I was thinking about my relationship to the main character of my story. The day I’m writing this post, I was standing in the breakroom at work, making coffee, thinking about something regarding me and Elliot. In a lot of my writing, the main characters tend to have characteristics of me because I’m telling the story through them and they react to things like I would, etc. There were times when I’ve thought the stories I tell with these me-protagonists were significant, like they were telling me secrets about myself, but I don’t think that’s the case. It’s more of a situation like, if it were me, then I would say this. It’s not like, hey writer, your writing mind is trying to tell you something.
Anyway, with the recent contemplation on my own life, who I really am, I’ve wondered some things about Elliot from Misophonica.
I have this feeling that Elliot is on the autism spectrum. Watch videos on this YouTube channel to really understand the spectrum and Asperger’s if you want to learn. — > INVISIBLE_i
So Elliot displays a lot of my qualities. He suffers from misophonia, just like I do, and that was one of the first things I thought about when writing the story. I had wanted to write a story about a music prodigy who hated sounds. It’s not so much hating sounds because I love sounds, but it’s the physical reaction to sounds. I have a physical, sometimes painful reaction to some sounds. It may not seem like a big deal, but when your toddler is coughing because she’s a little sick and the sound of her constant cough makes you physically unstable, then you’ve probably got a problem.
Misophonia is a big similarity that Elliot and I share. There are others, but that’s the big one. One different I’ve thought about, though, is that I don’t care about a ton of stuff. Specifically, the tidiness of my personal living space. My side of the bedroom is a mess at all times. But Elliot’s side of the dorm room is perfectly neat. Craig’s is messy, but Elliot’s is pristine. In retrospect, I don’t agree with that. Elliot isn’t me to a T but I feel like he would be messy. Part of why I have this thought is that I don’t like the Big Bang Theory. I don’t know enough about the show, but Sheldon seems to be on the spectrum, possibly he has Asperger’s, and he’s portrayed as like this high functioning Rainman type guy. Which is fine. He all super neat and tidy and needs things just right all the time. But to me that seems more of a Hollywood mainstream portrayal of the autism spectrum. Though Sheldon is very high functioning and capable, that’s a great portrayal I think.
Whatever, I’m not writing about Sheldon and that dumb show. I’m writing about how I don’t care. I don’t care about my living space in the bedroom being tidy. But I’m not going in there and throwing stuff on the ground, going, “Meh, I don’t care, I’m outta h-h-h-heeeeerrre.” (if you catch that reference, you’re a master of 90s pop culture). What I mean by I don’t care is, I’ll go in and kick off my work pants and socks and get in comfy clothes and then move on to whatever I’m doing next. I don’t care about so many things because the things I do care about are prominently in the forefront. I’ll never care about keeping my clothes organized and neat because at the moment when I make that mess, I’m only caring about getting out to the living room to see my family. And I imagine that is how Elliot functions. He’s so obsessed with music, I can see things like keeping his room clean falling by the wayside because he’s only caring about music at the moment.
Now I wonder if I should rewrite him a little. But then I wonder if the autism spectrum thoughts I’ve had shouldn’t really be a thing because the story is about accepting people, not about his struggles as someone on the spectrum. But maybe it’s all the same thing. Or maybe it doesn’t have to be a thing at all, and I’ll just know that he’s on the spectrum. Kinda like how J.K. Rowling knew that Dumbledore was gay, but didn’t tell anyone until later. All right, that’s a good plan. Once I’m a billionaire, I’ll tweet out that Elliot is autistic.