You know how some people just have really weird search history? Like, normal people search odd things on the internet, usually funny things like cat videos, but writer…we open up a whole new brand of weird.
I thought it would be nice to make today’s blog post all about the weird, sometimes nasty things us authors tend to Google. Not only am I going to tell you different things I’ve caught myself Googling over the years, but I’d love to hear the different things everyone else has Googled as well.
We’ve all killed of characters in our stories, so odds are you’ve also Googled how to get away with murder, how to kill someone, what it takes to kill someone. You get the idea.
When I wrote Essence, my first novel, I did a lot of research on decaying bodies. Not because it’s a zombie book, but it is a book about the afterlife. There may be a point where a character comes into contact with a dead body, and I wanted to know if it’s been sitting there for awhile, will it be stiff or…? And I promise you Essence is not a morbid novel. I probably didn’t need to Google that fact…
I’ve noticed that I like to write about diseases in my novels. I am Mercy is all about the black plague. I went hardcore into finding out all the symptoms of the plague and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. For example, people had these things called buboes (swelling) all around their groin. Imagine how painful that must have been? I like to think I only added enough detail of the plague to make the novel seem realistic, rather than gross, but I guess you guys are the judges of that.
If you start Googling explosives than maybe the FBI is starting to keep an eye on you. But if one of your characters needs to know how to build a bomb, you have to make it realistic!
Now only once in my life have I ever witnessed a person cracked up on drugs and that’s only because I was in Boston and there was a shirtless dude walking down the street screaming and hitting himself (and eventually the police found him and arrested him). The point is every now and then we may need a druggie in our story to help give it the extra edge, so that’s when we start Googling things to learn what effects it may have. And if you really want to see what someone looks like on drugs, you can also find a video on YouTube to get the full effect.
Now I’ll admit that when I was writing I am Mercy (which takes place in France) that I looked for a lot of pictures and maps of the area so I knew what I was writing about. However, I’ve talked to one writer who actually used the satellite view on Google Maps to somewhat stalk out the area. At first I thought this was a little odd, but now that I’m thinking about it, it’s actually kind of brilliant.
So those are just some category of creepy things you can find in the search history of a writer! Let me know in the comments below what odd things you’ve been Googling!