The theory of mind.

People like to ask me questions about my book. I don't mind answering them. I think it gives me an opportunity to explain the aspects of the story in more detail.

When I get into a conversation about characters...sometimes it can become creepy. It has been pointed out to me that when I am talking about the characters, I use the word "we". It's hard to explain to people with out sounding like I have lost my mind.

Each time I create a character, I take a small piece of my own personality, plant it, water it, and let it grow. The best way I have found to describe it; I am a slice of bread, I rip off tiny chunks and but them in a petri dish, place it in the dark and slowly it begins to take on life.

Once I have envisioned a character, I give it an extreme of my own personality as it's defining role. I file it away in my brain. Now I let my life go on about its normal swing. When ever I see something, hear a phrase, a song, anything that I think the character would like, it gets added to their file. The character starts to take on a twisted personality of their own.

After awhile of do start to question your own sanity. I came across an article that I thought describe it better than I could, and I thought I would share it with you.

The controlled multiple personalities of writers

[Update: due to some well-reasoned commentary on this article, I’ve changed the title from its original to what you see now, and have adjusted other text in this article to match. If you care what that means, you can read all about it in the comments.]
Recently I wrote that writers need to develop a kind ofmultiple personality syndrome. I won’t say “disorder” because as it applies to writers, it’s actually a good thing. Then last week someone made a comment on my article about boring characters which touched on the notion that boring characters don’t have a well-developed sense of theory of mind.
That got me thinking. Dangerous, I know, because realizing how these two things are related leads to heresies like this one: You know that old rule about how you can break any of the rules of writing, as long as it works? Here’s one you can’t break. Here’s a new rule that, I claim, is not a rule but instead a fundamental law of fiction.
Writers must have a strongly developed theory of mind.
That is to say, your books are doomed to suck until you really understand theory of mind. This, although I didn’t quite realize it when I wrote it, is what I meant in that earlier article when I was talking about multiple personalities.
What is “theory of mind?”
Click the above link and Wikipedia will tell you it is “the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one’s own.” That’s actually a pretty good definition, and I’m not going to mess with it.
Why you must understand it
Theory of mind has everything to do with writing, because it has everything to do with creating believable characters. Unless you’re writing an autobiography (in which case, you’re not writing fiction and you’re reading the wrong blog right now), you can’t create even one believable character without being able to model the mind of someone other than yourself.
You create a believable character by imagining a set of beliefs, desires, knowledge, and so forth that are different from your own. This is a model from which you can then determine how a character will act, react, and speak in a given situation. Using your model—your theory of the character’s mind—is how you keep your writing true to how the character would really be.
Now do this for every character in your book, and develop the ability to keep all of these different theories of mind straight within your own head while you write your scenes. This is nothing if not controlled multiple personality syndrome.
Understanding the theory of mind on this level is necessary to create believable characters. I would argue that most successful writers do this in “gut feel” terms, rather than in analytic terms. But however you get there, you simply must have a strong sense for how the minds of other people work if you are to write believable characters.
That’s table-stakes, the minimum requirement for creating believable characters. But what happens when you understand theory of mind on a deeper level? What happens when you realize that part of your theory of mind about any of your individual characters should include that character’s own sense of theory of mind about others.
This can get confusing pretty quickly, so re-read that a couple of times if you have to.
What can you do with theory of mind
When your theory of mind about a character is rich enough to include whether the character’s theory of mind is poorly or strongly developed, then you can start to play with it to achieve some specific effects:
  • Boring people. As I talked about in my last article, boring people don’t have strong insights into other people’s minds. Boring people are deficient in the ability to infer what other people think about them. Boring people, as it were, have a weakly developed sense of theory of mind which makes them blind to how others perceive them.
  • Children.they themselves know where they are.
  • Deception. Speaking of hide-and-seek, theory of mind lies at the root of all deception. You cannot intentionally deceive someone else without having a good theory of the other person’s mind. Deception is all aboutmanipulating the other person’s beliefs, usually as a means to affect the other person’s actions. But, you cannot do that without first having a good sense for the other person’s beliefs, knowledge, and goals. If you understand the other person on that level, you can predict how they will behave, and thus, you can figure out how to manipulate their beliefs in order to induce them to act how you want. Or, as Friends so aptly put it, they don’t know that we know they know. Note: if your theory of mind about the other person happens to be wrong in some key aspect, the person’s reactions to your manipulations might really surprise you, which is itself a great strategy for novelists to employ.
Walking in many people’s shoes
Don’t resort to taking meds or anything, but strive for this controlled multiple personality syndrome. Like any skill, you have to work on it. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. “Black’s Law,” if I may be so cheeky as to label it:Writers must have a strongly developed theory of mind.
If anything, your proficiency with theory of mind must be stronger than normal because it’s not enough to simply understand theory of mind. You also have to know what to do with it.
April 26, 2010 19:26 UTC by Jason Black
Have pleasant vampire, werewolf, and zombie dreams.

