Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Writing About: A Kidnapping


The prologue of my fourth book is only 259 words long and in those few paragraphs one of my characters is kidnapped.

The key to writing a kidnapping is to make it a surprise to both the character and your reader. Have your character be doing something normal such as feeding their cat, taking a nap, or making a cup of hot chocolate. It can be anything that distracts them. Describe them in the act of what they are doing. Their attention is focused on their task and they aren’t aware of anything else but the cat bowl.

Then in the next sentence or paragraph mention to your reader that someone is coming up behind them. Now describe the attack. Is there a struggle? Does the kidnapper hit their victim in the back of the head, use drugs, a taser, tape and rope, or a gun and a threat?

Definitely make sure to tell your reader what the victim is feeling, thinking, and everything he/she does during the course of the kidnapping. A kidnapping isn’t a kidnapping unless there is fear, because nothing is more terrifying than being attacked, over powered, and forcefully taken to God-only-knows-where by a stranger. Make your reader afraid for your character.

Photo by Chrys Fey
Chapter One of my book continues the terror from the prologue with my character coming out of unconsciousness. I describe her surroundings, the fact that she is bound tightly by rope, and her fear when she learns who her kidnapper is.

A kidnapper is extremely dangerous because they are in control and they have a plan. They will use any weapon and any threat to instill fear in their victim until they get what they want, which may (or may not) involve the victim’s death.

To write an authentic kidnapping in your book, you need to create an antagonist that can make your readers cringe in disgust, fright, hate, or all three at the same time. Give details to their appearance and their mannerism. Make everything they do and say terrifying.


                         HOW TO CREATE AN ANTAGONIST


A few pages into my Chapter One, my character’s husband finds out what happened to her. He becomes desperate with fear and anger to find his wife. The rest of the chapter, which is about the husband’s frantic search and my characters violent kidnapping situation, is the most heartbreaking thing even that I’ve written so far in my series. To help me get the emotions I needed I listened to the song “Somewhere” by Within Temptation.



                         This video was created by Frozenmusic6.



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5 comments:

  1. Wow, I've never seen anyone write about how to do a kidnapping before. Very cool. Hello Fellow FWA'er. Nice to meet you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice to meet you too, Vicki! This post isn't obviously about how to do a kidnapping in real life. I know nothing about that and I am strongly against anyone attempting it! Unfortunately, kidnappings do happen, even in literature. I found myself writing about one for my book so I figured other writers might be curious about how to write about a kidnapping as well.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you stop by again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, this really is really good because I am writing a novel on a kidnapping. I'm just having trouble starting it off. Do I start off with the attack or someone arriving at the scene to see it a mess?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no right or wrong way to start a scene or book about a kidnapping. Think about your story and what would be best. :)

      Delete
  4. This really helped me out. I've written about kidnappings before, but this really helps me out a lot and inspires me to write another kidnapping story. :)
    You should write a book about writing books. lol :P

    ReplyDelete

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