The Joy of Writing – Finding Things That Don’t Exist

As a fiction writer, I am day-in and day-out creating new worlds for my characters to live in. While a lot of those worlds aren’t too different than the one we currently live in, any good story is going to have some twist and turns that define the construction of the place.

For instance, I’m currently writing a story that involves solving a mystery where people are dying from a poison. While all the symptoms of the deaths mimic a particular poison, it has been ruled out as the cause.

Since I’m a writer and not a chemist, I have no knowledge of what poisons do to a person who comes into contact with them. So I’m googling to find sources.

Today, I was trying to figure out how to re-engineer this particular poison … a process that seems massively complex and I came to assume couldn’t be done without a laboratory and twenty years of work. Of course that makes it a perfect candidate to use in a mystery. How would anyone be able to create a new form of it? And how would authorities then be able to trace it if they did? And it would never be suspected in the first place … the perfect crime …

So, why is my mind boggled that I can’t just do a search and have a website tell me what I want to know? In my mind it’s all completely real and it exists and it can be used and manipulated in the hands of people …

And that’s where the world-building starts. That’s the joy of being a fiction writer!


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