So You Want to Be a Serial Killer

My Sweet, Lovely Readers,

I was reading up on blogging, because, let’s face it. I don’t have a clue what the hell I’m doing. I happened upon a blog post titled Write Killer Content to bring people to your blog or something or other.

It was an excellent article. I admit, I didn’t read it… but I think I’m smart enough to know where it was going with a title like that. So here you go, killer content.

Hats

It’s important for a writer to wear many hats. I’ll wear this hat for you so that you don’t have to. Or, perhaps simply so you may wear it better.

I assure you, my taking the role of killer is for your benefit. I take no pleasure in the loss of life my research has caused. Promise.

This guide is of the greatest benefit for those attempting murder on a world where forensic science is not a huge concern.  Here is an excellent list of tips on getting crime and murder right as far as Earth and similar natural settings are concerned.

Those tips remain fairly applicable on worlds that utilize the supernatural  as their primary forensic tool, but further detail is on a case by case basis. I’ll be focusing particularly on how things go down on my world of Nyth.

So, lets delve into some of the wisdom I have gleaned through my… studies… with a series of bullet holes. (He means bullet points.)

The Logistics of Murder

  • It isn’t easy.
  • It’s messy.
  • What to do with leftovers.
  • How do we do it?
  • Why do we do it?

The first three points have been well explored by Syera Miktayee’s Things About Death, Dying & Murder Writers Need To Know.

It covers mistakes writers make concerning the details of death, dying, and murder. I’m sure I will find her website, springhole.net, useful in the future. I won’t beat to death what she has already laid out. Just tell you how to handle your killing like a pro.

It Isn’t Easy

No, I don’t mean emotionally. I’ll assume you want this. Your mind is made up. Someone has to die. What you don’t know, it doesn’t just happen and when you step up to the plate, it might take more than a few swings. (Intended to invoke imagery of a bludgeoning variety. We aren’t playing baseball here.)

What are you going to need? More bullets would be a big help.

  • Skill
  • Strength
  • Tenacity
  • Luck

Skill

You can learn from my mistakes here. Use the right weapon and know how to use it. I use a pen and that makes for a hell of a time. It’s very hands on, very personal, and leaves fewer viable targets.

Whatever your tactic, be it poison, various weaponry, manipulation, magic (Sarim on Nyth), stealth, etc. Know your options and know how to use them, have a plan, or you could end up the victim.

Strength

Size is a factor here, one most of us can’t do anything about. (Shapeshifters, you’re doing well on the luck factor.) The rest of strength is largely up to you.

Work out, be physically fit. Patrick Bateman didn’t workout simply for vanity. Here is what the American Psycho did to stay in shape. If you have the book handy, you could just flip to roundabouts page 69.

(Later on I figure I’ll do a post on business cards, after I get mine just right.)

Being physically prepared will be a huge advantage against your run of the mill target, (human, non-sarimists) even if they are large.

Why? Because other people are lazy, too. Iron out your weakness and exploit theirs.

Tenacity

It goes a long way (especially when using a pen). Your target will have it (you are trying to kill them after all), you have to have it.

The only way they are going to let you do it is if, one, you have psychologically broken them so far that nothing matters to them, (in which case, you deserve a spot among Nyth’s many prolific murderers) or two, you have them bound in some way (which likely required some skill/strength/tenacity/luck in the first place).

If you get started and give up part way… well, that’s just about the best way to get caught. Don’t be an attempted murderer. No one likes a quitter.

Luck

It’s a sad fact. That bastard god Luck has his hands in everything. Hope for Luck’s favor, be prepared to lack it. Anything could happen.

A group of four of Nyth’s most high profile arsonists claim to have been at the mercy of a god. Even on a planet that lacks a god-personification of luck (or clear signs of any deity), you still have to contend with random chance. Sad truth.

It’s Messy

Here’s a nice infographic about blood loss. Enlightening work.

