Last year I wrote my most viewed article, Writing characters with dyslexia. Today I’ve come back to clarify and expand on writing these quirky characters. Keep in mind, this is how my dyslexia affects me and it might not be the same for others.
First, The science
So when you think, synapses are fired in your brain. That triggers another one to fire and the chain is what creates the way you process the world around you. (At least that’s my understanding.) But the dyslexic mind doesn’t use the easiest path. It fires off more and different synapses which makes our logical processing slower and our creativity endless.
We think about each idea longer because we think differently. This ends up in us coming up with out of the box ideas and odd ways of doing things. For instance, my dad and I are picking up pinecones, he holds open the bag and tosses them inside. I go find a box and put the trash bag inside it to act as a trash can outdoors, my way is much easier. This principle is also true for concepts. Someone reviewed a novel I plotted out and told me the idea was too complex for normal people to follow.
Dyslexics are usually called 3D thinkers.
I can imagine what a room looks like from any angle without walking there. I can figure out what it would look like to be shorter, taller, on the ceiling, upside down, all while sitting in one place. I never get lost walking around Chicago. When I leave a building my mind always forms a mental map of how to get back home. I can never give anyone directions though. When I try to figure out how to get somewhere, I start at the place I want to be and work my way street by street backward to my current location.
I have a great memory for places, textures, and objects but I will not remember your face. I am just enough on the autism scale that I hate looking into people’s eyes. At 19 I still find it hard to look in my parent’s eyes. I wouldn’t make full, sustained eye contact with my boyfriend until I had been dating him for upward of three months. So when I meet someone new I am much more likely to remember their shoes that the color of the hair or what they looked like at all.
I hope this look into my life helps you understand how to write dyslexic characters better. As you can see, it’s much more than just the reading, writing and math parts I covered last time. I even have a third part.
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