I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm, but doing research is hands-down one of my favorite things about writing. I absolutely love learning as many new things as I can about the locations, languages, names, cultures and even geographic areas that come alive in my stories.
I’ll never claim to have every detail perfect, but I always strive to bring as much realism to my writing as possible. So how to do this when I’m no expert on the CIA, Bulgaria, or organized crime?
Obviously, lots and lots of reading and research, but one of my favorite resources is Quora.com. You think that WatchMojo videos on YouTube or Wikipedia are the ultimate rabbit holes? Quora is the rabbit hole x1000000!
Okay okay, we’re not supposed to be falling down rabbit holes (“What are you banned from?“) or finding reasons to procrastinate (“In Forrest Gump, how did Jenny die?“) or using this great website (“I believe my office may have been bugged. What do I do?“) to do anything except research! Quora allows you to both ask and answer just about any question you can think of, and subject matter experts from across the internet will chime in. To me, it’s like a more focused and more mature Reddit when I’m doing book-related research.
The awesome trade-off is that when you create a profile, you list your talents and areas of expertise. You’ll have the opportunity to answer questions that other users have, and therefore karma in the bank when it’s 3am and you need to know insert your own question here. Talk about paying it forward!
What is your favorite source for research on your stories?