Some consider the mess a downside. I enjoy it. Paint your pages (or your walls). The problem here, mess can get you caught. Even on Nyth, but especially on Earth.

Forensics is a bitch I’d rather not deal with. One of the reasons I so love Nyth and the worlds like it. Forensics isn’t a thing. apart from some specialized Sarimists and the occasional (in this case meaning one) angel detective.

Instead, in your murders on Nyth, you have to contend with the occasional specialized Sarimist or, if you’ve screwed up particularly badly, Nyth’s only detective angel.

Both of these scenarios can end up worse than Earth’s forensics, but if you’re smart about it you can fly under their radar. Keep a good head on  your shoulders and you will be free to do as you please. Nyth will be a paradise for the perpetration of your most grotesque endeavors.

So, how to be smart about it? Let’s get some more bullets.

  • Prioritize Personal Hygiene
  • Don’t Be Seen
  • Don’t Stick Around
  • Don’t Come Back
  • Be Insane

Prioritize Personal Hygiene

“What?” you may be asking.

This is Nyth. Forget about the crime scene, clean yourself. Unless you are part Sarimist/part maid, you won’t get the crime scene clean. A little blood goes a long way.

The good news, on Nyth almost nobody knows what to do with a crime scene unless the answer is obvious. Walking around covered in blood or getting caught wielding your implement is obvious, a sure fire way to get caught. Even the guards can understand that much.

Don’t Be Seen

At least, not as yourself. One of Nyth’s most famous killers is a master of disguise. If you have the ability, whether it be natural or Sarimic, go for it.

Disguises are great, even if no one sees you but the victim, because on Nyth you don’t want to risk the offchance that someone will go asking them. Sarim can be your savior, but when someone goes invoking it to speak to the dead, you might end up caught.

(As a side note, some on Nyth believe that taking a piece of your victim prevents this. The truth is up in the air at the moment, but another of Nyth’s infamous takes his victims jaw.)

Don’t Stick Around and Don’t Come Back

If your craft doesn’t require sticking around, then leave and stay left. Go find someone else to kill, far away. The only reason you should come back is if you live longer than the natural human. Give it a few decades. Caution is good.

If your craft does require some time with the body, you want to plan ahead. Have a location set up or take care in selecting your target.

Our master of disguise from above would carefully vet his victims, primarily young women, all single and living alone, all killed quietly in their own homes. More on that down the line.

Be Insane

You’ve got no problem there, do ya killer? Not just any insane.

Specifically of the “I don’t believe I did those things” or “someone else was at the wheel” varieties. A lot of sarimists, as well as the aforementioned angel detective, rely on your personal truth in order to determine your guilt. Like a magic lie detector.

This is another something Nyth’s more skilled cadaver creators took advantage of.

What to Do with Leftovers

A common occurrence with murders is that there is a body left behind. What do you do with it?

Syera, (on her page already linked to, but why not, here it is again) went into the details of the difficulties inherent in the art of corpse disposal.

I’m here to say, at least on Nyth, it isn’t so complicated as all that. Let me introduce you to my favorite technique…

The Walk Away

That’s right. Just go. There’s no one keeping you there. Not anymore at least.

Sure, the guards will be in a fuss, looking around. But if you have been staying smart, you will benefit from Nyth’s lack of tools with which to track you down.

I say, don’t rid yourself of the body, rid the body of you.

What you do with the body before walking away, though, is up to your art.

Sometimes it is a monument, a testament. Why not preserve the body, left for all to see? To throw away seems a waste.

All the unreliability in corpse disposal is an excellent point. Who likes digging anyways?

How Do We Do It?

I have a plethora of colorful ways to end a life, many of which will be explored in my works (none of which were born from firsthand experience. Again, promise.)

How about some inspiration? Here’s 400 ways to do it, brought to you from the blog, Let Me Explain to You a Thing.

Why Do We Do It?

I would say out of love. For our art. For the victim. Even if you hated them, you did it because you loved someone.

