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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