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writing crime fiction

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This is a discussion on writing crime fiction within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Originally Posted by Adonnus Have you tried measuring their skull shapes? And what am I expected to gain from that?...

  1. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by Adonnus View Post
    Have you tried measuring their skull shapes?
    And what am I expected to gain from that?

  2. #12

    Quote Originally Posted by burningsoul View Post
    And what am I expected to gain from that?
    It's a joke

  3. #13

    Quote Originally Posted by burningsoul View Post
    @Pinkieshyrose

    It is very interesting what you said. You do accept a bit of darkness in the human soul. Stable Genius does not and I, for one, sees a lot of darkness possible in a human soul.
    Once again you completely missed the point of my post. I think everyone has the capacity for darkness and under the right circumstances could be pushed into criminal territory. That's why I gave examples of family, scorned lovers, ect. carrying out something like murder, which happens all the time in real life anyways.

  4. #14

    Something happened yesterday that I thought I might share:

    A colleague and I were discussing whether it was 'better' to chop someone's head off, or a hand. My colleague reasoned that chopping a hand was 'better' (for her) because the victim would be conscious and feel the wrath. So, an evil take to it. I reasoned that chopping off a head would be better, because I wouldn't have to suffer any more 'pain' (of killing), as the victim would instantly die. I didn't have any desire for the gratification of the victim feeling anguish, while my colleague did.

    It's a fairly dark conversation, but I think the complexity lies in motives and eventual consequences. Some criminals feel intense remorse and do not necessarily take joy in what they do, but others do. Oddly, the crimes in which people make their victims suffer horrendously and unnecessarily so, are worse to me. There's disregard for human life, and then ....DISdisregard for human life. Of course, that changes when it's an act committed in self defense (I don't see it as disregard for human life, but protection of yourself).

    I consider rape and child abuse to be the worst, as they are essentially acts of torture, and I have yet to determine a reason for why they would be committed as acts of self-defense.
    burningsoul thanked this post.

  5. #15

    Quote Originally Posted by Stable Genius View Post
    Once again you completely missed the point of my post. I think everyone has the capacity for darkness and under the right circumstances could be pushed into criminal territory. That's why I gave examples of family, scorned lovers, ect. carrying out something like murder, which happens all the time in real life anyways.
    I don't think you understand what capacity for darkness means. You can provide a backstory to any character and humanize him/her. I am not saying it's a shortcoming. It is your creative preference (I infer this from your first post where you insisted that everyone can be interesting when added a back story with). I am saying it is different from mine.

    Otherwise, you do not really have a creative preference and you are talking all over the place, which makes most of what you are saying senseless. I presume this is not the case and you do have an empathetic response to most criminal characters. I happen to have a different take. If you actually read the OP, you would see that that was the actual question there. I did not ask for advice to develop a criminal character. I asked about crimes themselves and not an assortment of a variety of criminals.

  6. #16

    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    Something happened yesterday that I thought I might share:

    A colleague and I were discussing whether it was 'better' to chop someone's head off, or a hand. My colleague reasoned that chopping a hand was 'better' (for her) because the victim would be conscious and feel the wrath. So, an evil take to it. I reasoned that chopping off a head would be better, because I wouldn't have to suffer any more 'pain' (of killing), as the victim would instantly die. I didn't have any desire for the gratification of the victim feeling anguish, while my colleague did.
    I happen to agree with both of you on this. Chopping a hand would lead to an inferior life while chopping the head off would be the end of all the dreams and hopes of that person. I am ignoring the immediate pain of the amputation, head or hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    It's a fairly dark conversation, but I think the complexity lies in motives and eventual consequences. Some criminals feel intense remorse and do not necessarily take joy in what they do, but others do. Oddly, the crimes in which people make their victims suffer horrendously and unnecessarily so, are worse to me. There's disregard for human life, and then ....DISdisregard for human life. Of course, that changes when it's an act committed in self defense (I don't see it as disregard for human life, but protection of yourself).
    I think criminals filled with remorse are mostly fictional, a work of imagination alone. Act of self-defense does not count as crime. Even in penal codes they don't. The part that is horrendous to you is of interest to me. Consider this - information is to be extracted from a person (criminal or innocent) and for that he needs to be hurt physically. Now one has to make a victim suffer and it IS for a reason. What do you think about that?


    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    I consider rape and child abuse to be the worst, as they are essentially acts of torture, and I have yet to determine a reason for why they would be committed as acts of self-defense.
    There are way too many of these happening around where I live. I don't think those are committed or can be committed as self-defense. You don't need to justify every kind of crime out there. I recommend you watch Dogville by Lars Von Trier. All criminals and all wrong doers cannot be empathized with. The film expresses that powerfully.
    neutralchaotic thanked this post.

  7. #17

    Quote Originally Posted by burningsoul View Post
    I think criminals filled with remorse are mostly fictional, a work of imagination alone. Act of self-defense does not count as crime. Even in penal codes they don't. The part that is horrendous to you is of interest to me. Consider this - information is to be extracted from a person (criminal or innocent) and for that he needs to be hurt physically. Now one has to make a victim suffer and it IS for a reason. What do you think about that?
    I don't think they are mostly fictional. The crimes here can range from petty theft to murder. I highly doubt that most do not experience some regret/remorse about what they did [if they are reformed and no longer partaking in those activities).

