Now on Reddit: Volo Press

The Volo Press subreddit is now available to subscribe to at Reddit.com/r/VoloPressers! Volo-Press.com subscribers won’t want to miss out!

 

What Kind of Content is Allowed On the Subreddit?

Just about anything, so long as it is related to literature. Got a new book coming out? Post a link! Love your local bookstore? Tell us about it! Just saw some big news on Volo-Press.com? Share it on Reddit, too!

Of course, as time goes on, there may be reasons to enforce various restrictions, but we’ll just play it by ear! Enjoy!

 

Get Yours Now: Wind Screen

I’ve been hearing a series of book trailers with voice-over work that has a lot of static and background noise. For less than $10, you could get a wind screen for your microphone that will help reduce (and possibly) eliminate the excess noise that brings down the quality of the trailer. Find purchasing info below. Happy book-promoting!

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When Writers Strike: 2017

Reports have been popping up throughout the internet of an impending writers strike. Some of you may remember how this affected the production of entertainment media the last time it took place back in 2007/2008. Here are links to further info about the strike so you can keep your eye on the situation.

The next time someone tells you that writing isn’t a worthwhile career, you might want to let them know that the average salary for a TV or film writer is over $187,000.

Don’t forget to chime in about the strike at these sites and make your opinion heard. #WriteOn

CNN: http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/18/media/writers-strike-hollywood/

New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/business/media/with-a-hollywood-writers-strike-looming-heres-what-to-know.html?_r=0

Vanity Fair: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/04/wga-writers-strike-preparation

Deadline: http://deadline.com/2017/03/hollywood-writers-strike-commentary-whats-at-stake-wga-1202053957/

Erika is such a relatable character (if you’ve ever been burned) and you’ll find yourself at times rooting for her then in the next breath you’re cussing her for her stupidity.

–Laura Greeson, Amazon.com

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Show Her from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com!

 

10 Tips for More Writing Time: Shop Faster

Think you’re running out of minutes in the day to get some writing done? Here’s one place you can shave off a few minutes of wait time and get back to writing sooner: The Grocery Store!



You may not normally consider how much time you waste at the grocery store, but a chunk of this could be time better spent writing. Here are 10 things you can start doing today that will shave some serious time off your multi-daily, weekly, or monthly grocery outing.

1. Make a List, Check It Twice, and STICK TO IT!

Distractions are a writer’s worst enemies (well, when it comes to time management anyway) and can turn a seek-and-destroy mission into a wild goose chase. Make a (short) list of the things that you need from the store and bring it with you. Use a sticky note, phone app, voice recording, self-email or self-text.

And don’t casually wander into the bakery, ice cream, or candy areas just because you happen to be walking past it. Stay focused!

2. Grab a Hand Basket or Smaller Cart

Going into the store with a monstrous cart is like sitting down in front notebook with 100 empty page–you’re gonna want to fill it up! Or, best case scenario, you won’t realize how off track you’ve gotten with your shopping because every time you see the cart it won’t look full…and won’t look full…and won’t look full, until it is. Using smaller carts helps you stop shopping faster when your load starts to get too heavy or you quickly run out of room to hold items.

3. Frequent an Establishment

When you go to the same store every time you shop, you gradually begin to learn where everything is. This cuts down on you having to wander aimlessly or find an employee to help you look for something that you want.

4. Stick with Boxes and Cans

How does this save time? Because these scan the most quickly and reliably. When you buy things in bags, sacks, tiny packages, or oddly shaped containers, the bar code isn’t as easy for the scanner to read, and often isn’t even easy for the cashier to find. Precious time is wasted. If you are a big junk food eater, this isn’t much of an issue since a lot of junk comes in boxes. However, if you’re big on fresh produce, you may be wondering how you’re going to save time. The best a fresh producer fiend can do is opt for bags and plastic containers instead of items that are loose or only tied with twine or wire (meaning the cashier has to search for or ask for the PLU code to be able to ring it up). Also remember that, some loose produce items (such as potatoes or garlic) must be weighed, which takes even more time). For example, instead of a fresh bunch of wet cilantro, just buy the cilantro that comes in a jar or clear plastic box that has a clear, easy-to-read bar code on it. Instead of loose garlic, get the garlic in a box or jar.

