From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gee, I Hope the Feds Never Confiscate My Computer

Research and writing go hand in hand. Last year, I was fortunate enough to attend a short series of classes on the topic taught by local author Alicia Adams (Bathroom Book of Ohio Trivia). One vital lesson she drilled into us was: never let the internet be either your sole or primary resource! Get out there and be sure to get your facts right.

Incredibly enough, I have even heard some anecdotal tales about folks basing their information on works of FICTION (and I’m not just talking WIKIs). Here is a word to the wise: don’t do it!

Now, having said all that, your Home Computer or Laptop is a great place to START your research, however. Call it the tip of the research iceberg, if you will.

Here are a few of the things I have looked into for my fiction over the last couple of years:

“Totally Pedestrian and Not at all Suspect” Searches:
Native Flowers of West Virginia
Carnegie Libraries
Ladies Fashion in the Early 20th Century

“Possibly Suspicious, But Hopefully Under the Radar” Searches:
How to Make Moonshine

“Momma, I’m Gonna Need Bail Money” Searches:
How to Detonate a Home Made Still
How to Prepare a Corpse for Burial
Using Arsenic to Embalm a Body

How about you?

What interesting/unusual/weird things have you researched while writing?


  1. Ha! That's an awesome topic!
    I'm going to go ahead and admit that (being a confirmed paranoiac) when I google something that is likely to get me added to some Gubmint Watch List, I go - like - WAY out of my way to avoid typing in the suspicious words. It's almost a creative writing exercise in itself, trying to get the results I want without actually using the most natural search terms.

  2. I've researched DNA testing, states of humban corpse decomposition, and the descendants of Thomas Jefferson's slave, Sally Hemings. Y'all are making me paranoid. Maybe I should research from the computers at the have to enter your library card ID before using their computer. Big Brother encourages dull fiction, I guess.


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