I wrote a while back about my plan to write the next great American novel. The plot was fairly straight forward, a serial killer who kills serial killers. However, I never wrote more than five pages because I was disgusted by the Punisher-esque cliche origins of my main character. In a streak of unimaginative glory I explained his character as a man whose wife and child died at the hands of a killer. Uber-cliche, eh? I know, I thought so too. One Punisher is quite enough.
So as I sat in church- I know, an odd place for this inspiration, but in my defense service hadn’t started yet- I came up with an idea for my main characters origins that is both unique and powerful. Instead of a cliche murder victim’s spouse and father, my main character has his family entirely intact. No, he doesn’t kill out of revenge. Instead, he kills because of a haunting past and memories that rack him with guilt so severe that at times he feels as if their weight might crush his conscience. Why does he feel so guilty? (more…)