In this post, we will talk about the victim of a murder at the beginning of a mystery. Some authors introduce the victim and the crime scene, then create a cookie cutter story where the cops/detective try to solve the crime and capture the suspect(s).
In order to create a great story, the victim needs to have their own background. When you create a murder victim, they need to be created as the other characters in the story are created. Even if you do not use all of the details, it is important to know who the character was.
If you start with the murder victim, or have the victim become the second character created, you can fill in the rest of the “cast” within your story. The victim’s family, friends, enemies and co-workers are potential suspects. They can fill in the details of the victim to your main character as the main character tries to solve the mystery and bring the suspect(s) to justice.
Not everything the suspects say to your main character has to be true. The main character can hear one thing and find out the opposite is actually true during the investigation. Ask yourself, was the murder intentional or was it an accident? What would the killer gain, if the victim was intentionally murdered? Was it revenge, a blackmail threat towards another character, a hostage? In the event the murdered character was a hostage, say for example a bank robbery, is it possible the victim was a target for one of the robbers? Perhaps the victim was in charge of the bank branch, and the robbers were paid by somebody who was fired or thought they were wronged in some way?
Another question to ask is, how has this death impacted the other characters who knew them? Was the victim the sole provider of his family? if so, how has their family coped with the news? Has anyone began to show addictive behaviors? Want to go on a rampage trying to take the law into their own hands? Perhaps the victim was a harsh person and those around the victim are glad that they’re gone?
These elements should come into play for any sort of mystery/suspense novel that has to do with a murder. Emotions and personality types should also come into play. As with all stories, this type of story would need to have research dealing with psychology to make the most impact on your various characters and the readers.