5. Estimate As You Go

Estimating the price of your order as you go helps you keep from being surprised at the register. It also helps you know how much cash to prepare (as suggested in tip 7). Remember to always round up. $4.99 is $5, $3.23 is $4, and so on. And still add a few dollars onto the running total before you head to the checkout for tax. You’d rather be under budget than over budget.

6. Unload

Don’t just sit your order on the belt and start texting or daydreaming. Make checking out a process in which you are fully participatory. Unload your items and put your basket away under the conveyor built or hand it to the bagger when it’s your turn to be checked out.

7. Unload Intelligently

When it comes time to hit the register, put your items on the belt with the bar codes either facing you or facing down. Grocery scanners have a plate on the bottom and mirrors on the side opposite the cashier. So, if you place your bar codes like this, you won’t have to wait for the cashier to find it, and it’s more likely to be registered quickly by the terminal.

8. Prep (your coupons, school cards, discount cards, gift certificates, etc.) 

Translation: Get your shit together before it’s time to check out. Don’t wait for the cashier to ask you if you have a shopping card or coupons. Often, you’ll be standing in line waiting to be rung up anyway. Instead of staring a magazine covers, browsing candy labels, or texting on your phone, use this time wisely. Check your pockets for coupons. If you have partner or loyalty cards on your keychain, have them out and ready to hand to the cashier the moment the order before you is complete.

9. Start Paying As Soon As Possible

If you’re paying with plastic, most terminals are able to complete the early parts (and sometimes most) of the payment process as soon as it’s your turn to check out. Do this so that you utilize your time well while your items are being rung up. Just step up to the card reader and insert your chip (or slide, if you still have to do that).

If you’re paying with cash, open your wallet and pull out at least $5.00 more than you think your . Pull out four pennies. If you have four pennies to give, you won’t get any back. For example, if your total is $44.04 and you give $50.04, the pennies get absorbed. Then, as the total for your order rises, start pulling out bills. When you get the final total, you should have everything you need to hand the cashier exact (or near exact) change within about three seconds.

10. Bag

It may be difficult emotionally, but try to set your pride aside and help yourself get out of that store as quickly as possible. Lots of grocery stores may have times during the day when they don’t have a bagger around to help out (and the manager is with a belligerent customer and the other cashier is in the bathroom and the customer service is swamped, and so on). When this happens, jump in and get it done. As soon as you’ve followed the previous step with your credit or debit card, slide to the end of the check lane and start bagging up what your cashier has rung out. If a bagger steps in before you’re done, by all means, step aside and let the expert handle it. But don’t let poor staffing at a store keep you there any longer than necessary.

How Trump and E. L. James Cured My Anxiety

For whatever reason, I actually felt less and less nervous about publishing my first novella the closer the release date came. Here’s an inside look into what transpired in the days leading up to the release of Show Her.



What I Expected To Happen

Given the near-nervous-breakdown I had when I published the first version of Show Her many, many moons ago, I kinda figured it would go the same way this time. I would be making an insane amount of changes up until the very last second and then would click ‘Publish’ with my eyes closed and go curl into the fetal position on my bed feeling like I’d just murdered a herd of puppies with a blunt axe.

In short, I didn’t think that I had really gathered any confidence at all since the last time I tried to do this. I thought it would be a cluster-fuck of epic proportions.

 

 

What I Didn’t Expect To Happen

Yet, it didn’t go like that. Don’t get me wrong, I am a procrastination master (though I am trying to become a better person in this regard), so I was still making major changes to the plot, character descriptions, and even the entire ending as of a week before the launch.

However, I found myself getting more and more excited about release day coming as it approached. I found myself actually telling family members, co-workers, and even strangers early on, with ease and relative comfort.

