Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Name Your Poison

Murder is a popular plot thread that hooks the reader if written well. Research is part of the writing process if you want to create believable details when it comes to murder by poison. Poison makes for interesting reading because it can be easily slipped into an unsuspecting victim's food or drink. It can act slowly building tension, conflict and hope for discovery, or quickly while imitating a medical condition or event which leads the physician to misdiagnose the cause of death.

Poisons can be found in multiple sources. For today's prompt we'll look at poisons from plant sources. Unless the doctor in your story is suspicions and orders an autopsy with a drug screen, most likely your murderer will go free.

Research will help you find the right poison. To make your story believable you'll have to know how the poison affects the body. Research herbal poisons, research the following databases and choose a poison. Based on the information you find, develop a short scene.

Here are some links to help you find what you need to know:

*University of Florida Herbarium Library
*FDA Poisonous Plant Database
*Guide to Poisonous Plants
*Toxic Plants


Kelvin Oliver said...

Reminds me of a scene from a movie or those crime shows where they are poisoned from some bad substance.

Donna Sundblad said...

Hi Kevin,

Poison is a popular way to kill off a character, but it needs to make sense to the reader. Research can usually lead a writer to what they need to make the poison fit the crime.