Okay, fellow mystery writers, confess: Have you begun to see possibilities for murder in everyday situations? Does the idea cross your mind in certain instances that the world might be better off without _____, and you have just the method to accomplish it? Oh, it's only idle thought, and you'd never act on it, but it's the tiniest bit satisfying to realize that if you had to, you could make the world a better place and never get caught, right?

I thought so. Writing about murder requires so much focus and organized thought that it becomes part of one's brain function. As a result, it overflows into the rest of the day's activities, and little mini-plots hatch almost by themselves, mentally "taking care" of the speeding driver who endangers three other cars on the freeway or the horrible parent in front of you at the checkout who humiliates and threatens her child. Similarly, extraneous information, news stories and such, is reinterpreted so that a tragic car accident becomes a sinister plot by the victim's relatives to get their hands on his farm in Iowa.

The world doesn't need more sinister plots; real life is stranger than anything fiction can devise. I guess writing mysteries makes me see the world differently. Or is it the other way around, and seeing things differently is what makes me write this way?

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Comment by Maryann Mercer on September 6, 2007 at 12:14am
Ooh, a woman after my own heart...it is rather frightening to think I can even think these things, which is why I write them down. Clears my head, and jabbing the notepaper with my pen doesn't hurt either!
Comment by Betty Duffy on September 5, 2007 at 10:47pm
I so agree with you - I can feel my eys narrowing when I see some reprehensible behaviour and my mind starts plotting - my family despair now when I offer my opinion of items on the news - usually they involve sayings like - I don't like the look of him - I'd say he killed her - sometimes I'm right too. People who don't know me as well are inclined to move to a different seat if at all possilbe and their eyes narrow.

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