 

 

 

Why It Happened This Way (In My Humble Opinion)

There are a couple of major things that happened since I began thinking that I wanted to make writing my full-time career that contributed to this more relaxed reaction to self-publishing. Please feel free to use this information for your personal healing if that’s helpful for you.

First, Donald Trump got elected as President of the United States of America. I’ve never been so glued to an election in my life (okay, 2008, I guess, but you know what I mean). So, why was Donald Trump an inspiration that eased my anxiety? Because–following the “rules” of politics–he shouldn’t have won. He should have lost. He should have been an epic failure, a laughing stock. He should have been rejected by every single voter in the country according to traditional political ideology because he “didn’t fit in.” He didn’t look, think, act, walk, or talk like a president or even your run-of-the-mill politician. Yet, he won it all, and by a landslide.

If this man that stood “no chance” of winning the day he announced that he was running made it all the way to the top through sheer persistence and giving haters and critiques the bird, who was I to feel inadequate? How dare I be afraid of rejection! If he can make it to the top of Mount Everest from the Earth’s core, certainly I can make it from the bottom of the mountain (geez, at least I’m above sea level).

Second, E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey not only became a bestseller, but went on to become a proverbial movement in the literary and cinema worlds.  I just had to read it since it was getting so much hype, but when I tried, it was like trying not to pass out while sawing off my own leg.

Why is this inspirational for me? Because I struggled so hard to get through the book. I’ve never been a huge fan of romance novels (though I do enjoy erotica) so that was already a strike against her. Beyond that, I personally thought the book wasn’t well written and the plot was not realistic or thought through very much. It was like she wrote it and sent it in without any rereading it herself, having a friend look at, hiring a copy editor or proofreader, etc.–straight from brain to print.

And yet, look at the enterprise that has been built from it! So, again, what the fuck would be wrong with me to think that I can’t be successful just because I don’t love the things that I write? What kind of sense does it make for me to doubt myself and the reading public? If she can do what she loves successfully, so can I.

As an added bonus, I have my beautiful and talented Curtis Cartel as backup. Forming my own cartel was something I knew that I needed to do in order to keep myself moving forward with publishing and hold myself to deadlines. But I could not have imagined how invaluable they have been in helping me turn Show Her into a solid piece of literature.

 

 

If you find yourself doubting your work or your abilities, just remember that there are people out there making hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars who don’t write half as well as you do, who don’t have the same education and experiences that you have, and who don’t have the same world view as you do. Just because you are technically different from these people doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed at the things that they do. Good luck!

 

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Character Development: Children’s Roles: Mascot

Creating a Mascot for your fiction can help make a particular character seem more realistic in the eyes of your readers.

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Products from Amazon.com


What are Children’s Roles?

Children’s roles are a specific set of coping mechanisms that children tend to develop throughout chaotic situations in their childhood. This could include the loss of a parent, a family struggle with addiction, or even a move to a new place.

The four major roles are Family Hero, Scapegoat, Lost Child, and Mascot. Most children have played these roles at various points throughout their lives, but some kids get “stuck” in one of these roles and it can be problematic for them as they grow older. However, while they are in the midst of the chaos (parent loses a job, being severely bullied at school, parents divorce, etc.), these behaviors are how they cope with the pain.

What’s a Mascot Like?

A Mascot is often referred to as ‘cute,’ ‘playful,’ ‘funny,’ or a ‘jokester.’ You may have seen, heard of, been friend with, or even been a Mascot yourself. For the last time, let’s use our example of a single, alcoholic mother. After losing her job due to her consistent drunkenness, she decides to drown her sorrows in yet more alcohol. As noted in previous posts, this means that bills are not being paid, clothes are not being washed, groceries are not being purchased, and so on. Te household containing her and her 4 children is in chaos. While the Family Hero is filling in as a pseudo-parent, the Scapegoat is doing the exact opposite. The Lost Child is finding ways to get their needs met while drawing as little attention to themselves as possible and interacting with others physically as little as possible. The Mascot may find ways to distract from the pain being felt by the family.

