I'm over at Unicorn Bell today with....
In the past, I have shared posts about Crime Scenes and Murder, but this is the first time I’m focusing solely on a body.
You don’t have to get too descriptive if you don’t want to, but I advise you to consider revealing certain details such as:
Is the corpse a male or female? This is extremely important to mention just as you would let your readers know the sex of your other characters.
Sharing what the corpse is wearing gives a complete picture for the reader and can even provide details about how the person died. For example: If someone is attacked by a dog or wild animal, his/her clothes will be shredded. But what the corpse is wearing, or not wearing, is also significant as someone who dies in the shower or tub would be naked. Or maybe the corpse is in a bridal gown or tux.
TIP #1: Include other details such as hair and skin color, even height and weight, if possible.
In my short story, Witch of Death, the corpses’ positions are bizarre. Not only are their faces contorted and their arms and legs wrenched in odd angles, but...oh, I can’t tell you! I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out. ;)
TIP #2: The position of the corpse(s) in your story will depend on the manner of his/her death.
Of course you should tell your readers where the corpse is. This should be mentioned well before even the gender of the corpse as we need to know where your MC is when he/she sees this corpse. Is it at a crime scene or in the morgue? If it’s at a crime scene, where is the scene? (A house, in the woods, or an alley?) Describe this setting as you should describe every other setting to give your readers a clear image.
Consider how the person died and let that influence what the corpse (as well as the surroundings) looks like. If the person was shot, there should be a hole in the body, a spray of blood on the wall or ground, and blood-soaked clothes. If his/her neck was cut, the corpse would have a slit across its throat. Has the corpse been in water? The body would then be bloated and waterlogged with black veins. Has the person been dead a long time? If so, certain things like maggots and decomposition come into play.
TIP #3: Do some research and ask someone who works in the medical field to read your scene for accuracy.
QUESTION: Just like I tend to find myself writing about corpses a lot, what do you find yourself frequently writing about?