Writing Research in the Digital Age

author research 38-starflagHow many of you remember working on a book, getting to a place where you needed some information about a time, a place, or a situation in order for your story to feel authentic, yet you didn’t have that information? How many of you remember having to drive to the library to find out the facts? How many remember scooting down to your local bookstore and browsing the shelves looking for some book, any book, that could shed light on the rules of baseball in 1890 or the hunting habits of a jaguar in Brazil?

Yes, I’m dating myself, but I’m guessing there’s more than one or two of you out there who can relate. Continue reading “Writing Research in the Digital Age”

Achieving Online Search Privacy

internet privacy shield-105499_640Google is ubiquitous. There’s no getting around it. What’s worse, Google tracks EVERYTHING! How extensive is Google’s tracking? They’re tracking you even when you think they aren’t. With cookies, filter bubbles, IP addresses, fingerprinting, flash cookies, HTML storage, and other tools; Google uses your information more than you do.

And it’s not like us writer types ever search for anything weird. Continue reading “Achieving Online Search Privacy”

Could Researching My Book Get Me in Trouble?

author list murder researchI took a day trip with the freckle-faced girl recently to the United States. We live in Canada, a few miles from the border, so occasionally Costco’s ice cream or some other worthy endeavor calls to us. I’m in charge of the shopping cart duties and with some minor instruction I usually manage to fulfill my obligation. We have a Nexus pass that allows us to get into the fast lane when we cross. This makes the process easier, but, even with my youthful transgressions occurring many moons ago, and nary even a speeding ticket to my name in years, I still get a bit nervous when I reach that little window. I keep thinking there’s something that I’ve forgotten to mention, and the border guard will click his little mouse, and check his computer screen. His eyes will light up like a UFO saucer and I’ll have some explaining to do. Continue reading “Could Researching My Book Get Me in Trouble?”

Research: Keeping the Backstory in the Back

libraryRecently I stumbled across this post for Stephen King’s top 20 rules for writers. I can agree with most of them, and one in particular about research really struck a chord with me for a couple of reasons.

18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story. “Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.” Continue reading “Research: Keeping the Backstory in the Back”