Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Mystery- Candlestick, Wrench, Rope Which Weapon is Best?

I bought my husband a varmint rifle for Christmas. Standing at the Sporting Goods counter waiting my turn, then waiting for my felony check, and finally someone to box the rifle and ring up the transaction, I had plenty of time to peruse the racks of rifles behind the counter and all the handguns and knives in the glass case. This also gave me a chance to overhear and watch other people who were purchasing guns.

There was a couple who were purchasing what's called a "Chipmunk" twenty-two for their kids. A young couple, he must have been a police officer of some sort. He had a concealed handgun license and was helping his wife purchase a handgun. Because he wanted her to have protection when out hiking the mountain trails. He knew his guns and the damage they could do. Next I listened into a couple, he was my age she probably ten years younger. They were purchasing her a small handgun, but this was for her to target practice with him. Another man, bought a 357 semi-automatic rifle that looked like a sniper rifle. And older couple browsed the gun case speculating on what handgun the wife was interested in getting. She passed over the larger pistols that look like the old time revolvers and pointed to a small pink handled handgun.
Photo: Games Galore 

The small encounter showed me that everyone has their preference for the type of weapon they would use should they feel threatened. Would that same weapon appeal to them if they plotted to murder someone? Would they use what everyone close to them knew was their preferred weapon or would they think it through and use something the complete opposite of what they would normally shoot?

My writer brain started thinking, would someone who liked to shoot a rifle, perhaps secretly learn to shoot a bow and arrow and use that? If someone was proficient with a gun would they choose to stage an accident rather than shoot the person they wanted dead? How would one decide the method of a premeditated murder?

Then you have the spontaneous murderer. The person who flies into a rage, gets violent, and discovers they've killed the person they were arguing.fighting with. Their victims could be physically beaten up, strangled, bludgeoned with an object, stabbed, or shot with whatever weapon was handy.  To set a scene up with a spontaneous murder you would need to have your setting well flushed out and the behaviors and relationships between the victim and murderer.

Which do you think would be easier to set up and write? The premeditated murder or the spontaneous?


Sarah Raplee said...

I believe the spontaneous murder would be easier to set up and write. As you mentioned, the weapon could be whatever is handy - lamp, fireplace poker, kitchen knife, gun, manure shovel.

Not that writing either type of murder is easy.

Enjoyed your post!

Marian Lanouette said...

Hmmm! I don't think of them as easier or difficult. The characters in my case dictate the method and timing. I've used both.

Stephanie said...

I'm learning to shoot a variety of guns from my husband. The latest is a 9mm, semi-automatic. My target is the pesky badger who's made it his personal mission to ruin 40 acres of alfalfa.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Sarah, Thanks! I agree. I think when plotting it out the spontaneous would be easier but you would still have to do some set up.

Hi Marian! I agree, the characters and circumstance would dictate which is used. That's good to know you don't find one more difficult to come up with than the other.

Hi Stephanie, I hear ya! Between the ground squirrels and badgers we have a lot ground torn up in our alfalfa. Hence the varmint rifle for the hubby(and me).

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman said...

I've never written a direct murder done by the main characters. I wrote an intentional group murder via fire- that was difficult. I think both would be hard to write. But maybe that's just me.


Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Intriguing post that made me think! In the books I've written that contain a murder, it's been the "bad guys" who have committed the premediated murders, but I've not been in their point of view--too creepy. When one of the main characters has killed someone, it's been in the line of duty to save other people (like my policeman heroes) or it's been a last resort while protecting themselves or someone else.

Nice that waiting in line triggered thoughts for stories--but, of course, you're a writer!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Jesse, I hadn't thought of arson as a means but it is used quite often. I'm hoping it's not to hard to write when I start writing my mystery. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Genene! I don't think you have to be in their POV ponder their decision of a weapon. As a writer, who will be writing mysteries where the protagonist comes upon the murders and has to figure them out, she'll be having to muddle through not only the clues but her own perspective of the murder weapon as to who may have done the deed. Or as in the first book trying to figure out what the weapon was.

Jessa Slade said...

Hmm, I like how you've couched this as "write" rather than "commit" :) I think the spontaneous scene would be easier to write since you could indulge in the emotions of the moment instead of the technicalities. However, writing a planned murder would sure give us a lot of insight into the character.

Paty Jager said...

LOL Jessa! I was being careful with my wording. *snicker* I agree a spur of the moment murder would be fun to write and "live" through with the character, but the planned would definitely give so much more insight into the character. Thanks for commenting!

Shelley Munro said...

Great question. The spontaneous murder might be more interesting, but the lack of planning could trip up the culprit. The planned murder takes a different type of character - someone who is more cold-blooded. Spontaneous is more likely a crime of passion.

Marianne Stephens said...

Premeditated. Lots to plan ahead for in your writing. Gives a "villianish" look into the killer...unless the murder was done to eliminate someone nasty and vile.

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

Premeditated would be harder, you would have to get everything right. If you just kill someone, not much to think about except to shoot your victim. Remember guns make noise unless there is a silencer. I write zombie books, weapon of choice is a spear that I made from a bone of a Zombie. No noise and I don't have to worry about a supply of bullets.

Paty Jager said...

Shelley, Your line of thinking is what makes a great story line.

Thanks, Marianne. I agree. To me the premeditated would be harder at least from the terms of a writer because you would need to know so much more than the spontaneous,"crime of passion".

Thanks for stopping in Sharon and giving me even more to think about.

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Paty,
Remember that old Alfred Hitchcock mystery where the wife killed her husband by bashing him over the head with a frozen leg of lamb then cooked it. No murder weapon. I think it would be fun to find unusual weapons, like the stilleto heel to the temple that looks like a bullet wound without a bullet. Great question.

Paty Jager said...

Kathy, I like the way you think! LOL