Monday, 27 February 2012


K – Killer
So many types of fiction have murders in them that it feels almost unnecessary to have ‘who dun it’s’ as a genre. My own fiction is mostly supernatural thriller writing but somewhere in the story, there will likely be a dead body/murder of some kind.
I suppose death fascinates and scares all of us but it becomes really shocking when people have died in violent circumstances, or by another’s hand. It threatens all that we hold dear – that of being able to accept death as natural and inevitable at some point when our bodies wear out… None of us want our lives to end this way…
So perhaps that is why we abhor people who take life (kill or murder), so much. I think it is also the fact that the majority of ordinary people cannot imagine how someone can kill as it goes against what we perceive as the nature of being human and protective of fellow human beings. Killers, who murder and mutilate appear to have little regard for human life and appal and fascinate us at the same time. We cannot put ourselves (mostly) in their place and carry out the same deeds.
From time immemorial murderers have been the antagonists and adversaries in all types of fiction. The policeman/woman, in crime writing, trying to solve a case finds the murderer a tough opponent in a battle of wits and the secret agent in spy thrillers may well be trying to stop the murder of many. The war hero/cowboy fighting an enemy he perceives has murdered his fellow countrymen… Even some romance stories take murder and mayhem as their settings. But the ultimate fictional murderer has to be the Devil himself who not only kills but takes souls!
Whilst, in real life, unlawful killings are relatively few, in fiction they happen left right and centre!  They add an extra dimension for so many stories because there are no higher personal stakes than the risk of losing one’s life!
For myself, I relish dreaming up a murderer for my stories – it is wicked!
Do you use killers in your stories - even if you don't write in the crime genre?


  1. Also a thriller writer, killers are usually essential to a good plot. And there are so many ways one can murder another: poison, strangulation, stabbing, guns, "accidents", hire-for-kill, drowning, etc. Then you get to have fun with the motivation for the killing. I enjoy this, too. Hmm... Maybe we're not right in the head.

  2. LOL! I have to admit, I enjoy a good murder mystery! I do have killers in my books, but I write urban fantasy so they tend to be otherworldly. :D

  3. Nice post, Pat. I have a killer in my novel, Net Switch, that's out now. I think the idea of a killer intrigues the norm because they are so far removed from our own conscious...or at least we think so. In some cases, we understand and sometimes support why killers do what they do (avenge), and that's what really scares us. Or maybe I'm the only nutcase who can cheer on a killer who is avenging the death of his tortured spouse and/or children. LOL!

  4. Um... no. Maybe I should create a new genre: killer chick lit!

  5. I don't... but mostly because I write MG. Not that you can't have killers in MG, it just has to be handled much more carefully. I totally love it in novels I read, though! Especially if it's a character I'm really invested in. I guess it's the ultimate conflict. :)

  6. Interesting question. I thought about it, and while I don't write mysteries, thrillers or suspense, there are quite a few killers in my work. But they tend to be the hands-off type. They prefer to make plans, lay traps and manipulate (or order) others into committing the crimes.

    That being said, I love mysteries, especially Agatha Christie, so when I try writing in this genre, the killers are more hands-on.

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  8. I'm constantly killing folk, it comes with the genre. Horror, dark fantasy, and supernatural.

    The bloodier the better as far as killers are concerned. I like mine to be bad to the bone!

    (Oops!Sorry about double posting)