If we do it for enjoyment, is that not a sort of love for ourselves?

Also, how do we impact the world with our art by taking victims that no one loves?

Apply this to your writing. Your victims, make someone love them. The reader? Your lead character? If the reader loves your lead character, they will hurt when you end it.

Make them feel, and then take it away. A writer must be a cruel killer for his art to be appreciated. You must have a purpose. Do not finger paint. Write a story with their blood.

In Support of My Sadism

 

I’m not the only one. Here is K.M. Weiland’s How to Successfully Kill a Character. She also enjoys killing and gives us a list of reasons to justify it.

Our murders must serve a purpose after all. It must serve the plot. It must mean something. On her blog, {writability} Ava Joe makes this point with her post How to Kill Characters With Impact.

Aside from the obvious answer (with a hammer), here is the point. Whoever you are killing, someone must care about them. You? Someone else? Someone.

This is clearly important in our craft. It’s supported by yet another. Chris Winkle of the Mythcreants blog, in his post Why & How to Kill a Hero.

Furthermore, if our victim isn’t serving the plot, the point is made repeatedly, should he even be there? I find this train of thought somewhat elitist, and I must say I agree. The non-drivers are free targets. Make them cease to exist.

Killers of Nyth

Here are a few examples of the killers, some we have mentioned briefly, that Nyth has for you to compete with.

Elf-Eater

His infamy may be among the elves, (we don’t call them that on Nyth, it’s derogatory. They are the Rinezhalkin.) but he doesn’t discriminate.

When working with humans, he prefers sculpting women into macabre displays.

Why the distinction between the two? Devouring the near immortal Rinezhalkin while preserving the fleeting beauty of the human life?

No. That’s someone else’s design. He simply enjoys it.

He is a master of The Walk Away method, while his skills in the area of Don’t Be Seen are nonexistent.

How does he get away with it, then? Let’s see you stop a man that the gods long to see dead.

Tea Drinker (again, tentatively named)

A poisoner, his targets are the human women he seduces, killed and preserved by the tea he gives them. By all evidence, they die peacefully, perhaps even happily.

He poses them beautifully, nude, appearing as though they are but sleeping. Is his work the preservation of fleeting beauty? Certainly more so than Elf-Eater’s.

His art spans more years than the natural human is allowed, so presumably he is Rinezhalkin.

Accounts of his physical description are as numerous as his victims. A master of disguise.

He is also the reason it is so damned hard to order tea on Nyth without getting funny looks.

The Arver Carver

His first attribution, the murder of a young woman in Arver (Aravar to the Rinezhalkin). He removed her jaw, leaving the tongue, as he does with all his victims.

For this special first, however, he also removed and took her unborn child.

The name Arver Carver stuck, despite the young woman being his only victim in Arver. No target is beyond him. No discrimination based on gender, race, or age.

His killings quit after a small handful of years, but picked up again later. The timeframe is outside the bounds of natural human life but perhaps there is more to the story.

There Are More

Nyth has no shortage of our special breed of monster, but we will leave them as study for a later date.

My hope for you is that you have come away having learned something. May your future endeavors be successful.

Well, wrapping up, I suppose we should explore…

When Not to Kill Your Characters

Just Joking.

(Edmund J. Asher does not openly condone murder. This post was for your entertainment and/or writing edification only. Should you like to see another area of writing research explored, or for any other reason, leave your comment below. Like/follow on facebook/pinterest/twitter, and subscribe to the mailing list if your desire is to not fall victim to the fruits of Edmund J. Asher’s research. Have a wonderful day.)

(Any threats made by Edmund J. Asher on the lives of his readers were also for entertainment purposes only. He, promises. Join the mailing list.)

(I’m going to extend this one and work on it as I go. Adding links to useful resources, as well as putting in some images. I’m just always so eager to put something up just as soon as I get it mostly done. I’ll have to get over that eventually, but just enjoy it for now.)

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