Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finding Research Material

I'm right in the middle of writing a romantic suspense novel, which is a sequel to my book, River Whispers (scheduled to be released in May 2011). So as you can imagine, I'm deep into the novel and doing research as I go. Yes, I do a lot of research before I start working, but I find as I write more questions pop up. 

As I'm trying to understand how many miles to a gallon of gas a power engine will get on the open seas and how weather would affect this scenario and how long it would take my hero to reach Alaska leaving from Neah Bay Washington, I am amazed by the wealth of information there is on the Internet. 

I know you tech savvy people are saying "no duh." But for this author who started writing back in the stone age before the Internet, I find it extremely cool that I don't have to drive to the library and search for books that would tell me what I need to know. What a pain that was. Don't get me wrong, I love the library! There's something about rows and rows of books that makes my heart race. But to know that with the click of my mouse I can find the information I need right when I need it is soooo totally amazing.

Here are some sites that I find helpful: Google and YouTube.

If I Google a topic many options are mine to choose from. Sometimes it takes a bit of searching, but once in a while I can find a gold mine. In researching for my boat scene, I found a blog of someone who had traveled the route I needed my hero to take. What a find! Of course, I didn't copy the blog, but in that post were key places where they stopped. And they also talked about the troubles they ran into on their journey.

Also by Googling boats I found the one I wanted my hero to have with a diagram of the interior. And I found boating jargon that I could sprinkle in my text. I'm loving it!

It's like being there. In another scene in my book a character flies a bush plane to Alaska. So I asked for clips regarding bush pilots. What a find! I could hear the engine of a deHavilland Beaver roar to life, could see the control panel of the plane, and I had a bird's eye view of the terrain my character would fly over.

I'm sure there are other wonderful sites that would help writers find the information they need for their books. 

Where do you find valuable research information on the Internet? 


  1. This is so much like the way I research. Try as I might to get it all done before I write, sometimes I find myself looking up something in the first paragraph - LOL.

  2. I'm right with you on the youtube. It's an amazing tool for research!

  3. Carolyn,
    I love it, except sometimes if you look at the comments people leave you can get shocked. I scratch my head and wonder why they commented if they didn't like something. Weird.
    Enjoy your break from school. :)



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