The Mascot often has a knack for easing tension with their looks or by invoking laughter (you may even see dome puppies respond to tension in this way). When the mother and the Scapegoat look like they’re about to get into a fight, the Mascot might come to show off a picture they drew, a new outfit, their face after trying to put on makeup, or a new joke they just heard. They may see the Family Hero as a wearing themselves thin to cover for the absentee parent, the Scapegoat as someone who makes tension and chaos worse instead of better, and the Lost Child as a neutral being just trying to stay upright on a wildly swaying ship.

Human beings are some of the most social animals on the planet. We crave human contact and attention from birth. The Family Hero gets their attention from their peers and the accolades they get from others who see them “doing so well.” The Scapegoat gets their attention from getting into trouble or joining a gang. The Lost Child seeks only to be left alone. The Mascot wants everybody to be happy, or at least appear that way, so they find solace and power in being able to draw attention away from the problems of the family, even if only for a little while.

Pretending not to understand when things get “too serious” may lead a family to shy away from sharing very much with the Mascot because they aren’t seen as being able to comprehend the seriousness of the situation. This child makes it easier to bear being part of such a painful family situation.

Mascots as Adults

If the single, alcoholic mother of four goes to treatment for her addiction and gets some treatment for her children, they may be able to wrench themselves loose from these roles. However, if this doesn’t happen, it’s very easy for a child’s personality/sense of self and their role in this chaotic situation to become enmeshed.

When this happens, the Mascot becomes an adult who finds ways to ease the discomfort of others in showy and superficial ways. This person may often be called a ‘class clown,’ or be said to ‘think everything is a joke.’ They may live in boarding situations in order to always have an “audience” so to speak.

The most comfortable employment situations for Mascots would be professions such as a stand-up comedian, fashion model, actor / actress, stripper, or prostitute. For Mascots who used their looks to ease tension as children, it is not uncommon to find out that they were molested by their parent or other close adults in their lives.

 

Mascots / Class Clowns in Fiction

A Mascot character will often be one who uses sex to get what they want out of relationships with others. They may be loved by someone else because they make them laugh and don’t take anything very seriously.

Until they begin an entertainment career of their own, they may work in other professions that allow them to interact with people on a consistent basis. This might include being a delivery driver, working as a server at a restaurant, or even being an actual clown for kids birthday parties. They could also work as boyfriends or girlfriend for rent, commercial models, or music video dancers (“video vixens”).

Having a Mascot character with a realistic backstory can add depth to your piece and possibly offer some extra paths for you to explore when it comes to how your character will behave in new situations they run into in your story.

Stay gready, Friends!

 

Character Development: Children’s Roles: Lost Child

Creating a Lost Child for your story can help make a character more realistic in the eyes of the reader.

__________

What are Children’s Roles?

Children’s roles are a specific set of coping mechanisms that children tend to develop throughout chaotic situations in their childhood. This could include the loss of a parent, a family struggle with addiction, or even a move to a new place.

The four major roles are Family Hero, Scapegoat, Lost Child, and Mascot. Most children have played these roles at various points throughout their lives, but some kids get “stuck” in one of these roles and it can be problematic for them as they grow older. However, while they are in the midst of the chaos (parent loses a job, being severely bullied at school, parents divorce, etc.), these behaviors are how they cope with the pain.

What’s a Lost Child Like?

A Lost Child is often referred to as ‘the quiet one,’ ‘wallflower’, or ‘independent.’ You may have seen, heard of, been friends with, or even been a Lost Child yourself. Let’s use the example of a single, alcoholic mother once again. She loses her job due to her consistent drunkenness and decides to drown her sorrows in yet more alcohol. As noted in previous posts, this means that bills are not being paid, clothes are not being washed, groceries are not being purchased, and so on. The household containing her and her 4 children is in chaos. While the Family Hero is filling in as a pseudo-parent, the Scapegoat is doing the exact opposite, and the Lost Child is finding ways to get their needs met while drawing as little attention to themselves as possible.

