A Love Affair: Serial Killers and Writers

So, I finally decided to sit down and start watching Castle. For those who don’t know…it’s a tv show surrounding a writer who helps the police solves crimes based off his best-selling mystery books.  It’s similar to the new movie Raven with Poe as the main character. For mystery/crime/horror fiction, this seems to be an interesting pattern for characters who are writers.

It may sound like a cheesy idea, but I find it fascinating. The relationship between writing and crazy runs deeps as we all know. We writers are sensitive to the emotions of everyone else, and sometimes it can have terrible effects.  When a story features a writer interacting with a serial killer, it’s a lot like a romance. Typically in these stories, it’s a delicate game of cat and mouse similar to dating.

I know it sounds cheesy again, but it’s not. The power behind writing is shown with the ability for the words to speak to many different people. When a serial killer is attracted to the words of a writer, it has odd results. In some cases, the writer becomes the suspect. In other cases, the writer becomes worthy (creepy, I know) of the genre. I watched half an episode of Castle before I stopped to write this blog, but I was inspired to talk about the subject. As a detective fiction writer, I know I would be disgusted and humbled by a killer copying my stories.

I can tell Castle will be an amazing tv series based on this idea alone. Eventually, the main character becomes a frequent help for the police. How?Because writers know a lot. I might not know too much right now, but I will after years of research and experience. The vast amount of knowledge that a writer knows is astounding to those outside of the craft. People say: write what you know.

However, this is difficult when most people know little about what they’re writing. I happen to love the research aspect of writing because it gives me the chance to immerse myself in the story. For Castle, his mysteries give him top knowledge about psychology, crime, and getting into the head of killers. It makes him the perfect asset for the police even after his copy cat killer is caught.

Writers are under appreciated for the amount of knowledge they have compared to people who don’t spend all of their time reading. I think that shows like Castle, and stories that show the life of a writer give a little more insight into how a writer thinks and lives. It’s easy for people to think they can write. Yet, you have to be a special person to reach one serial killer in addition to thousands of adoring fans. I feel like the deranged connection in stories between serial killer and writer only facilitates how important writing is to people. Even for the people who don’t like reading or think it’s useless, you might need the knowledge a writer has someday.

What do you think of the serial killer copying a mystery writer? Share your thoughts and suggestions of other books/movies with this idea!


Filed under Idea of the Day

4 responses to “A Love Affair: Serial Killers and Writers

  1. It’s an interesting thing isn’t it- the whole genius and madness thing, the artist as both a genius and a complete psycopath. As writers’ job is often to get into people’s heads I’ve often wondered how, for example, Thomas Harris got into Hannibal Lecter’s mind. Interesting reading 🙂

  2. Whenever I see some atrocious plot on a TV show, I wonder whether someone will be just crazy enough to copy it! I love Castle. I love the tension between Castle & Beckett. I love the crazy ideas Castle comes up with when trying to solve a crime and how, more often than not, he’s not all that far off the truth. The show is a fine combination of mystery and humour. 🙂

  3. Castle is my favourite tv show. I always marvel at how clever he is when he gets himself in sticky situations. I hope to have his savvy after I belting out a few books.

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