I as an author like to challenge myself and make my characters unique and sometimes that means facing something I know little about.
I made another graph (I like my graphs) this one showing my characters who have a challenge in their life. I know there’s a very wide spectrum here
I personally found my own numbers interesting. I like to promote diversity and show that anyone can do anything therefore most of the characters contained in the graph are main characters. I as you can obviously see from the graph write a lot of dyslexic characters (because I am) the characters with Dyslexia range from mild to extreme.
Recently I’ve taken to writing characters with something I’m not too knowledgeable about (HIV, Depression) and a lot of research and time is taken to make sure I write those characters correctly. Allot of my research comes from the NHS website and various websites and forums where people who are living with one of these are commenting and sharing life experiences.
I know people generally say Write What You Know but I can’t help but get a buzz from writing from a perspective that I need to learn about and I also enjoy gaining knowledge on things I already know about (I found out new things about Dyslexia yesterday and I’ve been diagnosed for 5 years).
Of course as everything this comes with its challenges, making sure you get the character right is difficult and keeping it up throughout the book can also be challenge, but it can always be worth it in the end.
There are a few character who have multiple of the challenges on the graph. For example a character who has OCD may also have Anxiety, a character who has Asthma may also have Eczema (not shown above) and making sure I know the connections and know the symptoms and treatments just makes it that little bit more interesting to write.
You can read more about my books here: http://rjseeley.wix.com/writer