1. KrisG
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    KrisG Member

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    Motive to kill?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by KrisG, Jan 14, 2011.

    This is my first novel I'm currently trying to write. I have came up with multiple ideas etc. which I am happy with, but there is one thing I'm struggling with.

    My initial idea was to have my MC's brother as the murderer in the novel. The novel starts off with a car crash, and my MC and her brother being the survivors, and the parents killed. During the course of the book, I intend to only provide only slight hints towards the brother which would go unnoticed, and to make them believe other characters could be the culprit.
    What's eluding me to this point is why he would commit these crimes? I figured it would have something to do with the crash, like something just clicked inside of him, I don't know.

    Would appreciate any input you wonderful people might have :)
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what caused the car crash, or if anyone else was killed in it so I'll just throw out a couple of ideas.

    1) Maybe the brother is angry because his parents are dead, and the people that hit them survived.

    2) Maybe he wants the people that survived (or just people in general that have never suffered) to suffer as he did so he starts killing family members around them.
     
  3. KrisG
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    KrisG Member

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    Ahh yes! Why didn't I see it!
    This is just perfect, thank you so much!
     
  4. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I've known lots of people who murdered people and it usually boils down to a few simple reason. It's one of the reasons I don't care for serial killer stories because there's nothing amazing about them.

    However, I have a true story that fits with yours. About ten years ago, I believe in California, a mother, her daughter, and a female friend disappeared near a camping site. They were found with their heads cut off. A couple weeks later a worker at the park was found guilty. Some of those details mught be off, but that's the gist.

    The kicker is that the worker had experienced a trauma when he was little. His brother was abducted by some madman who chopped his head off. So, the boy grew up and did the same thing to others.

    Alfred Adler, a famous psychologist, had an explanation for such behavior. He believed that we all have inferiority feelings and will either work to become a useful part of society or we will become selfish and go into our our private world where our wants become key, and that's a superiority complex. So, the kid likely felt terrible that his brother's head got cut off, but saw the power the killer had thus making him superior. As the kid grew up, he never exposed that his brother's murderer was the most impressive person ever, a kind of hero, that made him feel inferior. To get a taste of the "hero's power" and and surpass him the guy chopped three people's heads off. I'm sure that was his bizarre moment of triumph.

    So, youe character can go the same path. He saw the gruesome death of his parents, car accidents can be really shocking, and he sees DEATH as being the most powerful thing in the world. He wants to deal it and do to others want was done to him.

    In contrast, here's a story:

    This tough young guy approaches this old wise man and says, "You're a fake! I heard that you're supposed to be all smart, but you look like an old piece of crap. All your brains couldn't avoid a good punch in the face from me!"

    The old man looked at the young man and saw that he was very powerful looking and angry. He said, "Ah, that's probably true. You're much more powerful that me physically and I'm impressed by you! In fact, I'm reconsidering my position and maybe I'm not as good as some people say. I can see that you have a lot of power, so please give me a demonstration."

    "Yeah, sure I can do anything you challenge me to!"

    The old man picks up the branch he had been using for tha walking stick and hands it to the young man. "Here, I want to see you break this wooden stick in half," said the old man with a smile.

    "That's easy," and the young man flexed his arms and without much strain snapped the stick in half.

    "Wow! That was impressive," exclaimed the old man, "Now, put it back together again."

    And, the young man was enlightened.
     
  5. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    A funny thing about true murders is that a lot of times it boils down to pride and ego. There are many murderers out there, that if you ask them ten to twenty years after they committed it they have trouble justifying their actions. Or they are remorseful because they really didn't believe in what they were doing. They were caught up in a lifestyle or in a serious depression that they thought could be remedied by killing someone. You will find too, that there are a majority that had trouble talking in groups, social anxiety and difficulty expressing their opinion.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    That is the fact.

    As I mentioned, I've known many murderers, in the hundreds, and they all had the same basic story.
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe he should try and murder his sister, who "cold-heartedly" left their parents behind and caused him to suffer the hell that he now lives in.

    As in, how could she just leave them to die whilst saving herself and him? (and I don't know why but I assumed your MC is a girl) And then by saving him, he now lives in misery with the memory and wishes he could be dead instead, so it's all the MC's fault that he's not dead and therefore suffering.

    May make a fun twist :D

    As for motives - maybe he should target drunk drivers and reckless drivers? Give him a moral high ground - those are the kinda villains that are interesting, when they're actually fighting for something GOOD, but doing it the wrong way. Makes it all the more tragic.

    So he kills because "I'm doing society a favour because you'll kill people with the way you drive, you inconsiderate bastard. I know the consequences - I lived it - the pain - all because of people like YOU!"

    etc :D What do you think?
     
  8. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Inheritance.
     
  9. Spacer
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    Spacer Active Member

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    How do you know hundreds of murderers?
     
  10. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    2 Words-Just Cause.
     
  11. D.T.Roberts
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    D.T.Roberts Senior Member

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    The above ideas are good, but there needs to be some consistancy. The victims should represent something for the killer. If he just kills random people for whatever reason it's less intereting, to me anyway. Find something from the killers past and use that to determine how he chooses his victims. They may appear to be random at first but, later we find out the were all connected somehow. If you can justify it in the killers mind, then it will be more memorable for the reader. Think DEXTER. Maybe the wreck was caused by a drunk driver and maybe the victims are people who have arrests for drunk driving.

    That's a little simplistic and cliche', but you get the idea.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  12. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    People who live through disasters might sometimes start to test the boundaries of what can actually happen. Some mentally unstable people committ crimes to see if they 'can'; to see if something stops them because they could be disillusioned with the feeling of safety or normalcy.

    I don't know if this actually happens, but it could happen in your story.

    Maybe when the person kills someone, his next victim will somehow have a connection to the first number he sees after killing the last person. Such as killing someone, then he sees a car and the license plate has 382 in it, so he finds someone who is 38 years old, who has 2 dogs, for example.
     
  13. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    I heard that some murderers go serial after the first one was an accident. They killed someone, and then, instead of being horrified, they want to continue. Now, maybe this kid didn't kill his parents, but after they died, he felt nothing, and started questioning himself. Maybe he said to himself "I know analytically that I should be very sad because there are people who were close to me. Yet I feel nothing. What does that say about me?" And from there, like a stupid jerk, he decided to "play the hand he's been dealt".

    Well, it's sort of a raw idea. You should of course process it into something a bit more sophisticated (i'm talking about mine).
     
  14. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I used to work in the psych dept at a giant prison.
     

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