Internet radio interview.

Here is an Internet radio interview with me, about my book Endlessly. There was some trouble with the song she was playing before the interview started. There is a long pause, so you can skip up to the two minute mark and listen to me nervously stumble through the interview.

Listen to internet radio with Candy ODonnell on Blog Talk Radio

Have pleasant vampire, werewolf, and zombie dreams. review

Here is another review of Endlessly. If you like to read well written reviews of books check out this blog

     Endlessly by C.V. Hunt is a mesmerizing and gripping Paranormal story, with elements of Horror, Fantasy and Romance. It's a highly addictive and very enjoyable read. C.V. Hunt has a way of telling the story in a way that makes you hold your breath and turn the pages frantically, and there's simply no way you could put the book down once you've started reading!

     Verloren is a vampire with Curt Cobain's looks, who runs a paranormal store in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is no Twilight-kind-of-vampire, no sparkles and squirrel-eating habits. He's a bad-ass (forgive my language) kind of vampire, goth-looking, with albino-like skin and long hair. He is the kind of vampire that you should stay away from. He feeds on human blood, because that's the only thing that keeps him alive. And yes, he's very much alive, his heart is beating, his body is warm and even though it hurts his eyes a bit, he can walk in the sun without any serious consequences. Most importantly, though, he has a special ability to see people's auras, and so, just by looking at them, he can tell who they are and how they feel.

     The only thing that Verloren is afraid of is death, because vampires have no soul, therefore they can not reincarnate and death brings a final end to their existence. And so Verloren is doing his best to avoid getting into trouble with Quatre, a committee of four people that makes decision for all the supernatural beings, including vampires and incarnates (shape shifters). But when a beautiful and mesmerizing girl walks into his store, Verloren's world is about to be turned up-side-down, as he learns that there are feelings more powerful than fear, feelings like love and lust.

     Just when I thought there was nothing more in the Paranormal genre that could surprise me, along comes a book like Endlessly and, with a strong punch in the guts, makes me realize I was wrong. 

     This book was such a great read! I finished it in few hours, as I was literally glued to it (well, ok, not literally, but it sure felt like it!). It's a fast-paced, action-packed story, with just the perfect amount of horror and romance. There's not a single boring passage in this book, C.V. Hunt makes every word count. I like how the story is told from Verloren's perspective and I'm very thankful to C.V. for using first-person narrative, it makes the story flow seem very natural and the passages are easy and pleasant to read! 
     The lead characters have amazing chemistry between them, you can almost see the sparkles flying from the pages, but at the same time the romance part of the story is not overwhelming, which I very much appreciate. And then there's the mystery part, which was oh-so-wonderful! I thought the story was really good from the very beginning, but when I reached the part where we learn about Ashley's true form, I was left speechless, with my jaw on the floor. What an amazing idea this was, C.V! 

     Endlessly has this thing I like to call  a "WOW factor", that's the thing that makes you nod in excitement while reading one passage after another, and go "wooow, that's so cool!". I definitely recommend it to all Paranormal fans! I can't wait for the sequel!

Have pleasant vampire, werewolf, and zombie dreams.