Friday, 26 October 2012

How to Thrill to a Kill

“Kill a man and you are an assassin, kill millions of men and you are a conqueror, kill everyone and you are a God.” Jean Rostand.

I love that quote but life is not sacred in the telling of a good thriller story!
How many ways can you kill a person? How long is a piece of string, you ask.
One of the most intriguing ways I came across was using an ice stalactite! Believable or not – it was written into a story. Of course as far as working out what the murder weapon was, the police had a hard time for there was simply a pool of water on the floor by the time the body was discovered.
It’s fair enough food for thought though. Thriller writers have to come up with ever more ingenious ways to commit their make believe murders as we’ve all heard it all before.
In a seminar once, we were asked to look around the room and find ways to kill a person. It was just a bit of fun! But it was unsettling and yes, funny, what the imagination of 15 people came up with. Apart from the obvious ones like pushing guy through an upstairs window (we were on the 6th floor at the time), strangling and bashing someone’s head against the floor, there were some inventive scenarios. One chap suggested grinding up the board rubber and shoving it down someone’s throat. Another wanted to crush a person’s chest by piling all the furniture (which was very heavy) on top of him, whilst someone else suggested using the light fitting to electrocute!
Perhaps those are a bit far-fetched but you get the picture…

So have you any interesting ways a villain could commit a murder?


  1. Whoa. Definitely a bit unsettling. Yikes. :D

  2. I've seen so many. I think other writers have used written all the different ways.

  3. Poison. Definitely poison. Small doses, gradually increasing. Something difficult for the coroner to detect.


  4. Wow, the stalactite death is a good twist, for sure. I could probably come up with a few doozies, but I don't write murder mysteries (gotta keep my imagination in check so I can sleep at night!) so I better not try that exercise today! I guess that's why I'm a children's author! Haha! Intriguing post, Pat!

  5. That's a fun exercise. Although, I like to think I'd be able to outrun the person who stopped to grind up the board rubber. ;)

  6. I'm not a crime/thriller writer, but I do have a tendency to kill off my characters - I've had a couple of stabbings, death by cupboard, three suicides, and an attempted drowning by a ghost.