Murder & Grifting

A Montblanc, but not mine

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve murdered somebody.

In my book. : )

I’ve had the hardest time killing people, and that’s a real problem when you are trying to write a mystery. My husband and mother have suggested, perhaps, crimes that do not involve murder as a way to edge into it. A stolen diamond! While I do enjoy heist movies and TV shows (a lot), I find it really difficult to get to a place where I can write them myself.

Heist movies and shows are attractive to me because I can put aside my nice and soppy persona for an hour or so, and become a grifter. During the show, I feel like I could do that too, like I could swindle if I chose. Of course, I can’t. I’m a pathetic liar. Well, I’m actually quite good at lying if I’m lying to myself.

As for being connable, it depends. I empathize too quickly with each and every student who says their printer has broken the day the essay is due. However, now that I simply don’t take late papers, no matter what the excuse is, I am beginning to be less susceptible. I can see their tells!

But grifting is like a game. There’s not really a whole lot at stake, and when there is a lot at stake, it still feels like a game. Mysteries are puzzles, and I love that aspect of mysteries– but it’s hard to get too emotionally invested in a game. Murder, on the other hand. That’s a whole different story.

Life has inherent value– the threat of it being taken away, or doling out justice to those who take it away is much more interesting to me. It’s just instantly deeper and more emotional.

So, I’ve set up the murder, and now it’s happened. Next, they retrieve the body. Now, I’ve got to rev up that fox-in-the-hen-house feeling. Everybody has a secret, and a few people have to be willing to kill or maim to keep their secrets.

Wish me luck! I’m having fun, but intimidated. And for the first time ever, when I start imagining a scene ahead of myself, instead of squelching it down because it isn’t the right time– I am writing it down and capturing it for later. I don’t know why I haven’t done that sooner. Instead of letting negative self-talk (Hey! Therapy works!) talk me out of imagining what I want to imagine, I’m just letting it flow onto the page. Perhaps it’ll get used, and perhaps it won’t. But I’m not going to prejudge it, see?

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