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Monday, 21 November 2011

A genre obsessed with dead things?

I’m trying to understand the nature of Crime/Thriller Writing and understand our obsession with dead things and dreaming more inventive ways to kill.
This literary dilemma comes as I struggle to consider how many people I choose to kill off as my second book comes to a climax.
My issue is that I’m a bit bored of killing folk or blowing them up. Whilst the drastic outcome kind of goes with the territory of the genre and that people expect a degree of it doesn’t help in trying to be original or inspired in writing. How many books do we pick of our shelves with the basic premise of someone dies, slightly weird but dedicated person suspects the whole story is not right, then pursues story often at personal challenge to own life, gets rescued by some obscure means before the  killer confesses all. We could argue the same goes for romance novels where someone fails to fall in love, falls for someone else, gets pissed off and ends up back where they started.
Yes there are always variations on a theme but the principles are the same, doesn’t matter how much you story you slot in the middle.
I can’t complain at other writers for following this model, just like me we know what sells, as this is what we read, and the market keeps coming back for more.
So why am I worried? I suppose I don’t want to write a story which follows a formula set by someone else, but I also don’t want it to disappoint a reader’s expectations of a genre. So my challenge is to challenge the genre perhaps. Yes people might suffer at the hand of my enthusiastic typing but can I at least make it mean something in the context of a good story. My first instinct to create excitement shouldn’t be to wave a sword over their head or point a gun at them (although both of those things do happen in this current book) but I should look to produce characters who create interest in their own right.
I can do all that, I can write the best story ever, but just like the thrillers I enjoy reading people will still end up dead and the dilemma will come back round again the next time I write a book. The only hope is that in my attempts to find a story to connect my dead events I haven’t the lost the whole point for which Thriller readers read thrillers and that is to be thrilled.

© S.G.Norris

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