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Friday, June 16, 2006

Where Does a Murderer Lurk?

...or any other kind of villain?

Believe it or not, it might your neighbor next door, the one hovering over his barbecue grill. Or she might have a cart stacked full groceries in the line beside you in Wal-Mart. Maybe she's the one standing who thumps the cantaloupe as she contemplates how to get rid of the body in her bathtub. All the while, you're across from her in the produce aisle, selecting apples for a pie.

One thing that intrigues me about mysteries is the proof of human nature. What is it that pushes an ordinary individual to commit a crime, then try to drift back into the life around them without being caught? What mistakes do they make that lead a sleuth to their doorstep?

I believe the more we study human nature and its fallibility, we can craft characters that pull readers into the story world and don't let them out until the story's done.

I claim no expert knowledge. I'm not a lawyer, police officer, forensics specialist, or detective. But I'm a people watcher, and one of my favorite questions to ask is, Why do people do the things they do? Perhaps it's because of greed, revenge, unforgiveness, rage, jealousy, or even fear.

Negative qualities, yes. But also reminders of how much we need the grace that God sheds on all who are willing to accept His gift. We always have a choice. So like my friend Lisa Harris said, that's the message of my stories.

Happy Sleuthing!


Blogger CHickey said...

This is the fun part of writing suspense! Turning an "ordinary" character into someone evil. A "normal" person putting on the facade of goodness!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Dineen A. Miller said...

Great post, Lynette! Getting into people's minds--scary and fun all at once. Then realizing we are all capable of darkness--that's humbling.

8:47 PM  

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