1. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Accounts of cruelty to animals

    Discussion in 'Research' started by pacmansays, Feb 28, 2009.

    In my book, my character gets quite malicious and tortures and kills some small mammals (either hamsters or guinea pigs).

    I want to be able to describe it horrificly from the 1st person perspective of my character but I am not going to go out and do this to an animal for the basis of a good description.

    I've been trying to find someone or people anonymously who have done such acts to animals to describe it but so far there has been no response...

    Any advice on what I should do?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    google is your friend.

    No one will be posting such accounts here - it would violate the site content rules.
     
  3. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    I got that, i never expected people on this site to post descriptions
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is what we have imagination for. I once read a book with a character who gets eaten alive by bugs. Do you think anyone has actually seen this? Even if it has happened, what are the odds of the author finding a witness to such an event who would be willing to tell him?
     
  5. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would google for some news story about it.
     
  6. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could watch a show like "Animal Precinct" or "Animal Cops: Detroit" on Animal Planet. All the torture you could want.
     
  7. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    British citizen here :p
     
  8. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, they don't have a british equivalent?
     
  9. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    The first thought I had when I read that is that your character, especially if this is a common behaviour, is not likely to be horrified by what he is doing. (I read in another one of your posts that your story is similar in style to American Psycho, which is what I'm basing my response on - American Psycho expertly conveyed the detachment Patrick Batemen had with his victims, in turn detaching the reader from the violence. That is not to say the violence wasn't horrific, but it actually became horribly fascinating when seen - at a distance - through such disturbing eyes).

    On that note, you don't need to make the reader horrified by the graphic details of what the character is doing. You could just as well make them horrified that the character likes what he is doing, without being overt with gruesome details.

    For obvious reasons, I won't post specific examples of what I mean, but they are available if you wish.
     
  10. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    ^Well my character is horrified by what he's doing to an extent as he's using it as a method of release he's resorted to. But it also allows him to vent anger he has against people and so in his imagination enjoys it to a degree..
     
  11. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since you're probably not going to get people who are going to describe their experiences with this, think of other things that give the same release and substitute the description of that behaviour with one that fits what you are writing about. You can probably find books on criminology (sp?) that include people talking about such things, why they do it, what they get out of it.
     
  12. sorites
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    sorites Senior Member

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    I've heard that serial killers sometimes get their start by torturing and killing small animals and pets and eventually graduate to killing humans. Stephen King touches on this subject in Apt Pupil.

    Really, though, I think you just need to use your imagination. As sick as it is, put yourself in your character's shoes and imagine how you would go about it. Imagine how the animal would react to the stimulus. Just start imagining and then start writing the scene in your head. With a subject like this, I don't think a lot of research is necessary.

    Since that's already basically been said, let me add this:

    *What is he using to hurt the critter? A hammer, screwdriver, pencil, knife, blowtorch?
    *Is the animal capable of fighting back? What sounds does the animal make? What do the animal's eyes and ears look like when this is happening?
    *What is he going through mentally as this is happening? Does it excite him physically? How does it make him feel? Powerful, afraid, scared, angry, happy, euphoric?
     
  13. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    In that light, you could perhaps transpose the above advice to the character's thoughts, instead of showing graphic details. It sounds like he is acting out of rage and frustration, and resorting to such things as a way of playing out a fantasy where the reality would, for whatever reason he has deemed, be unacceptable. So, you could keep it in his head, have him think about what made him angry, about the person that made him angry reacting or struggling in a similar way to the animal - the reader will likely know all too well why the animal is struggling, and as desired, be completely horrified at even vaguely imagining it via his disturbed perspective.
     
  14. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    Write a pen pal letter to Michael Vick.
     

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