And not in the ‘it makes you smarter’ or ‘it improves your use of language’ kind of sense. Because we all know that’s obviously true.
What I wanna focus on, though… is more or less how writing/being a writer, specifically with fiction writing, changes the way you think when it comes to… killing people.
Don’t freak out on me just yet… let me explain.
As you all know… or maybe don’t know, I finished up a short little story series here yesterday, “it’s about time she died anyway.” And, spolier alert now, I’m gonna talk about mainly the ending of this particular story… well, right now.
So, my mom definitely knows that I’m a writer because I talk to her all the time about my writing. And, when I was working on the ending of this lil’ story, I was having some trouble… about which character to kill off in the end. So, what did I do? I asked my mom.
And I did the thing.
You know… the thing where you talk about your characters like they’re real people.
And my mom thought I was crazy. Well, she laughed at me first, but then she said I was crazy.
She eventually helped me out as to which character to kill off in the end, though, but… still. I realized I can talk about killing off characters like I’m a mass murderer and not even think about it, or how it probably sounds to other people. I mean… it’s not normal to think ‘well, should I kill Billy or Candy’ every day… is it?
Sure, not every writer writes stories about killing people… or even about characters dying… but, let’s be honest, about, probably, 98% of us do. And so now I’m wondering… how many of that ~98% think like I do when it comes to both thinking about characters like they’re real people and wondering which one you’re going to kill next? And it sounds even worse put into words like that… but probably a good majority of those 98% think very similarly to I do. Well, I’m just guessing… but, I think it’s a good guess to have.
So, after thinking about all of that… I also find myself even wondering: does being a fiction writer just rewire the way you think… about murder/dying/serial killers/ect.?
Okay, the serial killer thing may be a stretch… but it’s still something to think about.
I mean… if it’s that easy to write it… then doesn’t it just happen as easily in real life? Writing is always, in some way, based on real life, after all…
And I’m not saying you completely 180 change from ‘oh my gosh, this person on the news just got shot, that’s awful!’ to ‘oh, look, another person shot, but it’s just another death, whatever’. Because… well, I hope you don’t change the way you think that quick or anything. What I’m saying, though… is that maybe you see something on the news about someone getting shot and killed… and you just stop and think about the story behind it, what the reason was for it, and about how quickly it happened.
I mean, whenever I see something like that happen on TV, in a movie, what have you… I always think about it from a ‘writer’s perspective’. And by that, I mean… I mostly think about how I could include it or something similar to it in my own stories and writing. For example, say I watch a movie about an old man dying with cancer. I still think about it like I probably would if I weren’t a writer… like how awful it must be for him, what his family is probably going through, and that sort of thing, but I also wonder what his life story was about, if there’s any aspects of the movie’s plotline that I want to study and use as inspiration in my own work… and, since I said it was movie, I’d also probably analyze his death at the end in depth and see what I would change about it.
And, back to when I was writing my short story ending yesterday, I knew that there was one character that everyone would obviously want to see killed over the other… but I actually kind of wanted to kill off the other one, the ‘good’ character… just because… well, the good one isn’t always the one that gets to live in real life. And so, I thought about that… but, I ended up killing the ‘bad’ one anyway, pretty much because I felt bad for the other character, and because my mom kind of begged for me to end it that one.
It almost feels like when I hear about death in the real world, I think about how it relates to death in stories and fiction. When I hear about it in fiction, then… well, I think about how it reflects it in the real world.
That’s even more confusing to think about.
So… I’m pretty sure writing has at least slightly changed the way I look at… you know, dead people and murderers and such.
But… has it changed your view, too?
Let me know in the comments! I just wanted to blog a really short post over the topic and give some food for thought; it’s really more about me asking a bunch of questions than giving answers to anything.
Still, though… let me know!