When I first started learning how to transition from a novel / short story writer to a comic book / script writer I asked a few comic professional to read my stuff and tell me what they thought.
The feedback (to my amazement) was very positive. The most interesting thing as far as critique was they thought I should change or shorten (contract) some of the words in my dialogue. They felt that sometimes my protagonist would speak in a stilted manor not used when real people talk.
I had to explain that some people who suffer severe PTSD and realize they could be having an episode or find themselves under extreme stress - often talk themselves through it.
They use clear precise words, NO contractions - almost like some kind of an instructional video. Not all individuals use this coping technique BUT in my script my protagonist does.
This makes me worry a bit about the reception the comic will receive when it hits distribution. I don’t expect everyone to be an expert on PTSD, especially the severe form my protagonist (John Cutter) suffers from.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a stereotyping of the disorder. My perspective comes from personal and other contacts with numerous individuals (and myself) that suffer and deal with this issue daily.
PTSD is just one small part of my protagonist. He understands what he’s dealing with and copes the best he can. It doesn't define him and it’s not the only aspect of his personality and background revealed.
It does impact him and it does set conflict and create problems he must overcome.
After much deliberation and self-doubtt I decided to remain true to my vision and leave the dialogue the same.
To me this “coping mechanism” is part of the SOUL of my protagonist. If I modified it because others didn't understand the issue I would be a hypocrite.
The creation of the protagonist and the universe he lives in came from the need to inform.
I can be equally happy with someone that totally understands my vision OR someone that doesn't understand – hates it- BUT is driven to SEE.
I think I like that one the best.
Forcing someone to open their eyes to anything, even if it’s uncomfortable – is a win.