The Lost Child may spend most of their day doing something that helps this disconnect from reality including reading (me), playing video games (me again), writing (once again, me), or browsing the internet (yep, me). This child wants to distance themselves from the painful living conditions that their family provides. They may see the Family Hero as working too hard, see the Scapegoat as getting too much negative attention, and just wants to blend into the background so that they can be left alone.

Human beings are some of the most social animals on the planet. We crave human contact and attention from birth. The Family Hero gets their attention from their peers and the accolades they get from others who see them “doing so well.” The Scapegoat gets their attention from getting into trouble or joining a gang. However, the Lost Child does not seek attention. Where a Family Hero strives for As and a Scapegoat may flunk out of school completely, a Lost Child wants to do well enough that they don’t get in trouble for getting horrible grades, but don’t get singled out for having great grades. This child strives to do work that is passing and nothing more.

The Lost Child may be left behind on a family vacation or have their names routinely forgotten by people the go to school with (including teachers). Being consistently quietly busy by themselves, these children are often seen as “low maintenance.” If mom is passed out on the couch and the Family Hero went downtown to bail the Scapegoat out of jail, the Lost Child would simply forge a signature on the permission they need for tomorrow, make themselves a sandwich, grab a soda out of the fridge, and spend the remainder of the night in their room watching television after completing their homework with careful mediocrity.

This child makes it easy to forget that there is another responsibility in the house that is not being met by the mother. This child offers relief to the chaos of the family situation because they don’t add any extra stress. The mother in this scenario does not have to be concerned at all about the Lost child.

While many parents used to attempting to manage multiple, rambunctious children may see the Lost Child as a blessing, these children are commonly deeply troubled. Many of the young people who have been notorious for committing mass shootings at schools would be considered a Lost Child.

Habitually pulling away from in-person relationships means that they can develop a warped expectation of control in relationships. In the virtual world, if someone posts a video they don’t like or writes something negative about them, they can not watch the video again, go to another site, or even shut down the computer or smart phone completely. This means that they find safety and normalcy in removing themselves from interactions with other humans beings in the simplest ways possible. Sometimes severe bullying or exclusion can lead to them believing that death (of themselves, their peers, or both) is the most efficient end to the strife caused by being in any kind of relationship with someone who is hurting them in some way.

Less drastically, this child may never learn how to develop healthy coping, communication, and other interpersonal skills so that they can maintain friendships or even date. Until they are offered skills training, therapy, or even just a self-help book, they may never be able to heal and begin to have healthy views of themselves, other people, and human relationships in general.

Lost Children as Adults

If the single, alcoholic mother of four goes to treatment for her addiction and gets some treatment for her children, they may be able to wrench themselves loose from these roles. However, if this doesn’t happen, it’s very easy for a child’s personality/sense of self and their role in this chaotic situation to become enmeshed.

When this happens, the Lost Child becomes an adult who searches for ways to get their needs met while keeping human interaction as low as possible. This person is often called ‘quiet’ or ‘shy’ and accused of having ‘no personality’ or being ‘boring.’ Because they equate human relationships with pain, they are likely to live alone (maybe with their original family under certain circumstances).

The notion of finding gainful employment may seem daunting, but they will try to find a way to do “background” work (such as working backstage at a theater, working behind the scenes of a television show, being a grocery stock member, being an office building janitor, etc.) or solo work (writing, video transcription, copy editing, etc.).

Starting a family is often the furthest thing from this person’s mind because they don’t want to risk falling into the type of chaos that the experienced as a child. They are likely to masturbate regularly as opposed to attempting to find a consenting sexual partner. They may pay for sex as well, but this may be relatively rare since it involves another human being.

 

Lost Children / Wallflowers in Fiction

This character is often the one who has no idea that someone is attracted to them and would run scared if they knew anyway. Someone trying to show / teach them that not all human interaction is painful might make for a good romance or romantic portion of a story.

This character would be much more likely to rely on WebMD and YouTube videos for any minor or moderate medical conditions.

