Having a stalker is truly frightening. A stalker can target someone for any reason. And anyone can be stalked: celebrities, women, men, and children. A stalker can be an ex boy/girlfriend, a jealous coworker or friend, an estranged family member, or a stranger. Stalkers don’t just come in the big cities but anywhere in the world. Wherever people live, stalkers lurk.
Some things to consider if you ever write a story with a stalker in it:
1. Who is the stalker?
Sometimes, in real life, this isn’t known right away, but other times the person lets the victim know by confronting them. Decide when your stalker will reveal him/herself: right away or after some cat and mouse mind games.
2. Why is this person stalking your character?
As I mentioned, anyone can be a stalker and for any reason. Perhaps a bad breakup triggers it or road rage makes your character a target. Even envy, such as for someone’s beauty, money or talent, can be a driving force that makes the stalker want to be with your character or just be your character.
3. What does the stalker do?
There are an infinite number of scare tactics that stalkers employ, such as harassing phone calls or notes left on the car or on the door. They can follow your character in their car to and from work or when they go for a jog around the block. Taking pictures, sneaking into the victim’s house, and leaving threatening images and tokens are all things stalkers do. Nothing is too bizarre.
Being stalked is scary and greatly impacts the mental state of the victim, leading them to suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other disorders. They can have a hard time sleeping at night due to fear, and they can look over their shoulder wherever they go.
Perpetually checking to make sure the windows are closed, blinds and curtains are shut, and doors are locked is very common. Taking self-defense classes, buying a stun gun or real gun, and even adopting a dog for extra security are all things they can do. A victim of a stalker is never at ease, so you have to show that throughout the story.
TIP #1: Show how this changes your character’s other relationships. Although the stalker is targeting one person, this also hurts their loved ones. Relationships can get strained and even go out the window due to the victim’s fear.
TIP #2: Consider how you’d feel or what you would do if you were in your character’s shoes.
Always make sure that whatever you write is realistic. Try to talk to people who had been stalked, read real stories and accounts, and even watch movies based on true events.
QUESTION: Did you watch the show Stalker while it was on? It only had one season, but it was pretty intense.