I’m researching my next novel at the moment, which involves a lot of gory crime scene reports and crimal psychology (especially sexual psychology). I’m not easily freaked out by that kind of thing but following a discussion a few posts ago (“Rape is not just about sex”), I have successfully been disturbed by ten year olds. (I read the Jamie Bulger case notes). Despite any similarities between the murder and Child’s Play 3, which sounds a ridiculous film, I am still unconvinced that it played a direct role in the killing. Regardless of the age rating of a film, you have to be pretty disturbed to recreate the scenarios in the first place. Whether people are born evil and whether the boys should have spent the rest of their lives in solitary is another matter… It’s the kind of thing I debate in my head and then write about.
EDIT: Nietzsche said: “He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” I can see how this can happen- how one can be desensitised to horror. Photography is a prime example- it must be easier to look at famine and war when it’s through a lens- it’s just TV, your job is to record it. (That isn’t to say that all photographers become cold hard bastards- the man who took the hideous vulture/child picture killed himself afterward).
I (and many other writers) take a slightly morbid joy in writing death scenes. It isn’t real- I’m not actually disembowelling that guy… but to create a pretend person only to murder them shortly afterward is a very strange thing when you sit down to think about it! I’m a very visual person- I love writing any kind of description actually- nature, food, clothing, personal appearance… (I hate sex scenes though- there are just not enough words in the English language, which contains the word ‘moist’ which I’m still forgiving it for.) So here I am, sitting down to kill someone (and procrastinating, which meant my mind wandered off on a tangent, and now here I am blogging instead.)
I want to create the next Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates- I want a character who will be mentioned time and time again by reviewers and fans. I want to disturb people- it’s horror-esque crime after all! The thing is, people are freaked out by different things- the ‘safe driving’ advert with the little girl coming back to life never got anything from me except an eyeroll. The Daily Mail posted a video/photo the other day so disturbing that it made me cry. (If you’re a regular reader or know me personally, you’ll know that is rare. Both the crying and the Daily Mail reading- I followed a link.) As for freaking out? The character I made is a woman. I am hoping one of the first women in fiction to kill for anything other than monetary gain or revenge, which I hope will make readers look twice. That’s all for spoilers- you’ll have to read it when I’m done.
If you fancy reading something that may or may not be an extract, there’s a teeny bit of something I wrote on here:
As always, there are pictures of me below, and I happen to be wearing Cthulhu- indisputably a big scary monster and drawn as an octopus-y squid thingy. (By the way, giant squids have only been accepted as fact for a decade or two! I remember reading debates in paranormal magazines- now they’re crossword answers in wildlife magazines. This fact may only be awesome to me. Forget I said anything…)
This is also Zivity teaser- if you’d like to see the whole set, the pictures are right HERE and if you aren’t on Zivity, you can unlock the set for $2 (that’s about £1!!)