1. ms627
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    ms627 Member

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    Your Demons

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ms627, Mar 2, 2013.

    Hey guys!

    Characters have flaws, battles, demons. Relatable flaws.

    I've exhausted other resources, so rather than wait for inspiration, I was hoping that you guys could help me out. If you don't mind saying, what are your demons? What aspects of your life are you constantly fighting or have overcome? Poverty? Greed?

    If you just have one word, that's fine. Feel free to elaborate as well.

    Thanks so much
     
  2. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    My main character in the novel i am working on battles with loss, anger, fear and self-confidence issues.
     
  3. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    Psychiatric journals are good for character flaws (check out google scholar- many documents there are free). Also, reading academic books on the human condition has helped me flesh out characters on many occasions. University libraries are the best for that sort of thing (and they'll have copies of past thesis and research papers), but normal libraries will have plenty.

    Alternatively, research the lives of past socialities. Coco Chanel had very interesting demons, as did various hollywood actresses/models/musicians of the early-to-mid 20th century- the fact that most of them are dead now gives you easier access to information/biographies on them.

    If none of that works, turn to the tabloids. The Daily Mail (a British tabloid newspaper in case you're not from the UK) is full of personal accounts of struggles with demons. Shows like Jerry Springer and the Jeremy Kyle show can expose some colourful characters too, and participants are usually more than willing to divulge quite personal information.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    are you asking about our personal demons, as the wording of your questions suggests?... or about the characters we create?

    if you are, then my answer is that i have none... not since i divested myself of 'self' some 17 years ago... that makes for simple, stress-free living, since if one has no desires or goals, no demons can arise...
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I doubt you'll get anyone to actually reveal their demons even on a site like this. It's way too personal. I'd suggest reading psychiatric case studies. You'll find some pretty formidable as well as mundane demons there.
     
  6. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    addiction to chewing gum.
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    This is one of those things that really can't be spoon-fed. You need to observe as many of the variants of human behavior as you can, seeing the impact of those demons firsthand so that you can understand their impact. We could catalogue lots of disorders for you, but it would only be a list, useless from the perspective of a writer trying to develop characters. Because a good story isn't about a character's "demons". It's about the person. It's about where the character's strengths and weaknesses meet the variables of life circumstances. So, one person's harmless foible could be another person's ultimate downfall.

    My own view is that this is not something that can be researched clinically. It has to be lived. You want to learn about someone's demons? Live them. Get in the line of fire. Want to learn about alcoholism? Don't ask an alcoholic. Go to an Al-Anon meeting and talk to his wife, or go to Al-a-Teen and talk to his children. Don't ask for information; offer to be their friend. Be there for someone who's in the line of fire.

    Want to learn about the homeless? Come to New York and head over to St. Francis of Assisi church on 31st Street on the West Side, and get there around 7:00 in the morning when the line is more than a block long for the bread line. Or go to a homeless shelter and lend a hand. Don't ask questions, just listen.
     
  8. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Watch movies, good movies or read good novels. Another good thing that will help you is to sit down with yourself and reflect on your life. This should help you see what you were, say 2 years ago, and what you are today. We develop, we change, we grow from overcoming our demons. Our demons don't rise from fear or goals or desires. They rise from our battles to become better or worse people than we are.
    certainly most people change not alone, they change because something happens in their life or someone enters/leaves their life. an abused wife might bloom when her abusive husband is taken away to jail or she might fall into depression and become an alcoholic. A Happy wife might keep living on her husband's memory after he dies or she might fall into depression and become an alcoholic. Demons are things that we overcome depending on our personality. some demons can also be created inside our head, so many people are scared of things that don't exist at all in reality. Some people have such strong fears that they can't sleep or eat or do their regular, daily things at all.
    I can't list to you all the possible demons people can have as there isn't an end to them, because even if the fear is similar, or reaction and solution to it differs from person to person. Some people give up to their demons and some don't.

    My main character is hunted by his father's reputation, his abusive uncle and his weak mother. Some people in his situation might turn to become victims, become depressed and finally commit suicide, but he takes it all and turns it into fuel, anger. His anger leads him to make wrong decisions, decisions made because of his demons of fear of being victimized, of becoming evil like his uncle, of falling into traps, of being lost. This doesn't mean he doesn't desire to become a better person, but he isn't willing to try because his anger blinds him.

    Look at your character and ask them: What is it that you fear? and let them tell you themselves.
     
  9. Anum Asad
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    Anum Asad New Member

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    Possessiveness is a really strong demon i have and have to constantly deal with it :)
     
  10. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I find that a rather personal question. Why would anyone ask such a question? Just because you've 'exhausted your inspiration' doesn't mean you can ask us--would you asked strangers in the street? Of course not. As many members have said here...do the work yourself....don't take the easy road and simply ask the forum. Do some research.
     
  11. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Opiates were my biggest demon, for sure. That and a whole other list of things below the surface, chemicals being a symptom more than anything. Now, after getting sober, I find my demons are easier to manage--things all fear based and selfish, things that show up in many forms and take on many shapes, and need constant attention to detail in order to see through the lies and false realities I'll create in mind.

    I can be rather obnoxious, certainly self-centered, absorbed in my head and out of the moment, resentful, inconsiderate--all kinds of things. They may sound like small potatoes, but to me, they are things I battle with on a daily basis, and do what I can to be the opposite of all of those.

    Not sure about all the hate regarding this question in the above post, for no one has to share about anything, so it doesn't need to be taken personally. Typically, people who keep things closely to themselves do so because they are uncomfortable with allowing another person in, or hold some negative feeling about them-self they cannot let go. I personally see the question as great, for we all breathe the same air, and none of us are perfect. And here, on the website, the OP has a well of people who could potentially offer him information that may help his writing.

    Ed is right though, a lot of this is observed, experienced, and shared among people within your immediate circle of life. You have a ton of people you could already be asking.

    Although, I have to amend one of his statements about alcoholism, since I'm a part of the sober community where I live. Sure, going to al-anon will teach you about ONE side of alcoholism, it's effect/affect on the family dynamic, but if you go to an OPEN AA meeting (and I stress Open), you're going to get a completely different side to the story, one that's almost always overlooked.

    As for me, I have no problem sharing the darkest moments of my past, on any level. If you would like to ask me questions, message me anytime and ask away.
     
  12. Sanjuricus
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    Sanjuricus Active Member

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    Aggression. Bizarrely I'm not an aggressive person by nature, I'm easy going, personable, polite etc. If you "attack" me though, my first instinct is to attack back. I really struggle with it and have managed to suppress it for the most part but it's still there. If you ever find yourself in the position of having attacked me, you'll see me tense up and exhale before replying calmly...thats the internal struggle bit!!
    (When I say attack, I don't mean physically, I think it's a given that if you attack someone physically you're gonna get punched!)
     
  13. GhostWolfe
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    GhostWolfe Member

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    The thing about demons is that I could say "insecurity" & while I wouldn't be wrong, you'd have no concept of what that means for me, or how to make a character realistically insecure.
     

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