Insanity. This can give you a foundation to work from. You don't want to say someone is Schizophrenic or has Multiple Personality Disorder, and then display the wrong kind of behaviors.
    • Physical cues are subtle and powerful. They can clue a reader in that something "isn't right" and also mislead and reader in to thinking something else is the real problem. The corner of an eye or mouth twitching could just be anger. Or twisting a ring on a finger could just be nervousness. Yet they can also be cues that the character is disturbed.
    • Many "Insane" people seem perfectly normal until they have been triggered by something. This can be as simple as a word, a scent, or seeing something. To as far as a stress explosion or confrontation. Deciding what these triggers are to make them unstable can give you something to work in to your posts.
    • Sometimes Insanity has nothing to do with a mental condition - sometimes it's just a persona's lack of moral compass or misconstruing of the facts. What seems crazy to others, makes perfect logical sense to them.
    • WHY this person is insane will also be the most important factor, and can dictate how they express it. Someone with a mental disorder will not behave the same as someone who simply cracked under stress.
    • Are they aware of their insanity or that they have a problem? Awareness or lack of it will determine how a character copes with their insanity, and how they express or suppress it.

    Do YOU have some hints and suggestions for expressing insanity? Feel free to post those too as you do this exercise!
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  2. Lucas stared calmly out of the window. Everything was as it should be. The city below was barely stirring in the early morning light, he watched with mild interest. The lives of humans had rarely held his attention for more than a few seconds. Today though, today was different. They knew nothing about it, but he felt it in his blood.

    "Liege," His manservant Keagan muttered as he entered the room and bowed. "There is news"

    Lucas turned, flexing his wings threateningly behind him and raised an eyebrow. "You didn't find her!" It wasn't a question, it was an accusation. His words dripped with the malice he felt in his heart. "I told you that death would follow failure!" His deep voice echoed through the room.

    "Liege, we did not find her because she is here... waiting for you downstairs, of her own free will."

    The angel felt a shiver that ran through his wings. He purred at the feeling. What a pleasant surprise. Things will be easier than planned. He smiled maliciously, as he dismissed Keagan and moved to the wardrobe. Don't do it, Luc. He hissed at the voice that echoed inside his head. His dammed brother was always the voice of reason. Talking him out of his best plans. "Leave me. I shall do as I please."

    Is this really who you want to be?
    "QUIET!" His voice roared, deep and resonating. It was his strongest tone, the one he used on those who misbehaved in his presence.
    You'll never be able to quiet me, brother.
    "You are dead. I am not. You shall never speak again, brother."

    Keagan knocked tentatively on the door, "Liege, is everything okay?"
    "I told you to be QUIET!" Lucas screamed as he slammed through the door, grabbing Keagan's throat in his hand. He growled staring into the frightened man's eyes. "That's right, brother, fear me."
    Keagan opened his mouth to respond, but Lucas thrust his hand into his chest and pulled his heart out.

    After several moment of quiet Lucas grinned.
    You'll never silence me, Luc.
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  3. As Okami walked through the woods, his enhanced senses aware him about a group of persons not to far from him, it was no more than seven persons, all males; he wasn't going to go and check, it wasn't of his business, he just kept himself walking trying to evade the group and thinking in the trees to forget those persons. He heard a scream not to far, it wasn't coming from the direction of the men noticed before, again, it wasn't of his business, he just wanted to arrive his destiny the quickest possible, the night was already coming, that night was a full moon one...And we all know what happens to lycans during full moon. He was already able to control his morphing ability, but, if he morphs during full moon he will lose the control over his body. As he walked throuogh the woods he noticed a dark red liquid right under his feets, it was covering most of the ground, he knew what that liquid was, he wasn't gooing to ignore it, this time the thing was serious, he noticed that the group of men had changed of location, this time those men where in the same location of the red liquid origin, he morphed his legs to reach the place the fastes possible.

    When he finally reached the place, the only thing he saw was the red liquid covering the ground and most of the trees, one of his eyes turned slightly yellow as he covered it with his left hand, his mouth opened a bit, he wasn't able to say anything, but; he didn't knew how to feel, a part of him wanted to stay silent and just go while the other one needed to laugh, it was blood, the beatuful blood, an amazing red tone that covers everything in the place, it was geourgeous, his mouth slowly started closing and formed a little smile.

    "Khuhu...Kyaha....hahaha" He laughed in a low tone as he removed his hand of his eye.

    His enhanced senses aware him of someone behind a tree looking at him, Okami, with the speed of lightning rushed toward the tree with his hand morped into a claw, he stabed the tree and pierced the tree alongside the man behind it, when he took his hand off the tree he stared at the blood in his claw, he couldn't hold it, the moon was almost out, he only exploded right there.

    "KHAHAHA....KYHAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA, KYAHAHAHAHA!!" His laugh broke the woods silence, it was the only sound in tha bloody night.[/COLOR]
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