Sleep-deprivation and characters

I’ve done it. Notably, I’ve just done it with my current hero, Klias. He’s sleep-deprived in a big way. And still, he handles stressful situations without a hitch. Not a single consequence from his lack of sleep.


I’ve noticed it before in books I’ve read. Characters who haven’t slept in days and they still manage to function better than I do with my eight hours. When I don’t get enough sleep, I get crabby and cranky and grumpy…I’m pretty much miserable to be around. A couple of times, when I’ve had insomnia and I haven’t slept at all for a couple of days, I felt like the walking dead. Barely awake, barely able to function. Surprisingly, I was able to get through the day without killing myself or someone else but it was close.

I thought the less sleep I got, the worse I’d be able to function until, eventually, I’d be an eye-twitching, stuttering mess without the ability to tie my own shoes.

So, why how realistic is it for my character to run around in my story with only a couple of hours of rest and still be able to have a sharp mind and quick reflexes?

Skye Fairwin runs this amazing blog that mixes writing and psychology. I love it! Mostly because I’m nosy but also because I wondered just how realistic I was making Klias. As it turns out, most of us can still function with barely any sleep.

You still doubt? Well, here is the article. It’s truly neat because it has the real consequences of sleep-deprivation. Cool, huh?

Here is the site. Love it!

Now, I better head to my book and fix Klias’ reactions before his eye starts twitching…

Psychology in writing

Writers are psychologists. They have to be.

Books take us through a character’s journey. Some part of that journey has to be psychological. I would add that, the most interesting part of the journey is their psychological quest for balance or for self-awareness or for self-compassion etc. In order for that journey to be even slightly realistic and, therefore compelling, the writer has to know a bit about psychology.

Victoria Grefer agrees with me. I loved her post: 5 Psychological Struggles that Enhance Great Plot in Fiction. Loved it.

They are: redemption, the impossible choice, sacrifice, growth and letting go. Just writing them makes me start asking questions, thinking about possibilities and start wondering how it would look like. They’re simply delicious. 5 amazing conflicts. Love them.