Thirteen Ways to Poison Someone… On Paper

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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Virginia Nelson spends her days chasing three very active kids around. When she is not doing this, or plotting taking over the world, she likes to write, play in the mud, drive far too fast and scream at inanimate objects. She can often be found listening to music that is far too loud and typing her next fantastic tale of blood, sex and random acts of ineptitude. Romance, in Ms. Nelson’s opinion, is not about riding off into the sunset on the back of a horse with the knight in shining armor— it is about riding the dragon. If the knight can keep up… well, that is love.She lives in Northeast Ohio where she is usually buried in quite a large quantity of snow. She keeps from freezing by drinking large doses of coffee occasionally spiked with Bailey's (depending on the scene she is writing or how many calls have come in from the principal of her kids school that week.) Another excellent way to deal with the weather is to travel which she does with her friend as much as possible as they both enjoy making large quantities of money then blowing it all on trips to places they have not seen. Hot tubs look the same everywhere but who cares? They take the kids on all of these trips and point cheerfully at things like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls and listen to the chirp of "Can we go back to waterslides?" until they give up and go back to the hot tub while the kids look at water slides (which also look the same everywhere you go but who cares?) Hobbies Virginia enjoys other than travel and writing are bowling (at which she is terrible), golfing (at which she is terrible), camping (during which she whines) and hiking (the one time she may shut up if you give her a camera.) She is also collecting blackmail pictures of her kids in the hopes that one day they will all graduate both high school and college and then she can have lovely parties at which she proudly shows off embarrassing pictures. They will be updated here and on facebook as quickly as they are taken. Her most recently published work is Odd Stuff, available through Sapphire Blue Publishing. The second book to that series, Siren's Song is currently in the submission process. The third is about two chapters from completion at the time of this posting and is titled Odd Fate. Other works in progress are Blood and Bones, a young adult paranormal fantasy that is a retelling of an old Italian fairytale and Necro an adult urban fantasy. She is also in progress on a contemporary piece at this time as well as continuing the Odd Stuff Series.

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