by Natasha A. Salnikova
One question people often ask me is about writing murder scenes.
It’s not as difficult and emotional for me as one would think. I don’t have to do any voodoo dances, or prepare myself with special rituals. I don’t even drink vodka. I just … well … write it.
Imagine watching a thriller or horror movie. Many people close their eyes when the murder scene begins. I do to. When I write, I keep my eyes open and watch bad things happening to good people in my imagination. Perhaps I do have a “sick” imagination, but for me it’s just part of the job – imagining things. I’m a vegetarian (believe it or not) and love animals. I didn’t have a difficult childhood and I didn’t torture insects when I was little. The only thing that made me different from other kids, was dreaming. In other words, I didn’t have any psychological basis for my books.
The same with other writers. We have our own boring lives and we get drawn into the crazy worlds of our characters on a daily basis.
I remember working on one of my bloody scenes when my twins were about two years old. It was an intense scene of a serial killer, kidnapping and killing his next victim. I was lost in concentration. Before my eyes, there was night and a dark alley, and the muffled sound of footsteps.
“Mom, I pooped!” I heard, right before the killer put the knife down. You can’t ignore a kid who pooped. So, I stood up, did what I was supposed to do, and came back to my computer after presenting the kids with some crackers and milk. The killer had to finish his dirty business too.
They say that writers should write what they know. I suppose all the thrillers and horror books should come out of prison cells in this case. What writers should do, in my opinion, is lots of reading, including books about psychology. I write psychological thrillers, the genre based on the characters rather than on a plot. For me, it’s important to know the basic psychology of a killer, so I can play with it. I can’t say that my characters are a hundred percent accurate, I’m not a professional psychologist, but I try to stay as close as possible to the true nature of killers. Do I become a killer for that short time? Read the paragraph above. I just can’t.
My psychological thriller “The Savior” has a lot of violence. It has characters with psychological problems. The last scene in the novel was a little difficult for me to write. I thought about the feelings of the readers. I was uncomfortable myself, even looking at the scene from the outside. It was difficult for me to re-read it when I was editing. I don’t know what emotions readers will have during this scene, but I hope they won’t judge me by my characters actions. Trust me, sometimes they do things I don’t approve of, but what can I do? At some point in the book, they tell me what to write, not the opposite. (And here comes the music from “Psycho”)
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Genre - Psychological Thriller / Mystery & Suspense
Rating - PG13 - foul language and violence
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