Researching

The purpose of researching before writing was to familiarize myself with the psychological disorder that I had chosen for my protagonist in the young adult genre and for reviewing the genre of young adult literature. I used titles such as Sybil, The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality, Crazy, Becoming One, and The Minds of Billy Milligan as insights into the Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) point of view. While reading these titles I found it hard to keep track of the large populations within the minds of the protagonists, and hard to pinpoint the ways that the authors made the personalities so believable. To remedy this problem I made personality charts for each of these novels that categorized the personalities into types, recorded the purposes of each personality, and  noted the details that the author used for each of these “alters”. The only novel that I did not do this for is Crazy, because this was not a novel that centered on a character with MPD. I used this novel to reacquaint myself with the young adult genre. I also took notes by chapter for each of these novels in order to study the narrative arch. The narrative arch is something I have always had problems with, because I tend to not know when a climax and an ending is needed. These notes helped me see the overall pattern and observe how these authors approached the narrative arch.

Novels:

The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality By Joan Frances Casey With Lynn Wilson

This novel was a good starting place because it was written by the main character, therefore making it an autobiography and as close to the truth as possible. My favorite feature of this novel is how it integrates both the patients point of view through the narrative and the psychologist’s opinions in the case notes and diary portions of the chapters. I have a special soft spot for playing with format and I loved the way that these entries by the psychologists complimented the narrative itself.

Sybil By Flora Rheta Shreiber

This novel is considered the source of information on MPD. This was the first piece of literature that was released on the controversial subject of MPD, it was even mentioned in some of the other novels I read. Personally I found the writing dryer than the other novels I had read and it took me a lot longer to get through this text than previous ones.

Crazy By Han Nolan

I read this novel because it was in the young adult genre and it dealt with a type of psychological disorder. This novel is from the point of view of a fifteen year old boy that has a schizophrenic father and his journey through dealing with his father’s disorder and becoming healthy himself. Just like The Flock uses case notes to change the format, this novel has an ongoing script of characters that Jason has in his head. These characters seem to be a coping mechanism, because when the novel comes to a close and the protagonist’s life is all better he banishes the voices. Because this novel did not deal with MPD I did not feel a need to create a personality chart.

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