Wednesday, December 2, 2009
To Kill or Not to Kill
I’ve been thinking about things like… genre… lessons… character changes… In all of life, there is probably nothing larger, short of dying ourselves, than killing, yet it is all over the media—TV, movies, news… and yes… books. .
The Genre Question
Mysteries typically need a murder, but you know something funny? They don’t often have one. What they have is more often, a BODY (or a few). The deed has been done… off screen… even when it happens in real time, the person whose perspective we are getting typically stumbles upon it after the fact—oh sure, sometimes in gruesome detail, and some of the murderers are twisted freaks, but it is a step removed because the focus is SOLVING the murder.
Romance doesn’t have it… Chicklit is pretty devoid of it… I guess I’ve seen some in Sci Fi and Fantasy, but because those are removed from reality, it sometimes seems… well… removed from reality.
I think the place we actually SEE it in literature—less removed from reality, is in thrillers… which I suppose is why I’ve come to this point. CONFLUENCE was mainstream… too much character and relationship stuff to be a straight thriller, even though that is the closest genre, were I to be forced to choose one, underlying the plot. But the trilogy I’m writing is definitely thriller material. They are faster paced and more about twists and turns… I mean sure… there is character there, that’s who I am, after all… but it is more story intensive.
Best Murder in Literature
How does that inform me? I have a heartless psychopath in this series… he kills a father of three in chapter one of the first book. At the end of the first book there is another murder, this time by someone whose motivations are harder to pin down, but it is… shall we say ‘necessary’. Book two though, I am beginning to explore the ‘forced into it’ and the ‘head messed with into it’ scenarios and it is making me a little light-headed. It’s fun stuff to delve into… powerful to write, and hopefully, powerful to read.
Ellie got hers, and I think given that she was in a war situation… and a teen… that was the right course. I think there are genres where this is the right way to go, and genres where it isn’t. My current suspicion, though I haven’t written it yet, is that in my own thriller, the murder in self defense has an impact, but is not dwelt on… the brain-washed come murderer though? He’s going to have some baggage to deal with… unless I leave him brain-washed… BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!