Psycho? Psycho! Where For Art Thou Psycho?

I’ve been working on my protagonist lately. So far, I like what I have created although she is…well…how can I put this so she sounds relatively decent…….

Ok. No other way to put it. She’s a murderous wench.

And that can be a difficult thing to write about seeing I have no experience of killing humans or animals. People say write what you know, don’t they? Ok. Well let me write about laundry. Dusting? How does that sound. I’ll write a 34-interesting-ways-to-dust-your-home guide-book. Or, I could write about traveling. Yes, that’s better. Much more interesting. But unfortunately I have always loved the crime genre. Reading it, writing it. So it only seems natural for me to join the ranks of noted crime writers like Michael Connelly, Agatha Christie, the list goes on, etc, et al. Very natural indeed. Compared to them and countless others I feel my book would royally suck. I can only but try though, right?

Anyway. Our characters need to have depth. Be three-dimensional. For me, I find it easier to create a character loosely based on either myself or a muse. An extremely bastardised version of someone. Again, a difficult task for this particular one as I don’t know any murderous wenches.

I was quietly writing a scene the other night. My protagonist was about to commit her first murder. Something wasn’t working for me though, I’m not sure why. Nothing I wrote seemed believable. Not the scene itself, or the steps she took to commit this murder.  I just felt there was no passion. Conviction. She wasn’t real enough. I took a little break and had a chat with The Hulk about this. A few years ago when he was working in the theatre, he wrote 3 extremely maniacal scripts so I thought he might be able to offer me some words of wisdom. The good man asked, ‘Are you writing from within? What if you were trying to kill me?’ Hmmmm….not a very nice thought at all. But I did it. I morphed into my protagonist and it was grotesque. Uncomfortable. She really is sick.

I planted myself  in my protagonists’ dimly lit luxury apartment and went to my darkest place. I walked in her steps and I plotted my partner’s murder. I was acting out this evil fantasy – this sick, twisted fantasy of deep abandonment issues – and probably had my first ever character lightbulb moment.

Sure, I’ve researched characters but to be honest I have never been as passionate about character development before. Pretty stupid seeing as I proclaim to be a writer but I admit it. I don’t think I have ever stepped into a characters’ life like I did the other night. To breathe the same air; to think the same thoughts. As terrifying as it was, I loved every single minute of it and I can’t wait until tonight when I will do it again!

*disclaimer – I’m not a murderous wench!

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About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

4 Responses to “Psycho? Psycho! Where For Art Thou Psycho?”

  1. Love those moments!!

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  2. I know what you mean about “going to that place in your head.” You can tell when a writer isn’t afraid to go to that place. It took me a while to get to that point as well, where you finally let loose. It is quite liberating, though.

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    • Yeah, liberating is the right word – a sense of relief. I did have to step back last night again because my character really is quite disturbed. Getting into the mind of a serial killer isn’t the most fun in the world!

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  3. I have done similar things with my antagonists and just because they are supposed to be evil, wicked and cruel does not make the trip any better. *shudders*.

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