As an author, finding creative ways to murder off your characters isn’t easy. Brutal bloodbaths have occurred on paper for about as long as storytellers have been able to write in that medium.

Historically, poison was considered mostly a woman’s weapon but in this modern world of DNA and crime labs… brutality won’t pan out for your villain. And so I present:

Thirteen ways to poison someone on paper…

13. Tea bag full of battery acid~ Taking apart the villains cell phone may lose his contacts but the battery goo is lithium. Not good for you. If soaked in hot water and consumed… very bad for the victim.

12. Asprin~ Okay, it has an antidote and your guy is so going to get busted. But some deaths are accidental until proven otherwise…

11. Narcotics~ Again, most poisons have an antidote but if your character is in a narced up haze, who says they will make it out of the castle, not to mention through the dark stormy night?

10. Poisoned dart from Malaysia ~ Most of the toxins in the darts used by hunters are so fast acting, they literally get you where you stand. Victims will suffer paralysis, heart failure and possibly stroke before your hero has a chance to say, “Noooo!”

9. Bug Juice~ There are toxins to be found in creepy crawlies that are slow acting poisons to us who walk on two feet. Some of them, popular in hunting in third world nations, actually just involve squishing a bug onto a poison dart… see #10.

8. Urani-yummy~ Uranium may be commonly used to exploit its nuclear properties but it hasn’t been good for us for longer. How, you may wonder, is your villain going to get any uranium to do the dastardly deed? Currently, we use it to make some glass tints. If you are writing a historical, well, photographers used it so… there ya go.

7. Pseudo-nitzschia- Say what? It is a shellfish, tiny bugger, which, if eaten, causes things like permanent short-term memory loss, brain damage, and death in severe cases. Careful what sea water your victim ingests…

6. Bug bite~ Either by sticking the bug (or snake if you would rather) somewhere the intended murder victim will be or by extracting by careful process the venom (see bug juice…) there are many things to off someone with in nature. Never underestimate a well placed bee.

5. Iocane powder~ Okay, if you know anything about poison, you will recognize that this one is fictional. Great flick… Princess Bride and better book. However it makes the list for one big reason. You can make stuff up. You are an author. You can invent a poison and join many authors, some of them greats, didn’t want to give people real murder weapons from the ones they crafted on the page and so just invented harmless fake things.

4. Microbial toxins~ Sort of a micro-bug juice. This is the really icky stuff like anthrax but includes (and is not limited to) things like botulism and staph infections. Nuff said. *shudder*

3. Gas em~ Mist, fume, or dust toxins that are toxic if inhaled and you will leave your reader gasping as the hero comes in a moment too late to save his brother… leaving him to seek revenge against your brilliant crime lord.

2. Just like grandma used to make it~ From contaminated food to a sprinkle on their steak, people have been cooking up murder since the days of kings and queens. Don’t be afraid to serve up something fresh.

1. Smoking is gonna kill you~ Five cigarettes or half a cigar (according to wikepedia) contain enough nicotine to kill off your character… if ingested. If they smoke them, it may take a bit longer.

Have fun!!

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