Pat, in Silver Linings Playbook, is manic. Diagnosed with Bipolar, he will always say and do as he wishes, completely unfiltered. He plainly doesn’t recognize social norms, which causes a ton of drama. And he’s high strung, can snap at any minute, yet this is also a virtue as he’s motivated and a fast thinker. And for the most part he’s a positive thinker, finding a silver lining in everything.

These types of characters are fun in stories because they always put everyone on edge. Another example of this is the Grandpa in Mad Men, who’s losing his mind, and constantly says inappropriate things like hitting on his daughter. Even better is when this type of character is in a position of power like Commodus in the Gladiator and they can make their beloved sister fear them.

Next time I notice my characters a little too relaxed, I’ll write a Pat Solitano into the mix.