Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear.
Basically the coolest little tool to have as a writer.
This is awesome!!!
silentlymunchingcorpses asked: I’m attempting come up with a fictional disease. What would I need to create a really good one? (in that not creepy murder way)
I have a few tips on this that might help!
- I’d set up the parameters of my disease from the start. What part or parts of the body does the disease affect? Does the disease manifest physically? If so, how? If not, why not? What are the symptoms of the disease? Is there a cure? Is that cure time-sensitive? Is it contagious? Are there any long-lasting side effects of the disease for those who recover? Is there some rare deviation associated with the disease which may make it more or less dangerous (or beneficial)? What is the support system like for a character with this disease? What, if any, are the treatment options? Once I know what I’m looking for, I’d proceed to the next step.
- I’d research diseases that resemble the disease I’m making up in one or several aspects. If I’m making up a magical disease that consumes thought, for instance, I might study cancer’s mutate-and-destroy strategy or Alzheimer’s disease’s destructive effect on the human mind. I’d combine the aspects of each disease that I liked, maybe add a few made up aspects of my own, then do a test run. Do the components of the diseases I’ve combined make sense together from the time of infection to the time of recovery/death? Do the symptoms and effects blend together well? If not, back to the drawing board. If so, you’re good to go.
- I’d probably also look at fictitious diseases that are already out there to see what other authors got right and mistakes to watch out for.
- And if it were me, I’d talk to an expert. Maybe I’d contact a scientific researcher (on the subject of diseases, of course), a virologist, or a doctor who studies the diseases of a certain area of the body and ask if they would mind lending me their expertise. If they were agreeable, I’d write up a list of burning questions I have for these experts and send them an email or, if I’m lucky, do an interview in person. These experts work with disease every day. They’re bound to have some good ideas of their own, things they think are bizarre or unique about their area of study that they’d love to see warped into a new disease or exploited in an interesting way. It’d be a shame to waste them as a resource!
Here are a few resources for creating diseases:
- 5 STEP GUIDE ON WRITING A CHARACTER WITH X DISORDER OR X DISEASE
- Wikipedia: Disease
- Wikipedia: Lists of diseases
- Wikipedia: List of fictional diseases
- TVTropes on disease:
- CDC: Diseases & Conditions
- Mayo Clinic: Diseases and Treatments Alphabetically
- KidsHealth: Diseases & Conditions
- 10 Incredibly Rare Diseases (video)
Thank you for your question! If you have any comments on this post or other questions about writing, you can message us here!
This is slightly related to that post about making up diseases. For my stories, I wanted to make a fictional affliction that presented similarly to something like an autoimmune- so this last week I spend a bunch of time looking up autoimmune diseases and symptoms, and the difference between that and a hemolytic reaction, and then I started interrogating my family members, which was very helpful and then me mum and sister even showed me blood lysing under a scope. So that was exciting. -Evvy
This is how to run a stick of Chapstick
down the black boxes on your scantron
so the grading machine skips the wrong
answers. This is how to honor roll. Hell,
this is how to National Honor Society.
This is being voted “Most Likely to Marry
for Money” or “Talks the Most, Says the
Least” for senior superlatives. This is
stepping around the kids having panic
attacks in the hallway. This is being the
kid having a panic attack in the hallway.
This is making the A with purple moons
stamped under both eyes. We had to try.
This is telling the ACT supervisor you have
ADHD to get extra time. Today, the average
high school student has the same anxiety
levels as the average 1950’s psychiatric
patient. We know the Pythagorean theorem
by heart, but short-circuit when asked
“How are you?” We don’t know. We don’t
know. That wasn’t on the study guide.
We usually know the answer, but rarely
The worst kind of writer’s block is the kind where you know what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen and everything other single detail but for fuck’s sake, it won’t turn into words.
I’ll come back for you i whisper as i caress the books i can’t afford