View Full Version : How would someone feel after being attemptedly murdered twice?

10-09-2012, 09:24 AM
Dabbling in the horror genre, I am experimenting with a series, Stalker. I have written the first and second books revolving around a boy, the main target of the stalker, two people who target him for different reasons. In the third book, however, I feel like I am portaying him inaccurately. Can anyone give me some input into how he would feel after being stalked and attempted to be killed twice before? I'm writing in some depression and such, but I feel like it's not enough.

10-09-2012, 10:20 AM

How old is he?

10-09-2012, 10:29 AM
Definitely paranoid I should think.

Research Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

10-09-2012, 11:46 AM

How old is he?

In book one he was sixteen, seventeen in book two, and eighteen in book three.

10-09-2012, 02:02 PM
Umm... Most people would be emotionally scared after one attempt. Think obsessively compulsive behaviors that deal with their own personal security. Maybe they move continually, don't make friends, have a really big dog...?

Seriously I can't really comprehend a normal person dealing with this well. My only thought is why is the guy being stalked? I mean does he have something valuable, messed around with the wrong woman, or knows something he shouldn't? Are the people after him part of the Mob? The government? Vampires? Extraterestrials? I think if he can identify the who and why, it might allow him to deal with it better.

I dealt with a man who's own son stalked him and tried to kill him by beating him to death (he didn't die)... it amazed me that the victim wasn't that worried his son would come back. Twenty years later, when the son had another episode and shot people at his place of work, his father was interviewed and claimed his son had never been a violent person... so I guess anything can happen (I Think that was Wednesdays at the Mickey Mouse Club.)

Hope this helps,


10-09-2012, 07:20 PM
Paranoid certainly.

Also they wouldn't know who to trust and would be very cautious in general

10-09-2012, 08:35 PM
Always "on guard" and possibly carry a weapon of some type.

10-09-2012, 11:35 PM
Different people react in different ways. I didn't get stalked or almost murdered, but I was pretty paranoid by the time I got to 17.

PTSD is a good response, as is 'always on guard' and 'carrying a weapon'. He might well try to blend in with the crowd on the surface, while knowing that underneath it all he's not like the rest of them. That would mean finding reasons for having unobtrusive weapons like steel-toed trainers/sneakers. I took an interest in theatre tech work at that age, and in those days steelies and a folding knife were excused by the world at large as tools of that trade, or at least not looked at too oddly.

He'll know where the exits are from any room he's in. He'll have an exit strategy for most buildings and most situations, and he'll know which parts of town are safe to be in after sunset. He'll know how to draw attention, mostly by knowing how to divert it. He may well know all sorts of bits and pieces about anatomy - an idea of how to defend himself against anything - and all sorts of things about weapons. He'll probably know the little things that most people never think of, too, like not closing the curtains with the light on, or how to move silently on almost any surface, or how to vanish into the vegetation.

Life could become a constant training regime so that it never happened again, so that if it ever did he'd be not only prepared but able to do something about it. It could get to where reflexes were rewired so that if X happened, Z, A and B happen instead of Y.

Those are the paths I took with less cause; others would, will and have taken other paths.

10-10-2012, 12:24 AM
Bone weary ennui.

The modern youth is only capable of eliciting interest in interest in an activity the first or second time it is shown to them. Research shows that this dramatic self-inflicted attention deficit disorder is a coping mechanism for the overwhelming rate of technological change happening in the youth's environment.

Upon being greeted with a second stalking / murder attempt the youth is likely to remark this event is "gay"* or "old". Frequently their yawning/texting ganglia will be stimulated in which case you can see them updating their social media portals with observations about how lame a potential murderer is dressed, their current level of hunger and any of a thousand possible minutiae that must be tweeted, retweeted, facebooked, reddited and blogged about during an average teen's day.

No, unless the actual stalking or murder attempt brought something new and exciting to the table, it's unlikely that any modern youth would give it a second thought. Perhaps if the murderer was wearing a bear costume...


