1. isaac223

    isaac223 Active Member

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    Obsessive Fixation With Order?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by isaac223, Jan 26, 2017.

    Ernis Federyc is the first of various protagonists I have planned for an upcoming fantasy/mystery series I have received exorbitant help for from this very forum that emphasizes the corruption of information relating to events the audience has read of to use themes related to the distortion of history acting as a means of foreshadowing and world-building.

    The first main protagonist is a notable figure among people in their earliest stages of cognizance, living during an early-enacted period of Enlightenment onset by the previous presence of a humanity-threatening elongated winter as a means of adaption so to use the new focus on knowledge to learn about means of survival. The fixation on knowledge and mental exercise has persisted generations beyond the elongated winter, with the systematic interaction of every human being well defined by members of a new "intellectual" class, who are often picked for mentally demanding jobs, while those belong to a "hefty" class, both denoted by differing attire, are often picked for more physically demanding jobs.

    Ernis Federyc is an author of fictitious works, an occupational field that has few members thanks to the fixation on the current world and understanding it to the greatest degree. Ernis is wholly responsible for popularizing fantasy in this world and his books are held as high in regard as those of exceedingly important knowledge, if not more; because of the few copies of his books that exist, they're often traded in exchange for some food. He's also responsible for popularizing cross-class recreation, creating forms of competition and games that often are capable of accommodating members of either skill class.

    Ernis rarely leaves his house on the outskirts of the small human community, living perpetually distasteful with the erratic nature of humanity. Though I have 9 paragraphs spanning the description of his personality in a notebook, the gist of it is that he is clinically dependent upon order and systematic interactions and possesses a controlling nature as a result. He finds himself only accepting of the individuality of his sole friend Reginald Belefontaire merely because of his interestingly unconventional mind that exists as orderly and consistent in spite of that. He dislikes losing control of situations, which is why he willingly sacrifices sleep to continuously pour himself into his work which he does compulsively as its cathartic and satiates his demand for control.

    The presence of Reginald is cathartic and also prevents him from having fits of anxiety and/or angry for the most part, and so he only indulges himself in human interaction in the company of Reginald. However, even then, he is still sometimes capable of fits of anger thanks to his compulsory demand for order and control. How could I express this in the story with this causing the friendship between Reginald and Ernis breaching before I find it could advance the plot at all?
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    OK, this is not at all what you're asking. But your phrasing and vocabulary in your post above are so very, very formal that I'm struggling to get through the post. It appears that this isn't how you usually write, based on other posts. What's going on?
     
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  3. MarcT

    MarcT Active Member

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    I didn't understand a word of that.
     
  4. Reed R Gale

    Reed R Gale Member

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    okay lemme see if i can tl;dr that:

    ernis is obsessed with order and control
    ernis does not like to interact with others because they aren't orderly
    reggie is a special starchild to the world, but still logical and orderly so ernis has taken a shine to him
    how can you express the friendship between reggie and ernis without impeding plot?


    Alright, all that summed up, letsee...

    You want to express their relationship right? Well what you can do is give one defining moment. That's all you need. Show their daily life for one scene and show what their conversations, without a driving plot behind them, are like. That should be it.

    Take like, less than 10 minutes of the reader's time on that. The length of your post? That should be about how long the 'definite moment' could be. Just give them an impression of their relationship. The rest of the story and the two friend's interactions will do the rest.
     
  5. isaac223

    isaac223 Active Member

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    I apologize. It was really unintentional. I'll try to rephrase it:

    Ernis dislikes interacting with the common human because of the inherent lack of systematic interaction they have with the world around them. Reginald is an exception who has shown himself to Ernis as unconventional in mind, interesting Ernis, as well as being consistent in behavior and agenda. I want to know how to express Ernis' tendency to resort to fits of anger when the world and people he's directly associating with fall out of his control, in a way that show how it effects Reginald and his relationship in a way that justifies them still being friends despite the occasional fit of anger.

