Writing Scientist Characters

Forums Fiction Characters Writing Scientist Characters

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Princess Foo 5 days, 19 hours ago.

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  • #93090

    overcomer
    @overcomer

      Hello! ūüôā

      In my current WIP (a science fantasy novel), I have several scientist characters. I was wondering if any of you have family or friends who are scientists and if you have any tips for writing about them.

      I’m already doing research, and I joined Reddit (which is full of cool information). I also intend to try and interview some scientists later on in the writing process.

      #93206

      Edmund Lloyd Fletcher
      @edmund-lloyd-fletcher

      I think the big cliche is all white lab coats and bubbling test tube arrangements.  You can run with that or break the mold.

      If you’re asking “what are they like”. I have a funny anecdote that might be telling.

      Okay, so I was working as a software engineer in medical research and our project manager is just hanging out one afternoon and wanders into the office of one of our medical researchers.  He decides to tell a joke that he heard from his kids.

      “Hey Wade, if H20 is inside a fire hydrant, what’s on the outside?”

      “I don’t know.¬† What?”

      “K9P!”

      Silly, I know, but, (I kid you not!) he said, “What!??¬† Potassium would never bond that way!”¬† … and started reaching for a chemistry book on the shelf!

      Cracks me up every time I think of it!

      Not sure what that really tells you other than some of these guys really do get so used to thinking at a deep level that down-shifting to “reality” can become difficult at times.

      Homeschooling father of 10, writing Christian action/adventure novels from my home high in the Rockies.

      #93214

      overcomer
      @overcomer

        That story is hilarious, @edmund-lloyd-fletcher! XD Thanks for the example.

        #93237

        Princess Foo
        @princess-foo

        @overcomer I don’t know of anyone who is a scientist, so if anyone does know a scientist, feel free to overrule me.

        I read a book once where there was a group of scientists and one of them said, “This is happening just as I postulated!” It made me want to bang my head against the book. No one says “postulated” unless they are joking or being obnoxiously pretentious.

        My point is that scientists are people too. Just because they are smart doesn’t mean they use unnecessarily big words just because they can. There is a lot of field-specific jargon, but there is a lot of field-specific jargon for writers. (WIP, MC, Moment of Darkness, I ship it, etc). So don’t throw in big words just to make them seem smarter than the average person. Talk normally, and add in the jargon that is natural to a conversation.

        A fun side note, I was once talking to my friends about the Narnia series, and I said that I liked C.S. Lewis’s voice. My friend said, “Oh, you listened to it on audiobook?” In my head, I was like, “Wait, the author’s voice is a thing right? I didn’t just make that up. It is an actual term. Writer friend, back me up!” It’s just weird to me that a word meaning I consider to be normal and widely understood is actually a niche meaning.

        The cake is a lie. https://amysquill.home.blog/

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