Tag Archives: connection

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!

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We are more than the person behind the curtain

What are writers, but mysterious figures behind the gargantuan stories they tell. For some like Shakespeare, they stay a mystery for readers hundreds of years after the stories were published. Others like Ray Bradbury step out into the world, live in the spotlight, revealing secrets of the trade to budding dreamers of the future.

A depiction of Charles Dickens giving a reading

One of the most terrifying and enjoyable aspects of being a writer is the interaction with our readers. It scares the wits out of writers because we are compelled to be loners. At the same time, the first hand experience of seeing the reader’s reaction is indescribable. Yet, for two bloggers the ability of a writer to be a performer is a heated debate.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2099962/Writers-performers-despite-preferring-avoid-limelight.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The author of the link above defends the writer’s perspective wholeheartedly, while Amitav Ghosh disagrees. As Ghosh is a novelist/blogger, who is convinced the act of reading one’s work rips away the relationship between the reader and the book.

“The reader related in the first instance to a book, not to its writer; and writers, for their part, did not confront their audience directly in the manner of musicians, singers, actors and so on.”

The statement above made by Ghosh are powerful, but not necessarily true. Ghosh believes that the author is not meant to read his writing out loud, but simply write it only to retreat back behind the curtain. The author of the blog disagrees with the above statement because for centuries, writers have been the rockstars of the world. Not only novelists, but poets have an obligation to their writing to speak publicly.

Without the performance in front of the audience, poetry doesn’t have the power it could just read in silence.  Poetry almost solely relies on the use of sound and delivery to provide the emphasis in lieu of the extra words.  What Ghosh doesn’t appreciate about writing is the feel of the words on your lips. In addition to poetry, words flow in a beautiful way with prose. Hearing the one who created the story read it aloud is an experience that can’t be replaced.  As a long time reader, I have never had the opportunity to see my favorite authors read their work in public.

To me, it feels like I’m missing an entire part of the entertainment. Because as much as Ghosh and other authors would like to admit, stories are entertainment. They have been entertainment since the beginning of human history. Whether it is read from a printed book or spoken from memory, the author can bring the characters to life in a way no one else can. The author is the expert source on whatever he/she has written. There is no one else more qualified to bring the characters to life.  It is a privilege and a responsibility for a writer to express their excitement through a public performance.

I chose the picture of Dickens’ before I finished the article only to find that the article mentions Dickens as one of the proudest performers in writing history. He was working on his performance as he wrote the novels, creating the characters with his face. It is an amazing site to hear a poet read their writing or hear an excerpt from a novel you’ve read. The performance made is not just a money opportunity, but a responsibility to the give the story all of the potential it has. The reader deserves every possible viewpoint of the story, and nothing beats the author reading their proud work to you.

Don’t forget, the writers are not just the people behind the curtain.  They are the creators, the magic makers, the entertainers, the teachers, and the inspiration. Writers don’t just write the stories, they live them, and finally they pass the story on as if it were livelihood given to millions of loving children.

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