*This is used in the dismissive pejorative sense rather than the descriptive sense. See Parker, Stone, et. al, "The F Word" 13x12 (2009)

10-11-2012, 12:03 PM
Hypervigilance. It's a symptom of PTSD. It's always being aware of your surroundings. It's associated with sleep disturbance. When you're unable to fully relax, you can't slip down into a deep sleep. Instead you're on the cusp of waking all night long. That will give you vivid dreams/nightmares because that is the stage of sleep people dream in. You also won't be very well rested upon waking.

Making plans for contingencies that seem unlikely to other people. Every time a person experiences trauma, their brain registers a situation that was formerly considered safe as unsafe. When a person has multiple traumas in different areas, the brain tends to generalize that the entire world is not safe and kicks into hypervigilance as protection.

For example, a hypervigilant person riding the bus will be looking at everyone around them, thinking up scenarios, and planning out how they would respond if it really happened. Things like, that guy with the dreads, if he drew a gun I couldn't duck off the bus because he's between me and the exit. Instead I could throw my bag at him and...>insert plan here< etc.

Or more random stuff, what if there's an earthquake while the bus is under this bridge and we're all trapped? That lady with the kids would need help getting them out. The first aid kit is under the driver's seat, they have a radio to call for help with... etc.

Big dogs are good because they have stronger senses than people and make a good visual deterrent for people with bad intentions. If it's a vigilant dog that's even better because then a hypervigilant person can trust the dog to be aware and go relax for a while.

10-12-2012, 04:43 AM
20/20 just did an interview with 2 victims. One was stalked and I believe some attempts were made on her life. Then the other was attacked, and his mother murdered by the stalker. Here's the first part of the interview: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/waseem-daker-lottie-spencer-stalker-murder-teen-relationship-trial-stabbing-2020-17410847

And the 2nd part: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/waseem-daker-lottie-spencer-stalker-murder-teen-relationship-trial-stabbing-2020-17410742

Hope this helps.

10-13-2012, 04:21 PM
Make them skinny from all the worrying. Thinning hair, too, and other physical effects that come from chronic fear, lack of good sleep, distrust of others. Maybe they'd have a booby-trapped house, few friends, no love life to speak of, and have a job where they can constantly see all their surroundings. (Guard in a prison tower comes to mind, or one of those fire-spotters who spend long periods of time alone in the woods.)

They'd also have a gun or two and take shooting classes. Yes, own a dog, a mastiff or other large, fierce-appearing breed. Keep a knife by their pillow, and never live in one place very long.

I want to write this darn story!

10-13-2012, 05:06 PM
It really very much depends on the person. Not everyone develops PTSD after traumatic experiences, some people actually bounce back.

If I'd been stalked twice already, I'd be fucking pissed. The third person who stalked me would get the the ever-loving shit beaten out of them with a crowbar as a pre-emptive measure.

You might be tempted to make the character scared or paranoid, but people can swing the other way and just become angry and jaded.

Whichever way, the experience of being stalked WOULD affect his day-to-day life, and how he deals with the next instance of being stalked. If he's been through it before he wouldn't be as bewildered or doubtful, he'd know at once what was going on and deal with it more efficiently. He'd probably take the possibility of stalking and/or violence into his everyday planning, so he might carry a weapon or have a gun at home or something. And he'd be more clued-in than most teens about things like security, letting your parents know where you are, locking the doors, taking precautions, that sort of thing.

But you do not necessarily have to give him PTSD. It's up to you. It is perfectly plausible for him NOT to have it.

10-13-2012, 11:07 PM
I was going to mention hypervigilance, too--I like what Canotila wrote. If I remember correctly, Malcolm X wrote in his autobiography that when he went places (restaurants, etc.) he was sure to take a seat where his back could be against the wall--so he could see who was coming in the place, and he'd be less susceptible to attack. Maybe your character would do that?

The way your character reacts to what happened to him will reveal much about him. Will he be so fearful and anxious that he won't be able to leave his house, or will he take on a tough-guy/nobody-better-mess-with-me persona?

10-14-2012, 02:47 AM
Most of the characters I write would be very sarcastic about it. "Okay two times today, someone has tried to kill me. They say things happen in threes so, I'm thinkin' maybe I shouldn't answer the door."

10-15-2012, 06:01 PM
He might get into it and have the attitude, "Hey Assbutts, you want to make a go for round three?" and then tosses his molotoc cocktail in the car window.