This post came upon me like an eager puppy with a jet pack– not unpleasant, but it arrived a bit too quickly. The prompt for this month’s TCWT blog chain is this:
“What are some of the coolest/weirdest/funniest/most disturbing things you’ve researched for a story?”
To be honest, I don’t remember. I often forget the results of my searches just after closing the browser, prompting a second search that may just stick in my head long enough for me to write about it. But the wonderful thing about Google Chrome, run by that bunch of evil spies, is that it saves every single part of your history.
Really, the only one I can remember (before we go running through my history), is researching how aluminum foil burns, and at what temperature. The idea was to figure out if aluminum foil would melt under the fire (literally) of a flamethrower. I still haven’t managed to get the answers I needed.
One thing I find as I search through my history is this: I give my own blog a lot of views. This is mostly used in replying to comments, trying to remember where the conversation was going before I say something completely off-topic.
Most of the search terms I find have been for blog posts– researching the real meaning of Deus ex machina, whether to use “more awesome” or “awesomer” (since my spell check says the latter is incorrect), and whether or not my potential spam commenters’ organization is real. (It turns out that comment was legitimate, but it looked at the keywords of my post and wrote something directly opposite what I was saying. I spammed him anyway.)
For stories, I mostly research definitions. Even though there will be a microscopic edit later, it’s unwise to write something you don’t mean, like “equestrian” referring to riderless horses. If at all possible, never seem like an idiot.
All in all, however, I tend not to search that many things, especially concepts. Famous people of whom I wish to make fun– yes. If you will die after hanging upside-down for too long– yes. The universal repercussions of creating a flaming sonic boom? No. If you’re writing steadily, the last thing you want is to research physics– that can wait until the second draft, unless there is no second draft (which is occasionally the case).
19th – http://www.mandilynn.com/
30th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain)