How to write narcissistic characters
Because story writing is about conflict, and many compelling stories are about love, a lot of dramatic tension can be created by using a narcissist as a character. Often handsome and charming, the narcissist, like the psychopath, has the ability to attract people and use them for their own ends. This article examines the qualities that make up a narcissist and how they can be used to write a compelling story.
What is a narcissist?
Narcissus was a character from Greek mythology. A handsome young man, he rejected all of his potential lovers and eventually became enthralled with his own reflection in a pool. The modern use of the term ‘narcissist’ refers to a person who is in love with himself, especially his own physical appearance. The narcissist expresses this self-love through out-of-control selfishness, vanity, and conceit. Like the psychopath, narcissists tend to lack empathy for others, viewing them as tools to further their own ambitions.
How does a narcissist think?
To understand the narcissist, you have to understand that they are the center of their own little universe. The world and the things in it are a playground that exists to provide the narcissist with pleasure. The central irony in the narcissistic way of thinking is that although the narcissist has little regard for the opinions and feelings of others, he desperately craves validation from other people. This makes them vulnerable to flattery and other forms of deception. Narcissists are also known for their inability to accept blame, which is a function of their penchant for stepping on anyone to get to the top.
Ways to write about a narcissistic character
The selfishness of the narcissist creates many possibilities for dramatic conflict. Characters who get to know them may come to hate them for their selfishness and selfishness, especially if they consider that they have been fooled by the narcissist’s charm. A narcissistic character may have exploited or disrespected someone in the past, and that person may now be seeking revenge. The theme of a great character coming back to earth as a result of his past arrogance makes for a good story. Because narcissists have massive egos, they can be vicious when threatened. A tit-for-tat revenge story can be made more plausible by having such a character in a central role.
If you are writing a first-person story, you could be writing about a person who manipulates and deceives the narcissist, either through flattery or direct conflict. A character with a strong sense of justice might take it upon himself to destroy a narcissist he sees as evil. If a story is written in the first person with a narcissist as the narrator, you could write a tragedy in which the protagonist’s vanity and ego prove to be their undoing in ways they didn’t anticipate (but in ways that might be obvious to the protagonist). reader).
The narcissist also works well in romantic tales: a character may be drawn to their self-confidence, only to discover that they have been manipulated.
In general, narcissistic characters generate a lot of dramatic conflicts due to their blind egoism. Whether you’re writing a story of revenge, romance, or redemption, a narcissist is a good choice to elicit strong reactions from the reader.