Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How Criminal Minds Improved My Writing

A few months ago, I noticed that a lot of my patients were all watching the same show. I only saw bits and pieces, and I didn’t really know what it was, but it looked interesting. Recently, my interests have kind of shifted from sitcom type shows to more criminal investigative shows.

Turns out the show was called Criminal Minds, and I found it on Netflix and started watching. I really love it, and I absorbed more than I thought I did. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, it’s about a group within the FBI that investigates serial killers, rapists and kidnappers by analyzing their behavior to determine what kind of person would commit that crime and why.

Several weeks ago, while revising Hooked, I was struggling with one of my main villains. To me, it seemed like he kept switching his personality, depending on who he was with, but it seemed within his character. Finally, I had that lightbulb moment.

My villain had the God-complex. And the only reason I knew that was because of Criminal Minds. I started to profile my villain, his background, and the reasons behind what he does and it started to make so much sense. Suddenly, I could write him without even questioning his motives, because not only did I understand the why behind it, but I also understood the psychological part, the stuff that even he didn’t know.

From now on out, I’m going to profile every one of my characters. It’s a fantastic way to determine what really makes them tick, and to put together their background, their family life, and their environment to put together a whole person, not just a villain. Someone who has a desire for something, or a need to be fulfilled.

I love it when random things in my life connect like that.