The Interwebs. A Great Resource.
Yesterday i started working on a new book, Raven Blackwater, and today finished writing the first chapter, things got a little dark, i might have to dial it back a touch. But that’s for another discussion at some other time.
Right now i’m thinking about the next chapter and i realise that it’s going to contain a bunch of things that i know nothing about, i don’t need a degree or anything in this subject but i need to know enough so when people read it, they think “Wow, this guy really did his research”, so i turned to the internet. Google search. And i start reading and copy pasting segments to a file to be kept and re-read later. The thing is, there is always so much out there it’s hard to know where to start, or for that matter when to stop. You could spend the better part of your day reading articles and research papers online about any given subject. The free flow of the information available to us now on our computers, tablets, and phones means we no longer have to make that trip in the wind and rain to the local library, which might not carry what you want or need. Like research papers.
I usually start on Wikipedia, yes yes i can hear your sighs from here, but bare with me for a sec. I start there, it gives you a good basis to start with, gets you a good many key words to use in more Google searches, and of course you can search the web to confirm of debunk the information you get from Wikipedia. Personally i think people under-appreciate Wikipedia because anyone can post and edit that info. But for me, for the most part it’s great. It’s just a tool nothing more, use it, confirm it in multiple other sources, and you’re done. And you stayed warm and toasty sitting at your computer desk in your underwear.
I don’t need to give my readers the third degree on this subject or anything, that would get boring and stall the pace of the book. It’s a thriller/horror book not a science fiction filled with techno-babble. But i need enough to make it believable to the reader. If at some point the reader thinks “What are you talking about?” then i’ve lost them. All this happens in chapter two and it would be a shame to lose you guys on page eight. So learn enough, throw in a few big words, refer to some old research you unearthed online, maybe throw in a few names of researchers and their subjects, and you’re done. You don’t feel cheated and i don’t need a degree in the subject.
Now all i need to do is find the right questions to ask my character. To the Google.