10 Ways To Write Strong Delusional Characters Your Audience Will Love


We’re on a roll writing crazy characters in our screenplays. And why not? They are never boring and give your main characters plenty of obstacles to overcome.

I’ll explore the main characteristics of delusion. In a nutshell, a delusion is an irrational firmly held belief with no basis in reality. They are immutable to the sufferers despite their impossibility.

You’ll never write dull characters again with these handy tips:

1) EROTOMANIA

This one’s for those obsessive characters in movies that refuse to believe that the object of their affections isn’t really in love with them. They can’t comprehend how their love can possibly be unrequited. Erotomania behaviors include stalking, constant sending of gifts, showing up where the target characters are, unwanted communications, asking others about them and constantly trolling their social media profiles. Creepy!

2) GRANDEUR

This is another favorite, when a character believes they have heightened importance, skills or exalted destinies. They may have  a God complex where a character believes they are “chosen” ones.

3) CONDUITS

This delusion occurs when a character believes they have a sixth sense and can receive message from spirits, people they’ve never had contact with, God, animals or the universe at large. This can be related to religious delusions.

4) PERSECUTION

This is an irrational belief that someone (or something) is out to hurt them. This could be physical harm, emotional harm or a challenge to their deeply held beliefs.

5) JEALOUSY

This delusion stems from an overwhelming fear of a partner cheating on them despite a lack of any credible evidence.

6) NIHILISM

This is one for the who believe then end of the world in nigh. When is the next rapture due?

7) CONTROL

This type of delusion occur when the victim believes that they have lost control of their mental and physical processes. For instance, characters who believe they’ve got foreign beings or aliens inside them.

8) IMPOSTOR

This occurs when someone believes that a person close to them has been taken over by someone else that looks and acts the same.

9) GUILT

This is a rarer delusion where the sufferer believes they are to blame for bad occurrences such a death or natural disaster.

10) REFERENCE

This type of delusion occurs when the sufferer attaches undue significance to an object, person or event.

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