Thursday, May 11, 2017

Day 72 - Browser History

Writing is a strange beast. Some of us write in one specific genre but many of us reach out to explore new areas as time goes on. Regardless of which version of writing we prefer, eventually we will have to look something up. It might be a name or a recipe for a romantic meal. It could be a small beachside city in a foreign country or how long it takes to strangle a person with fishing line. When you write in multiple genres it can be every one of those and more.

The fact is writers have a browser history that would make most people nervous. We look things up for the sake of making our writing more accurate and colorful. We want people to know we did the research for your books and if someone happens to work in a particular field, such as a doctor reading a medical thriller, we don't want to lose them because something we wrote was off and ruined the story for them.

We speak to people to gain information. We read books and watch shows with similar subjects but in the internet age we spend more time looking things up online than most other areas for our research. It can be the largest and most readily accessible database for our needs. This could easily disturb someone that were to sit down at our computer and end up reading through a list of recently searched topics though.

I happen to write in several genres. Just today I looked up information on the Salem Witch Trials, crime statistics in Las Vegas, calories burned in a Zumba class and bank robbery statistics in the United States. Those are all for different books and I was taking notes in multiple files simultaneously but if someone was to go through it they would most likely think I was schizophrenic or sociopathic. Instead I am just an author.

Part of being a writer is being a slight jack of all trades and when you come across a topic you haven't learned yet you have to look it up. We are not crazy, at least not in a dangerous way. We are writers and want to enjoy our time as we live vicariously through the eyes and lives of our characters.

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