Sunday, January 02, 2011

What's death look like in the New Year?


Hello fellow murderers (I know, I know... I'm not a murderer, I just play one in the books I write...), it's a brand new year just chock-a-block full of potential for all sorts of new murder, mayhem, death, and destruction. I know there are a lot of you out there that go for the more genteel side of killing, but ask any cop and he or she will tell you there's no such thing. Crime is nasty, murder -- nastier still. Someone who's been poisoned foams at the mouth, the capillaries in their eyes burst, perhaps their extremeties even twist around into violent and ugly positions... so, what am I getting at? Hey, it's a new year... it may be time to take your writing to the next (and nasty) level. Can you do that? Can you do more research and delve into the uglier side of death by murder? Drowned bodies bloat and float, fishes eat the yummy soft parts... many bodies aren't found until some neighbor reports a stink coming from the house next door... by that time ants and other uggie-buggies have been at it... maybe even living in it! I've read a plethora of crime books lately and have found that many authors describe death, even violent death, in antiseptic tones. You know what a battlefield smells like? Blood, feces, urine, the brine of tears... yet many of us prefer to shy away from the reality of violent death... which is always nasty, always stinky, always ugly. C'mon folks, it's a new year... dip those clean hands into a warm (or cold!) corpse and see what you come up with... just don't wipe your hands on your clothes though... save that for your pages.

1 comment:

Maryann Miller said...

Okay, this is truly disgusting. LOL Seriously, you make a good point about not holding back, but we do need to be careful we don't go too far in the opposite direction. Holding back some explicit descriptions so the reader can fill in the blanks is one way to really engage him or her. We can be scary without being too gory.