Because they like to work solo or in the background, they will rarely (if ever) be a celebrity of any kind. They will stay on top of their finances just enough to not get called by bill collectors, but not enough to get solicited by American Express. If they did fall on hard times for some reason, they would likely do without various things (even food) or go to a formal financial institution before they would think to attempt relying on someone close to them to help them out with a loan.

This character is likely to be highly socially awkward and visibly uncomfortable in group settings (sweating, eyes glued to the floor, never putting their phone down, etc.).

Having a Lost Child character with a realistic backstory can add depth to your piece and possibly offer some extra paths for your to explore with it comes to how your character will behave in new situations they run into in your story.

Stay gready, Friends!

 

Writer’s Tax Deductions

There are many tax deductions currently available to independent contractors. Make sure you’re not missing out on any of these as a self-publishing author. __________



When you work for yourself, you are often considered an independent contractor. This means that you are responsible for managing your own tax payouts and keeping track of your own expenditures and revenue. When tax time rolls around, besides just knowing what you made and what you spent in general, take a closer look at your finances and try to find possible tax write-offs, credits, and cuts for you / your business. Here are some basic categories with examples to get you started.

Equipment and Supplies

Equipment Warranties and Insurance
Printers
Ink
Computers

Laptops, desktops, tablets, etc.

Smartphones
Notebooks
Pens
Pencils
Styluses
Reading Lamps
Book Lights
Books

To read to create content for a website, observe the craft to inform your own, or even non-fiction that helped you find writing gigs, tighten up your marketing, or learn how to promote your book more effectively.

Binders
Binder Clips
Paper
Paper Clips
Staplers
Staples
Tape Dispensers
Tape
Tables
Chairs
Desks
Cameras

For taking photos to go inside your book, creating covers for a book, for PR and marketing purposes while you’re at an event, etc.

Bookshelves
Dry Erase Boards

For organizing your plot, describing your characters, outlining your story, planning publishing, or keeping meeting dates.

Dry Erase Markers, Erasers, and Cleaning Sprays
Stamps

Postage stamps for mailing out orders, along with logo or name stamps for the company.

Envelopes
Postal Scale

 

Overhead

If you have a home office or just a small space that you rent, you may be able to get deductions for some of the following expenses.

Rent
Renter’s Insurance
Gas
Water
Electricity
Extermination Services
Signage
Furniture
Magazines

For a waiting area or for your professional development (or both).

Landline Telephone
Internet Services

 

Travel

Cars
Car Registration and Taxes
Bikes
Car Insurance
Gas
Car Maintenance and Repairs
Car Washing
Car Tires
Airplane Tickets
Hotels
Meals on the Road
Rental Car Expenses
Public Transportation Fares

Taxi, Uber, Bus, Subway, Streetcar, etc.

 

Services

Equipment or Office Repair
Marketing
Advertising
Training / Education
Cover Production
Illustration
Ghostwriting
Copy Editing
Promotional
Bookkeeping
Legal

 

Any categories or items you think are missing? Leave a comment!

 

 

 

Meme: Summary of My Graduate School Experience

A+ every time. ^_^!

Character Development: Children’s Roles: Scapegoat

Creating a Scapegoat for your story can help make characters more realistic in the eyes of the reader.

__________

 

What are Children’s Roles?

Children’s roles are a specific set of coping mechanisms that children tend to develop throughout chaotic situations in their childhood. This could include the loss of a parent, a family struggle with addiction, or even a move to a new place.

The four major roles are Family Hero, Scapegoat, Lost Child, and Mascot. Most children have played these roles at various points throughout their lives, but some kids get “stuck” in one of these roles and it can be problematic for them as they grow older. However, while they are in the midst of the chaos (parent loses a job, being severely bullied at school, parents divorce, etc.), these behaviors are how they cope with the pain.

 

What’s a Scapegoat Like?

