1. Killer300

    Killer300 Active Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Killer300, Aug 27, 2011.

    There probably already is a thread on this but... how do you write someone that is insanely smart? When I mean insanely smart, we're talking can do calculus like breathing levels. Are there good examples in fiction that should be studied for this? Watching Good Will Hunting right now, in order to get a feel for it, but would like to have a lot more perspectives.
  2. Anonym

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Jan 16, 2010
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    In my experience, part of it depends on how deeply you want to delve into that character's perspective. The MC from Flowers for Algernon (I forget his name) portrayed genius quite well to me, but it was also in the 1st person and went rather deeply into his thoughts and thought process, which I imagine would be more difficult to pull of.

    I'm currently writing an MC who could be called a genius - tho not necessarily a prodigy - whose intellect I've mainly only alluded to through gradually demonstrating his skills and whatnot as subtly as possible. I don't come right out and reveal that he is fluent in 5 languages, has a rather disturbing talent for predicting human behavior, etc. - his aptitudes only rear their head when they are needed.

    My dude specifically is very secretive and surreptitious, so he tends to hide his intelligence as much as possible, lest other more antagonistic characters try to anticipate and circumvent his plans. Because of that, and that I rarely actually use his own personal perspective, it makes it easier for me to merely allude to the depth of intellect that boils inside him, suppressed beneath his poker-face exterior via situations where he simply must tip his hand so to speak and reveal his "genius"ness, so as to steer said situations toward ultimately preserving, and ideally maximizing the success and efficacy of his plans.

    Personally, it has been easier for me to write a genius character whose POV is rarely used and who consciously attempts to be inconspicuous about their intellect, basically. I don't imagine that is necessarily helpful for your WIP, but that's my own experience.

    I'd also recommend checking out some genius-exemplifying tropes on TVtropes.org for some good examples. Xanatos speed chess/roulette, batman gambit, etc.

    Good luck!

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