    That wasn't much better but it's what I could muster. I'm really sorry. I'm not quite sure why my writing is different than what is traditional for me.

    I'm terribly sorry, I didn't mean to make it too incomprehensible.

    Not quite what I was asking, though it was very helpful as its something else I very much wondered about. I re-clarified my inquiry at the top of this response.
     
  6. Reed R Gale

    Reed R Gale Member

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    Explain this:

     
  7. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    So, basically, he can't handle being around other people because they're chaotic - they don't act the same all the time, and it frustrates him because he can't understand them? It sounds to me like Ernis has some kind of OCD, or a mental disorder of some sort. Not trying to be rude or snarky, that's just how I'm seeing it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Have you ever read about OCPD, obsessive compulsive personality disorder? Ernis, as far as I can tell, sounds like an almost textbook case. I would suggest reading about it. The most commonly recommended related book is Too Perfect, by Mallinger and Dewyze. It's not flawless, but it's probably worth reading.

    I don't know precisely why the partners of people with OCPD stick with them, but many of them do.
     
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  9. isaac223

    isaac223 Active Member

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    IHaveNoName's explanation is better than what I could give, Reed. I apologize, I dunno why I'm having trouble communicating my ideas today.

    Are OCPD and OCD two distinct diagnoses?
     
  10. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    I think that OCD is the layman's term; it's clearly a personality disorder, but those working in clinical mental health have an (almost-OCD-like) desire to categorise with the utmost precision...

    Incidentally, I've always thought that OCD is a very hurtful term; anybody who's suffering from it would find any kind of disorder painful...

    Back on topic, OCPD is NOT an obsessive desire for order, all the towels lining up perfectly, all the labels turned exactly facing outwards, the way that it was portrayed in Sleeping with the Enemy; it's an inability to perform certain actions without prefacing them or performing them in a very specific way. This inability is enforced by the fear that something dire (your mother's death is a common fear) will result from improperly performed rituals. If the ritual is spoiled in some way...e.g., you are unsure whether you wiped the toilet seat exactly eight times, or somebody else came in and wiped it with their potentially germ-ridden cloth...then it must be started all over again.
     
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  11. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    Grabbed the DSM diagnostic criteria for OCPD off wikipedia for convenience:

    [...] an extensive pattern of preoccupation with perfectionism, orderliness, and interpersonal and mental control, at the cost of efficiency, flexibility and openness. Symptoms must appear by early adulthood and in multiple contexts. At least four of the following should be present:
    1. Is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost.
    2. Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met).
    3. Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity).
    4. Is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification).
    5. Is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value.
    6. Is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things.
    7. Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes.
    8. Shows rigidity and stubbornness.

    OCD criteria on ncbi (would've been a pain to copy)

    They are distinct. I'd recommend doing at least a little reading up on both to see if either fits your character, and if so doing more extensive reading on the one that does. I'd like to help more but unfortunately I haven't really studied personality disorders yet :oops:
     
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  12. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    They are. A person may have both, but OCPD is absolutely not the same thing as OCD.
     
  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    A comment on the criteria, based on spending some time in a support group for people who have OCPD partners or relatives--the miserliness can sometimes instead be excessive spending, and the inability to discard possessions can sometimes be an excessively minimalist lifestyle. They seem to be about control of money and possessions, and that control can go in either direction.

    Other characteristics include what has been called 'ownership of the truth' and 'demand resistance'.
     
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  14. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    Oh, cool. My first thought was that he was maybe high-functioning autistic, or else his IQ is so high that he can't relate to normal people because he doesn't think the same way they do. The thread title made me think he was some sort of OCD, though.
     
  15. isaac223

    isaac223 Active Member

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    Yeah, I can understand why. I think it's safe to say this entire thread is me falling flat on my face when trying to properly convey my ideas and other people having to decipher it before they can help me.
     

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