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  1. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    Writing about a different kind of Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Nicoel, Jan 4, 2015.

    Hi all! I've had a story idea about a romance where everyone has a "significant other." Where they have a soul mate, and it's something they find out after meeting the other persons eyes for the first time. The thing is - I want to make the main character neurotypical (no mental disorders) but I want her "one" to be a male with mild (perhaps medium) autism/aspergers.

    As long as it's mild and they're considered competent, there's nothing illegal about relationships (sexual or otherwise). I have a lot of experience with autistic people, but for some reason I'm very worried about how I can make his character not seem... childish. This is going to be a story between two adults. I'm also worried about making it offensive.

    I also want to experiment with a sex scene (I've already started to do research on this). Does anyone have any advice, or tips on how to develop his character along with the main character? Has anyone tried to write something like this, or have any actual personal experience? This is my first romance!
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If you have a lot of experience with autistic spectrum then your problem will not be portraying them accurately. You're problem will be convincing the reader that you know what you're writing about. Most people don't have any experience with autistic spectrum, and some of what your characters do won't be understandable to them.

    I think the best way to move forward is to have a group of autistic characters, a support group, or street gang, somewhere where more then one character is seen to behave...erratically. It will be easier for the reader to understand what's happening then, and not that the character is just really poorly written.
     
  3. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    That's actually a really good idea, thank you! I hadn't really considered it like that. I have had a lot of experience, so I suppose sometimes I can forget that not a lot of people know and have experienced what I have.
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    On of my best friends in high school was autistic, but he was so high functioning I didn't even know. It wasn't until I met other autistic people that I realized that so many of his little quirks were actually just common autistic behaviors.
     
  5. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    That's actually pretty cool! I think the person that I'm going to write about is going to be somewhat like that, but just a tad bit more severe.

    Have you ever read a book similar to my idea? I can't think of any...
     
  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    The closest I can come is the incredible (and criminally unawarded) performance of Ryan Cartwright on the SyFy original series Alphas.
     
  7. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    What is that?? And is it any good? :p I need more things to watch...
     
  8. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I picked up on that just as they canned it. My friend's nephew was in it.

    In your story, will the reader know from the start that the character is autistic or will it be something the reader has to work out or find out about alongside other characters?

    I think this sounds like an interesting story!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
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  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Super humans with extra abilities solve crimes and stuff. It wasn't very good, but the autistic portrail was extremely accurate.
     
  10. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    Just think of the character as quirky, rather than childish and you'll probably be fine. Also make sure you're not unknowingly harbouring any stereotypes about what autistic people are like, as they are even more different from eachother than you and I are. They are not per se stupider or smarter, but different, seeing the world in a light than others. You might also want to look up some diagnoses etc. to make sure the character you write is correctly labelled, treated and described in your story.
     
  11. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    I'm trying to decide if they're going to meet in a school setting where she's already aware of him, but since he doesn't like looking people in the eyes she's never made eye contact with him and therefore doesn't know - or if she finds him and he's just confused, or like, "What.." Until she speaks to his mother?

    Which do you think sounds more interesting? I'm leaning towards the first, simply because it seems easier!
     
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  12. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    Yeah, that's a very good point.. Thank you! One of the first autistic people I've ever been close to was about 5 years ago (it honestly doesn't seem that long ago when I met him) and I believe I'm going to "base" his behavior off of him. He would move his arms sporadically and he had some anger problems, but oddly enough he enjoyed hugs. One thing he would do to me is just stare into my eyes for 5 minutes straight, and for the life of me I can't seem to remember if he did that to everyone or if he is like the others and didn't make eye contact with most people. I believe the character in my story won't like to make eye contact.

    I've got a lot of research to do about the diagnoses/medication, because I want to be accurate! I know some people (like my neighbor) are basically walking pharmacies with as much drugs they're taking every day..

    (Your quirky rather than childish point is perfect. Thanks :D )
     
  13. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    Ohh nice, that sounds cool :D Reminds me of the TV show where the redhead couldn't forget anything..
     
  14. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Hmmm. I'm not sure! As a reader, I would like to know from the start as I would be interested in following the story of how she finds out about him.
     
  15. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you read The Rosie Project? It's about a romance where the MC is on the autism spectrum.
     
  16. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I can definitely see that; and I believe that's what I'm going to go with. Thank you!:friend:
     
  17. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    No I haven't! Never heard of it. I might go check it out now
     

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