Posted by: nancycurteman | November 17, 2013

10 Strategies for Writing Murder Victims

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dead body

In a previous blog post I described three basic kinds of victims, the one everybody loves, the one everybody hates and the one who is senselessly murdered by a psycho. In this post I want to share some strategies that you can use with all three kinds of victims:

1. Give your victim a few enemies. These enemies may be known or unknown to the victim.

2. Give your victim a few abrasive behaviors—arrogance, indifference, sarcasm, cynicism—that may strongly impact an over sensitive would-be murderer.

3. Give the victim a secret that may have led to his murder. Make it something that
could adversely impact the killer’s future.

4. Have your victim stumble on something inadvertently. During his daily routine, he might witness a robbery or murder and get a clear view of the perpetrator.

5. Make your victim a person who stands in the way of the murderer’s goal or plan. Maybe she is promoted over a colleague or unknowingly prevents a business deal.

6. Make your victim the target of someone’s obsession. What if the grocer is smitten by a female customer and she humiliates him by not giving him a second glance?

7. Have your victim come into some big money—lottery, inheritance—and be indiscreet about whom he tells.

8. Have your victim involved in a love triangle.

9. Have your victim die at the hands of an overzealous person who acts out of fear for his life or property. Maybe she rings his doorbell at night seeking directions and he thinks she’s a thief.

10. Have your victim offend a fanatic in some way. Perhaps your victim is an agnostic and professes his lack of godliness in the presence of a religious extremist who considers it his duty to spread God’s word by eliminating non believers. Consider the Crusaders.

No matter what kind of person you choose for your victim, you must explain the circumstances that led to her murder.

More tips;

How to Write Murder Victims

How to Make a Murder Mystery Victim More Than Just a Dead Body


  1. A nice neat list to start the little grey gray cells a-buzzing, giving us a potful of ideas to brew up trouble.


  2. Helen,
    Thank you for the comment. Very cleverly put.


  3. Interesting and informative, as always.


    • Hi Hurricane, Glad you found my post informative. Thanks for reblogging it.


  4. Reblogged this on Hurricane River Publishing's Blog.


  5. Good stuff! Hmmmm … maybe I’ll re-write my memoirs and kill off my antagonist 😉


    • Whoa! I wonder who your antagonist was in your memoir.


      • I was married to him 😉


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