I have a question maybe you can help with. I’m trying to write a fantasy novel dealing with biological warfare, but I don’t have a lot of scientific or medical knowledge. I don’t want it to sound like I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I want to try to explain the mechanics of how certain things work in the book.
Example: I want to explain how a biological disease could, in theory, transform a person’s cells. I’m not sure what to do here short of getting a degree in biology.
Thanks for reaching out. I believe what you’re trying to practice is a little something called ‘psuedo science’. It’s not always super important that it actually makes perfect sense, as most readers won’t care.
That being said, if you’re hoping to cater to an audience that is more knowledgeable on the subject, I would say that you may want to reach out to an outside source. When I wrote Drakin, I wanted to explain how a Raiya’s biological makeup was physically possible… or at least make it sound like it could be possible under the right set of circumstances. How could someone exist with discolored hair, horns, scales, and reptilian eyes in our world:
Fortunately, my network includes people in the healthcare industry, including a couple of microbiologists. I was able to give them a couple of hypotheticals surrounding my ideas and see if it at least sounded feasible. They gave me their feedback and I worked around it.
So the best advice I can give you here is to try and locate someone with an expertise in the field. If you can’t find the answers you need through your own personal research, then reaching out to an expert in the field would be the next move.
Readers, what do you think? Do you know of any other options Mason has? Let him know in the comments!
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I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
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