June 13, 2019
Writing medical or techno thrillers requires a great deal of background knowledge. But it has not got to be comprehensive as science is evolving constantly. As soon as a scientific discovery is published it can already be out of date.
There are advances that are fundamental science such as the now established structure of DNA which has lead to the identification of individuals (microbes, plants, animals and humans) through genetic fingerprinting. A number of crime writers get round having to deal with modern scientific forensic techniques by setting their stories in the past, usually before the 1960s when genetic analysis was not fully developed. Even today separate forensic laboratories in various countries use different methodologies and these will change over time.
Novelists and short story writers have the perfect get out if the science described in their work is incorrect or outdated in that it really is only fiction. But what they must ensure if they wish their work to satisfy the expectations of their readers is that it has to be believable.
January 3, 2019
The bullet crashed through the plate glass window and into the customer’s forehead. It smashed through his skull and embedded itself in the wall behind him. People screamed as the plump middle-aged man was flung off his chair away from the table where he had been dining and the shooter stepped through the shattered opening into the restaurant.
He had not wanted to waste bullets by spraying rounds indiscriminately so he had set the Kalashnikov rifle he was holding to fire single shots. These were to be surgical killings and he wanted to shoot dead all who crossed his path. His feet crunched on the broken glass as he trod carefully forward and shot a woman, sheltering beneath the table in the back of the neck. A man who looked like a waiter made a dash for two double doors and he shot him in the back before he could reach them. Some people ran, but those who were not quick enough or those who cowered on the floor he shot one by one. Dark blood flowed with food, drink and broken crockery among the unturned chairs.