Murder, they all wrote

I’m in a couple of online writing groups. The questions that get the biggest responses are not about reviews or like when to use the Oxford comma – or whether to capitalise the Oxford comma. There may not be consensus, but it doesn’t capture the imagination. The most recent question about research did though. We listed the weirdest things we had looked up for projects. I listed Akkadian poetry and limestone karst hydrology that went into one project. I also mentioned the Medieval mystic sources I used in a feminist prison mystery. Equally, though, I could have mentioned the abandoned love story I worked on using chemistry jargon, or my published supernatural short story that referenced John Donne’s poetry.

People have been writing about, and illustrating, war and death for a long time.

People have been writing and illustrating war and death for a long time, but that’s probably more about power than anything else.

What was interesting however, were the dozens and dozens of contributions by writers who cited their research about murder and murder related themes. Everything from Medieval torture devices to how people in France were garrotted. It seems everyone but me is writing, or least researching, murder. I mean a lot.

So I

I’ve written about grief, but not murder. 

If you write or art are you looking up murder too?

It’s not that I haven’t written about death and grief and won’t in the future, because I have and will. They are a part of the human condition. But it’s never crossed by mind to write about murder. At least not within the crime/victim/detection/court nexus. Literally, it’s done to death. And with medical, historical and criminal experts coming out of the woodwork to write about it I’m not sure I have much to add.

Yep, writing and art are ways to examine the human condition. Or weird human conditions.

Yep, writing and art are ways to examine the human condition. Or weird human conditions.

I’m not sure I want to add anything. I don’t find murder or murderers at all intriguing.

It doesn’t seem creative, or very creative.

Am I missing out on something?

I kinda hope not.



2 thoughts on “Murder, they all wrote

  1. A very interesting post, I suppose it should be too surprising since murder mysteries make up some many books and TV shows. I think people like murder because of the easy mix of mystery and drama, with a bit of violence thrown in to spice things up. I want to write a whodunit, but with no death or violence, just a mystery with clues and an intrepid detective – I just haven’t worked out how yet, 🙂

  2. Thanks for dropping by. I have theories about why murder, but agree the mystery/puzzle solving aspect can be intriguing, and yes, they don’t have to involve murder. In fact most private investigators work in fraud – insurance fraud, messy divorces, various scams and the like. Much less mysterious, I suppose, but also much less violent. Good luck with working out that ‘how’ 🙂

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