A WRITER’S SEARCH HISTORY: OR, I’M PROBABLY FLAGGED BY THE FBI

 

The first book I ever wrote was a YA zombie apocalypse novel. In my defense, this was before THE WALKING DEAD became a TV show, before WORLD WAR Z was made into a movie, and before the plethora of YA zombie novels that now exist.

It’s not very good.

Correction: it’s not good.

Mostly, for me it was about learning that I could write a novel. That I could make up some people and lead them through roughly 300 pages of made-up events. Along the way, one of the things I also learned is that Google is a ridiculously valuable research tool even for writers. But sometimes I had to Google things that made me uncomfortable, things that might make anyone just perusing my search history wonder if they should report me to the authorities. Here’s a sampling:

Types of guns

How to fire a gun

How to reload a gun 

Taste of human flesh 

Map of cave systems in US

(The story practically writes itself, eh?)

After that, I wrote two contemporary YA novels, so my search history mellowed out a bit. However, I’m getting ready to revise a dark fantasy story I’ve been working on, and the sketchiness factor has ratcheted up. Here’s what I’ve been scouring the Internet for in recent days:

Filipino myths and legends

Filipino ghost stories 

Map of Cemeterio Norte de Manila (North Cemetery of Manila) 

Cemetery squatters

Human corpse rate of decomposition 

Cults 

Jonestown

FLDS

Cult leader psychological profile 

Cult member psychological profile 

Necromancy 

Capnomancy 

Augury 

Purgatory 

Bolo knife 

Sacrificial rituals

Aaaaaand that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Fellow writers, what are some of YOUR sketchiest search terms for the sake of story?

 

4 thoughts on “A WRITER’S SEARCH HISTORY: OR, I’M PROBABLY FLAGGED BY THE FBI

  1. Always a fun topic! Love your zombie book research list. My sketchiest research topics for writing (so far!) are:
    -how to pick a lock
    -underground US government bunkers
    -Headquarters of the Bundeskriminalamt (the German equivalent of the FBI)
    -virology, especially how to ensure a blood-borne virus is transmitted to masses of people
    *winces*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How a virus infects cells
    Different kinds of cells in the body
    The black death
    Prepping and preppers
    Can you be immune to a virus
    Can you target a virus at certain people

    If you’re book research doesn’t get you on a watch list, you’re doing it wrong 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I can top this. I had a minor character (villain) who was a Klansman.

    I googled “KKK flag,” “blood drop jacket,” “pipe bomb,” “NAACP,” and “ACLU” in under an hour.

    Liked by 1 person

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