A Scapegoat is often referred to as ‘the bad one,’ ‘Bebe’s kid,’ or ‘the black sheep.’ You may have seen, heard of, been friends with, or even been a Scapegoat yourself. Let’s use the example of a single, alcoholic mother again. She loses her job due to her consistent drunkenness and decides to drown her sorrows in yet more alcohol. As noted in previous posts, this means that bills are not being paid, clothes are not being washed, groceries are not being purchased, and so on. The household containing her and her 4 children is in chaos. While the Family Hero is filling in as a pseudo-parent, the Scapegoat is doing the exact opposite.

The Scapegoat may spend most of the day sleeping, rarely making it to school on time or at all. This kid just wants to get away from the stressful situation that is being part of this family. They may see the Family Hero working their ass off attempting to keep everything together (as a parent and a child) and doesn’t want to put themselves through that kind of stress. They will often do things to get attention that are considered problematic, such as getting pregnant as a teenager, using drugs, joining gangs, committing crimes, or bullying or being generally violent and abusive towards others (including family members). They are likely to struggle with their academics and may even flunk out of school. The Scapegoat will often come home late at night or not at all since they may find more comfort and stability with their pimp, gang leader, etc.

Their destructive and problematic behavior makes it more difficult for the focus to be on the central problem of mom’s alcoholism. People within the family and outside the family might think, “There lives would be so much better if Sheena would just get her act together.” The mother may not realize how much of a burden is lifted off of them when the Scapegoat’s problems overshadow her own.

Scapegoats get the attention that all children crave, but they get it for getting expelled, breaking laws, or getting arrested. The mother might often berate the Scapegoat: “What is wrong with you?” “Why can’t you grow up?” “Your brother’s never acted like this!” “You’re the worst most ungrateful child I’ve ever seen!”

Therefore, even though the Scapegoat does things that a problematic, it begins to feel comfortable as they take on the labels that they are fitted with by schools, law enforcement, family members, friends, and classmates. Their behavior is often an outlet for feelings of rage that they are not having their basic needs met by their family unit and have had to look outside the family for feelings like love, connectedness, and appreciation. Until they are offered a self-help group, non-judgmental companions, or therapist, these feelings may never be directly expressed in a healthy manner.

 

Scapegoats as Adults

If the single, alcoholic mother of four goes to treatment for her addiction and gets some treatment for her children, they may be able to wrench themselves loose from these roles. However, if this doesn’t happen, it’s very easy for a child’s personality/sense of self and their role in this chaotic situation to become enmeshed.

When this happens, the Scapegoat keeps looking for new ways to be ‘the black sheep’ in different situations. This person is often called a ‘career criminal’ as an adult, but could also be noted as an unmotivated ‘pot head’ or other drug addict. They’ve given in to the feelings of helplessness that have surrounded them in their chaotic family and decided not to fight against it, but just to ignore the core issues that caused it.

Sometimes the idea of getting a job is unattractive to them because it means following rules, having a boss, and having to be somewhere on a consistent basis throughout the week (i.e., too much work). So the Scapegoat may find ways to make money that don’t take a lot of effort or oversight (selling guns or drugs, doing odd jobs when they feel like it, etc.)

Sometimes the idea of having a family isn’t appealing because they don’t want to end up back in a family like the one they grew up in. Therefore, the Scapegoat might intentionally remain single, though they may have many ‘sex buddies’ available to them.

Scapegoats / Career Criminals / Burnouts in Fiction

This character is often the one who attempts to keep potential love interests at bay. They may have sex with them, but that’s as far as it goes. A love interest trying to break down this emotional wall could make a strong romance.

This character may not believe that they can rely on people in the medical community, so health problems as “solved” with drugs or simply ignored. Good for a tragedy.

Due to an inconsistent work history, this person may have accrued some debt that can follow them and cause problems between them and others when bill collectors call, items are repossessed, or the character borrows money that they cannot (or have no intention to) pay back.

This character is apt to see people who are industrious (such as the Family Hero) as “suckers” working for “the man.”

Having a character who is a Scapegoat with a realistic backstory can add depth to your work and maybe even offer you some extra avenues to explore when it comes to how they will behave in the new situations they come across in your story.

 

Stay gready, Friends!

 

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