Tag Archives: crazy

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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Academic Update: The Fears of My First Residency

Isn't this the cutest piece of truth you ever did see?

Well, so far I have tackled the residency, and I am knee deep into the first practicum of the program. All in all, I am having a wonderful time learning about the craft. It’s not that I am unhappy with education I’m getting. Instead, I am frustrated with myself for not being “as smart as I need to be” while writing. I understand and respect the need for criticism. It is the most helpful tool for professors to give to their students.

On the positive note, I have passed the dreaded Integrative Essay, my first fiction submission, and my first critical essay. I should be ecstatic that I didn’t fail, considering there are only three options: fail, pass, pass with distinction. Somehow, I can’t get over the feeling that just passing is not enough. I know, it’s a Master’s program, it’s more difficult by design. I should be proud of my accomplishments, but I’m not. Maybe it’s the perfectionist inside, striving towards the pass with distinction. Maybe I’m afraid that my writing isn’t good enough. It’s a fluke and I managed to squeeze by until now. All of these concerns are racing through my head as I read my mentor’s criticisms.

However, it is making me feel considerable more helpless about my skills. I’m not as confident in my own writing anymore because I feel like I am losing my ability to write well. The one time I am shown how to vary sentence structure, and I become paranoid about it. Are these sentences fragments? Does this comma go here? Should I end this sentence in this? All of these questions are being answered, but not correctly by my own brain. Grammar and sentence structure should not be the criticisms I’m getting. I’m a native English speaker in addition to enjoying the language. So why is this so damn hard to accomplish?

Sometimes I feel like Jack from The Shining-crazy with nothing good to show for it

Then comes the ego, when I begin comparing my flaws with the others in my group. In my mind, I’m convinced they don’t have these problems. They can’t be suffering from the same ailments as I am. When we move up to more difficult mentors, what happens when I can’t provide the pass? Will I settle for pass rather than strive to get that “with distinction” or will my writing actually improve with practice?

With all of these questions, I barely have room in my head for my writing. Hopefully, after spilling the beans on here I will have the courage to try again. I want to work harder, make myself a better writer, and show the world the ideas I have to offer. I’m just praying that these fears are normal. I’m not crazy over critical because other students have suffered like this.

What are your fears about your writing? Do you struggle with imperfection or attempting to improve your writing? How do you cope?

I know that I may be afraid of what I can and can’t write at the moment, but I will force myself to start writing again. I might take a break, read for pleasure ( I still have the rest of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 to finish), and then come back to my writing with new confidence. I just hopes my confidence doesn’t take too long to find its way back.

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