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)
Human corpse rate of decomposition
Cult leader psychological profile
Cult member psychological profile
Aaaaaand that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Fellow writers, what are some of YOUR sketchiest search terms for the sake of story?