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September 23, 2014

Writing About: The Mob


I created my own Mob in 30 Seconds. The great thing is you can change up the rules in fiction. You don’t have to have an Italian or Russian Mob. I don’t actually mention the nationality of the Mob in my story, just that they live and run Cleveland, Ohio with the goal to kill cops.

Here are 10 things to consider if you want to write about the Mob:

1.    Leader/Boss

There will have to be a leader/boss, otherwise the members will run a muck .Your leader has to be the biggest bad ass of the group with the clout to control criminals of all kinds. He, or indeed she, should have a recognizable name (or nickname) and appearance. The leader of my Mob is known as Red “because of all the blood on his hands.”

2.    Followers

A Mob boss can’t be a leader unless he/she has followers. These men and women need to be tough with criminal backgrounds. You should try to introduce a few loyal followers close to the leader to make the Mob more real. Also try to give each of them distinct appearances and personalities so your readers can tell them apart.

3.    Crime

What kind of criminal activity does your fictional Mob do (murder, money laundering, grand theft auto)? Whatever they do will impact the plot of your story.

4.    City

What city does your Mob run? Where do they live and work? If they’re real big and bad, they can be known across a whole state or small country.

5.    History 

How did the Mob in your story get its start? Is it a family thing, or did a group of like-minded criminals get together? Share this bit of information early on so your readers can understand the Mob’s motives.

I saw this sign at the Brevard Zoo in Florida.

6.    Goal

Along with knowing what kind of crimes they commit, you also need to consider their goal. They could be after weapons, money/diamonds, drugs, or revenge. In 30 Seconds, the Mob kills police officers with the goal of wiping them all out of Cleveland.

7.    Victims

Mob's have a lot of victims from innocent bystanders to people they specifically target. Give your fictional Mob victims, too.

8.    Guns

Mobs aren't very threatening unless they have guns. Give them a slew of guns. In 30 Seconds, my Mob has a lot of AK47’s, the guns known as cop killers because the bullets can penetrate Kevlar vests.

9.    Plans

Criminals usually have a plan. Give your Mob a plan to get what they want. Even if you don’t reveal it, it’ll become known through your plot.

10.    Personalities

The leader of your Mob needs to be ruthless in his pursuits, cruel and cold-hearted. His/her followers need to be mean and vindictive, too, with a thirst for blood, money and revenge.

TIP #1: Capitalize the “m” in Mob. Otherwise, you’ll be referring to a horde of people like those who flock to shopping centers on Black Friday. (Some writers don't do this though, so it's really up to you.)
TIP #2: Watch Mob movies or any movie with a criminal gang.

QUESTION: What name would you give a Mob leader in a work of fiction?



45 comments:

Sherry Ellis said...

Great tips for writing books that have mobs in the story line!

Loni Townsend said...

Made me think of Gentleman Johnny Marcone from the Dresden Files. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Sherry!

Chrys Fey said...

I've never read the Dresden Files. Now I want to! :D

Lisa Thomson said...

Wow, Chrys great ideas here! I think it would be fun to write about a Mob. Good point on capitalizing the 'm'. It's hard to think of a name. You've got my creative juices flowing. It depends on their last name and physical characteristics. 'Digger' as in grave digger. OR 'Teeny' for a huge guy. Play on the opposites. Ha. I've watched too many Scorcese films.

Chrys Fey said...

Ha! Teeny for a big guy would be epic! ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lots of good mob movies you could turn to for inspiration.
Guns are important. A mob that terrorizes with loaded hamsters isn't very scary.

Kelly Hashway said...

I've never written about the mob. At least not yet. ;)

Michelle Wallace said...

I've always enjoyed reading stories about the Mob, but I've never thought of including it in my writing.
Now you've got me thinking...thanks for the tips!

Chrys Fey said...

Loaded hamsters! That's hilarious!!!!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm sure you'd do a wonderful job, Kelly. :D

Chrys Fey said...

Always glad to get you thinking about story ideas, Michelle. :D

Unknown said...

One of my absolute favorite mob movies is The Departed. I can probably watch it a million times and never get tired! These are some great tips, Chrys. Thanks for sharing.

Robin said...

Good stuff here!!!! Mob, not mob.

Pat Hatt said...

Mobs sound like great fun to write. Leader needs to be ruthless indeed. Hey, they don't need guns, could have laser beam death stare haha

Chrys Fey said...

The Departed is a good movie!

Chrys Fey said...

I thought you might appreciate this, Robin. :) And I did mention that "Mob, not mob" thing in a side comment in your document, but near the end. You might not have seen it yet.

Chrys Fey said...

Laser beam death stares would be perfect for science fiction Mobs! Yes!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

I've encountered mobs in books and movies, but have never thought about writing about them. This is a great list in case I do. :)

Anonymous said...

Good tips for writing a novel, most enjoyable to read.

Stephanie Faris said...

I can't wait to read it!!! Your interview is up on my blog today. Thank you so much for including me in your tour.

DRC said...

This post couldn't have come at a better time. Helpful tips. Thanks :)

Carrie-Anne said...

A few Russian-American mobsters make an appearance in the Prohibition chapter of my first Russian novel. They hold a liquor store under siege because the owners refuse to buy their liquor from the mobsters and only the mobsters, and haven't gotten the hint when they've had shipments and workers sabotaged. It never occurred to me to bring them back in the other books, or to write a storyline anywhere focused on the Mob.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad you think so, Medeia! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome! And thank you for offering to host me! :D

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, DRC! :)

Chrys Fey said...

That sounds intense, Carrie-Anne! Bringing them back or giving me a storyline is something to think about. :)

Nas said...

Love all your tips for writing a thriller.

SK Anthony said...

You're just so good with giving advice and tips! Love these Mob ones, they're killer! :D

S.K. Anthony

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! I do my best to deliver good tips. :D

Chrys Fey said...

When talking about the Mob, the tips have to be killer. ;)

Tara Tyler said...

what perfect timing! i'm creating a futuristic mob in one of my upcoming books - i am definitely bookmarking these tips! thanks!

Tara Tyler said...

ps - the family name is Negrini and it's based in futuristic Atlanta...

TBM said...

Goodness even Cleveland isn't safe.

Stephanie Bird said...

I love this mob writing list. Very original and insightful. My hubby loves British gangster movies so many of their antics are seen by these eyes. Don't care for them (movies or characters) at all but who knows when one will pop up in one of my books? With your list, I'll be prepared to make my mob figures more realistic. Thanks!

Yanting Gueh said...

Didn't know about these, except for the part about the leader. This would come in handy when I write crime thrillers in future (who knows, eh?). Anyway, I just want to congratulate you on your 30 Seconds release and tell you I have bought a Kindle copy. Looking forward to reading it!

Chrys Fey said...

A futuristic Mob sounds fascinating!

Chrys Fey said...

That's a great family name!

Chrys Fey said...

Nope. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I never though I'd write about a Mob, but here I am with an ebook published with mobster characters! lol

Chrys Fey said...

These would certainly come in handy for crime thrillers and any kind of criminal character.

Thank you so much, Claudine!!!!!! I hope you enjoy it! :D

Stephanie Bird said...

Yes, that's just it. Characters just present themselves to the creative mind and we need to be equipped with the tools you are sharing here, so we can use writing to bring them to life.

Chrys Fey said...

You're right! We never know what kind of character will pop up in our minds. And thank you so much for supporting my tips and blog the way you do. :D

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