    Why would they need to be hurt physically? I just don't see a reason for torture. In the few instances I've heard of it being used as a tactic... it's not been fruitful (the person remained silent / or perished). Physical threats just aren't my cup of tea. There are certainly non-physical threats, like going to jail or losing a job, but they aren't on the same level for me. It would still be evil to me. DOn't know why it's different, though.

    Rape and child abuse certainly aren't acts of self-defense. If someone wanted to argue they were, I would need clear cut examples. Those two just don't need to exist. The epitome of evil, if you will.

  8. #18

    Quote Originally Posted by burningsoul View Post
    I don't think you understand what capacity for darkness means. You can provide a backstory to any character and humanize him/her. I am not saying it's a shortcoming. It is your creative preference (I infer this from your first post where you insisted that everyone can be interesting when added a back story with). I am saying it is different from mine.

    Otherwise, you do not really have a creative preference and you are talking all over the place, which makes most of what you are saying senseless. I presume this is not the case and you do have an empathetic response to most criminal characters. I happen to have a different take. If you actually read the OP, you would see that that was the actual question there. I did not ask for advice to develop a criminal character. I asked about crimes themselves and not an assortment of a variety of criminals.
    No, I'm telling you how to create a compelling villain, which is what your thread is about. You're thread is titled writing crime fiction, and I'm telling you as a published author, how to write better.

  9. #19

    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    I don't think they are mostly fictional. The crimes here can range from petty theft to murder. I highly doubt that most do not experience some regret/remorse about what they did [if they are reformed and no longer partaking in those activities).
    Let us argue about this, shall we? You commit a crime regularly, in some cases daily. Won't you find regret or remorse pretentious after some time? Reformation is a different thing and it has complications of its own. Slowly, with the passage of time, the reason for committing the crime in the first place would become a worldview. This worldview will get hardened by repeated acts of crime. I think regret would remain only in a very small number of criminals. Others would be more into the thrill that comes along with the act of crime. Instincts would rage for the crime instead of specific needs. I am open to disagreements. Just wanna talk about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    Why would they need to be hurt physically? I just don't see a reason for torture. In the few instances I've heard of it being used as a tactic... it's not been fruitful (the person remained silent / or perished). Physical threats just aren't my cup of tea. There are certainly non-physical threats, like going to jail or losing a job, but they aren't on the same level for me. It would still be evil to me. DOn't know why it's different, though.
    Both loyalty and treachery run deep in the crime world. If you want an information, another person might not give it, out of loyalty to a third person. He would be treacherous to you and say he doesn't know. He would also throw a lot of emotions and reasons around it to convince you that he doesn't know. But you cannot believe him. Because you are smart and know that a criminal is treacherous. When you hurt this person physically, more importantly, when you demonstrate a certain ruthlessness in your harming him, it would send fear down his spine and he would reveal the truth. Without this fear, he has got no reason to reveal a secret that was shared with him in good faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    Rape and child abuse certainly aren't acts of self-defense. If someone wanted to argue they were, I would need clear cut examples. Those two just don't need to exist. The epitome of evil, if you will.
    Interesting that you brought up the idea of epitome of evil. I am torn between two things on this question. On one side, there is the sadistic one who enjoys torturing people (this would include rapists, child-abusers etc) and on the other there is the cold ruthless one would would hurt anyone to any degree just because he needs to. It is hard to choose between these two. Would be interesting to put these two face to face with each other.

  10. #20

    Quote Originally Posted by burningsoul View Post
    Let us argue about this, shall we? You commit a crime regularly, in some cases daily. Won't you find regret or remorse pretentious after some time? Reformation is a different thing and it has complications of its own. Slowly, with the passage of time, the reason for committing the crime in the first place would become a worldview. This worldview will get hardened by repeated acts of crime. I think regret would remain only in a very small number of criminals. Others would be more into the thrill that comes along with the act of crime. Instincts would rage for the crime instead of specific needs. I am open to disagreements. Just wanna talk about this.



    Both loyalty and treachery run deep in the crime world. If you want an information, another person might not give it, out of loyalty to a third person. He would be treacherous to you and say he doesn't know. He would also throw a lot of emotions and reasons around it to convince you that he doesn't know. But you cannot believe him. Because you are smart and know that a criminal is treacherous. When you hurt this person physically, more importantly, when you demonstrate a certain ruthlessness in your harming him, it would send fear down his spine and he would reveal the truth. Without this fear, he has got no reason to reveal a secret that was shared with him in good faith.
    1) Not necessarily, it might just become a 'new normal' to commit such acts. Doesn't necessarily mean that said person wouldn't go through the same emotions time and time again, until they hit their breaking point. There will certainly be people who are hardened and do not want to return....but they're not nearly as interesting to read as those who continue to struggle with the complexities of being human.

    2) The last thing I watched involving a situation like this was Pan's Labyrinth. A rebel was being tortured by an officer, but still did not yield, but rather asked the doctor to euthanize him. If someone is willing to be tortured to hold onto their secrets, why would they not be willing to die? I respect the rebel more for not yielding, and that gives the character backbone that I 'enjoy'. Even in this scenario, the rebel is a 'criminal', but so is the officer. Everyone is operating on some level of fear, but those who rise above it make for more intriguing characters.

    That sounds more 'ideal', someone continuing to commit a crime until they lose their 'self' to chasing said crime. More likely, there's a reason for a crime to be committed (or motive), said crime is committed, then said person is caught and life goes on. Even if half of those who end up going to prison for their crimes, recommitted after release, it still would not add up to most being hardened. Most people who commit crimes do not commit them again after serving time.


     
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