Generally speaking, I think it's common for writers to look around them and observe and ponder human nature. I do this often and it is reflected in what I write (for instance, The Pocket Realm of Brocschtal
followed my musings about the kinds of things people can become accustomed to.) I think that when writers neglect to pay attention they can end up writing characters and situations that are hard for others to feel are authentic.
One of the things that's been on my mind of late (due to some recent, really bizarre experiences) revolves around groups of individuals and how they interact with other groups. Specifically:
- Self policing: How does a group make sure its members behave according to the roles and expectations of the group. How are those roles and expectations decided?
- Conflict between groups: How is the above affected when intergroup conflict occurs. For instance, does a group overlook inappropriate behavior among its members if that fits in with protecting the group from outside conflict? How far can this go?
- Self-awareness: How is self awareness affected by interactions within and outside of a group under circumstances of conflict. For example, if two groups have differing concepts of appropriate behavior, what happens when someone in a group performs appropriately for that group but is then held to the standards of an outside group. How does this affect the group dynamic?
I'll post some fictitious examples when I can come up with some. For now I'm just trying to give words to my thoughts.