Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for killer

(This post is part of the 2013 Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. Learn more about the Challenge HERE.)

Besides getting asked where I find my ideas (everywhere) and if I want to write the asker's life story (no, I don't), I get asked -- a lot -- how do I come up with a killer for my books. It's not easy. For one thing, while the killers in my books may actually be insane, they don't get the comfort of being insane. Instead, they must screw up their courage and choose to remove someone -- for revenge, love, money -- but no voices speak to them. No, their sins belong wholly to them.

Sometimes, I push my killers to the brink, and then they crack and kill. Other times, I let jealousy or anger eat at them for a long time. They began to think dark thoughts" If only he would die in a car wreck ... if only she would fall down the stairs ... Their lives would be better if their victims were dead. They only have to think that thought a few times ... and then it begins to fester. As it festers, it gathers strength, and they begin to plan. Eventually that plan leads to action. And those actions bring in the police. The story goes from there.

And that's how I make my killers.

1 comment:

John Wiswell said...

Given their relatively sympathetic origins, what kinds of payoffs do you write for their arcs? Do you expect the traditional thrill of capturing or revenge-killing the killers, or do you go in other directions?