One of my characters is a madman… or is he? (NaNoWriMo – Day 15)

30 Days NaNoWriMo Meme – Day 15 – Do any of your characters have a disability or mental illness?  If so, how does that affect their development throughout your story?

fairbanks-douglas-jr-03-1-gNo one of my characters had a mental illness, but one of them believes he does.

Adam Brailsfield, the owner of the Old Shelter, fears he’s going mad. In fact, people believe his grandfather, Stacy Brailsfield, hung himself right there, in the club, because he went mad. It may run in the family.

Adam looks a lot like Stacy. His personality is also a lot like his. When the story begins, he starts having episodes of paranoia that will lead to loss of memory and episodes of apparent split personality further into the story. Adam realises what’s happening to him and knows the same happened to Stacy, so he does his best to help his brother, Justin, to come to care about the club, so that it will remain in the family should something happen to him. Little he knows that Justin is taking advantage of his ‘illness’ and tries his best to have him pass as mad so to grab the club for himself and sell it.

This is the main reason for Justin’s hatred toward Blood, who always maintains that Adam isn’t mad at all.

Adam’s emotional and psychic situation was a challenge to me, and sure he started off as a completely different character from what he is now. I started wanting him to act odd because of the ghost influence on him, he ended up being a tormented character, haunted by a ghost since he was a child, a ghost bent on revenge on his family. To achieve this, I delved very deep into the ghost’s history and her relation to the Brailsfiled family, discovering a lot of things, especially about Stacy. He was just a name and a mad ancestor in the first draft, I then discovered he was a strong man who sacrificed himself for the people he cared about. Very little of Stacy’s story filters into Ghost Trilogy, but maybe one day…

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In the photo: Douglass Fairbanks jr.

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About the Author

jazzfeathers
I was born, raised and I still live near Verona (Italy), though I worked for a time in Dublin. I started writing fantasy stories as a kid. Today I’m a bookseller who reads fantasy, history, mythology, anthropology and lots of speculative fiction. Somehow, all of this has found its way into my own dieselpunk stories.
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