You try coming up with witty titles every day. Well, most of you do, but…shut up! (Real mature).
How do you guys research? I mean, those of you still reading this after I told you to shut up. Pretty much any book needs research at some point. A fantasy might require looking into magical rituals; in sci-fi, you have to make it sound plausible; mysteries often need research into criminal procedures. So what do you use?
Me, I like Wikipedia. No, I don’t use it as a source! I like to go to the bottom and click on the links used as references. Unfortunately, there are times when it leads to a dead end. Or the article is so incomprehensible you need a fresh source. In this internet age, we have access to all powerful search engines, but they can be as frustrating as Wiki. I type in truck engines and all I see is page after page of shopping sites. Nothing on how they work.
And sometimes, there are things you just can’t find in a search engine. They are the finer points of writing. For example, I wrote a book where the main character was a cop. I looked up as much as I could, but I still felt a lot was missing. If I ever get back to it (and I hope I do), I’m definitely asking for help from someone who knows. That’s why I love Twitter!
Twitter, Facebook (though I’m not a fan), and forums can be as strong a tool as an encyclopedia. I’ve met a lot of people on there and I’m sure if I tweeted a request for expertise, someone would be happy to oblige. Because sharing is the backbone of social networks.
What about you? What do you use?
PS: Look for word-nerdery tomorrow!