Friday, October 22, 2010

Research THIS! Wait…I already used that one.

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!


  1. I've ordered books through interlibrary loan or purchased a used one off Amazon once I've researched which books to get. I def. google. I've found blogs that are helpful. I love google maps with the satellite images b/c I've been able to zoom in on streets in other states and get a feel for what it looks like. Pretty amazing. And I read other fiction books and see how they handle the topic. but you're right, the best way is to talk to a professional!

  2. How many different ways can you say Google? Oh, and I ask my husband.

  3. How many different ways can you say Google? Oh, and I ask my husband.


Please validate me.