Monday, December 14, 2015

Making the World a Safer Place One Story at a Time

Years ago, a writing acquaintance and I were talking about something or other with regards to writing crime and how other people might view us.  I pointed out that crime writers are probably the safest people in the world to be around.  We get all our violence and frustrations out on the page rather than acting on them in real life. 

Think about it.  We get pissed at someone, we write furiously and end up with a scene where a person gets horribly murdered.  (And if we're really good, the dead person in the book in no way resembles its real life counterpart - except in our minds.)  We don't rush out and kill someone, or even rush out and assault someone.  Fictional people die and the world is a safer place. 

Sure, there have been instances where a writer has gone off the rails and actually committed the crime.  But it's rare.  And I'd venture those whackos weren't very good writers anyway. Or at least not very smart criminals because when the story you wrote mirrors the crime you committed, it's a trail of breadcrumbs that leads the police right to your door.  Duh. 

I know I've managed to put a lot of my frustrations to bed by banging it out on the keyboard.  Sometimes even when I'm not writing a murder scene, just the act of writing keeps me from going postal*.

So, like I said, I figure crime writers - and writers in general - are probably the safest people to be around.  Unless you somehow happen to get in between us and our coffee.  Then all bets are off.  ;o)

*Obviously, it's not the only thing that keeps me from going postal.  There's this thing called knowing right from wrong.  And personality responsibility. And believing in the sanctity of life.  You know, simple stuff murderers forget or ignore.


  1. Writing romance can be very therapeutic, too. Give the character's ex a good kick in the family jewels and pretend it was someone who hurt you. It's a nice feeling and no one actually got hurt!

  2. Don't ever get between me and my coffee--well, at least that first cup in the morning. I mellow a bit after savoring it. And yeah, I write a lot of murder, violence, and bad shit in my books. Sometimes, I make it personal, projecting my anger on the character. It's very therapeutic because I would never, in RL, go hunt someone and hurt them. Unless they threatened me or mine. Then it's an eye for an eye. Yeah, it's all about responsibility, knowing what's right, and sanctity of life. Funny thing, that...

    An acquaintance of mine was decrying gun ownership and how dangerous guns are, yada yada ad nauseum, basically boiling down to only mentally ill people (ie. preppers, Bible-thumpers, and a whole list of political diversions) and killers have guns. This person was shocked (and I've since been dropped from her social circles) when I told her that I've owned weapons since I was six. Yes. SIX! (I went hunting with my dad and big brother). I've handled weapons for 50+ years. I'm not mentally ill. I'm not a bible-thumper. My politics are probably less extreme than hers. I'm not a gang-banger, drug dealer, or killer. I've pulled my weapon on the man who was trying to beat me. I've pulled it on the two men trying to rob my place of business. I've pulled it on the men who threatened my jury, my various judges. I would have pulled the trigger if I needed to but the mere threat of the weapon cooled their jets long enough for police to arrive. Funny how that works...

    1. That's cuz you're good people, Silver. And a good writer. And yeah, it's a funny thing. (Funny in a not-haha sort of way.)

      She dropped you from her social circles? Bah. You're better off. I've heard all that hogwash from various places and I do my best to avoid it, block it, etc. If it's particularly virulent, I drop the source. I'm too old to get into debates anymore, and it's not like any of them are saying anything I haven't heard before. As early as I can remember, there were guns in the house. I just never had an interest in them until I got older and wiser, and realized I may need them to protect myself. Not yet, knock on wood, but I feel better knowing they're there. I'm certainly glad you had yours when you needed them.

  3. When I get wound up, I swear a lot, kick a chair or something close but mostly I just rant at whoever is near or some inanimate object like the tv or the laptop. I become a lioness in defence of my kids but I think that's about the limit of my aggressive tendancies. I'm a lot more balanced the older I get, thankfully.

    As a Brit I really appreciate that guns are not in every household in the country and that legal ownership is a lengthy and involved process. I know there are plenty of people who have illegal weapons, and plenty of farmers etc who use guns, but they are not "in your face". I also know that it's the person who pulls the trigger that kills. I'm not stupid - I did my time in the military not only myself, but through my parents as a child and my husband when I left the service. I also know that if people want to kill they'll find a way, but I like the fact that no-one I know, family/friend/acquaintance/co-worker, has a gun, or access to one.

    1. LOL, thank goodness for age and balance.

      Maybe things are safer over there. I hope for your sake that they are. I know that around here - even as far out in the country as I am - there are meth heads running around breaking into homes and terrorizing good, sane people. This year we've had two murders within ten minutes of here. I don't even want to get into how many murders there have been in the city an hour from here. So, I prefer to have weaponry should I ever need it and I'm happy that right now legal gun ownership here is still relatively unfettered.