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?