Killing Instinct was an idea I had at the very start of my journey into writing but I wasn’t quite sure how to best go about it.
NOTE: If you want to be surprised by the revelations in the book, read the book first rather than this. But that said, it wont ruin the plot, there are twists and surprises around the main theme discussed below that I keep in the novel only.
I had the idea that the book would be written from the point of view of a fractured part of someone’s mind. The initial idea was that instead of being a book about a schizophrenic hearing voices, it would be from the point of view of the voice talking. I started writing a bit with that in mind even but it ended up a very dry and detached sort of thing.
Once I had completed Xen, and was writing Gām, I seem to remember watching an episode of Frasier. In the show Kelsey Grammer advices a new friend that he could write his book from the first person, to give his action scenes a sense of drama. That hit me, I thought I could write from the point of view of a fractured mind using the tense each part was written in to emphasis the point. I knew it would be difficult, complex even, but it sounded like a fun challenge and having written two books already, I felt up to it.
It was certainly difficult and having shown it to an editor to get their opinion I have been back through it to help separate the ‘voices’ of the characters in the book. Hopefully it works. The current feeling is that it is a good book. My mum liked it but I am not sure that counts. I like it, that’s a bit more encouraging because they get quite boring for me on the third time through. Finally my wife is enjoying it as she edits it, that’s even more encouraging as she doesn’t like violent things at all.
This was another book that, when I started I had no idea where it was going to take me. I had more of a plan this time to stop the wandering that happened in Xen but it took me places that were interesting on the way. One of the themes throughout the book is what makes up a man (a man because in this book it is about a man, but it would work for a woman too). We like to commonly say that there is an animal inside of us, that animal is repressed and suppressed to control it. That way we can operate in a joined up society. But that seems a bit simple to me. The animal we like to say is there, are they there?
Animals aren’t as animal like as we like to say we are. Especially social ones. I think the animal inside is base, for sure, but not without compassion, care, altruism. There is a sound evolutionarily psychological theory and evidence to back up the biological necessity for altruism for non-relatives. So why not. The book quickly became something more than your standard murder psycho mystery novel. It became another journey, a journey for the character to discover his parts, and how to best combine them.