The Randomness of the Writer's Search Engine

Author:
Publish date:

In my last post, I weighed the benefits of writing longhand vs. on the computer. And while the internet can be very distracting when you’re trying to lose yourself in the story you’re creating, the fact is, questions come up as stories unfold. Strange, random, obscure questions. And if you’re writing on a computer that has internet access, you can have them answered immediately. But has anyone else ever thought about how incredibly weird your Google searches must be when you’re researching a bit of information for a story? For my post today, I’ve compiled a list of things I have actually had to Google—things I needed to know about in order for a story to move forward. I’d love to hear from you guys—post your weirdest, strangest, most disturbing phrases or questions you’ve typed into a search engine for the sake of a story!

•Mongolian traditional food

•Wooly mammoth

•Congenital heart disease

•35,000 year old German flutes

•National Geographic vacation packages

•What would be a blood alcohol level where you’d be really drunk but still coherent?

•Lyrics to Etta James songs

•Roman name of Greek god Pan

•Does an erection go flaccid when you die?

•How long was Bobby Sands in Long Kesh prison before he died of starvation?

•Can possums swim?

•Average cost of a train ticket in 1922

•Ingredients of beef stroganoff

•Prawns

•Yurts

•Popular gymnasts of the 1988 Olympics

•Judas steers

•What is an archipelago?

•How do you say “I told you so” in French?

•What is the difference between an ocean and a sea?

•Points of interest on highway I- 94

•Aboriginal tools

•List of outdated countries on the world map

•Causes of miscarriage

•Best-known Macbeth quotes

•Why/how does the blue footed booby kill its siblings?

•Popular Mexican girl names

•Household items names in Spanish

•Are Muslims allowed to dissect fetal pigs?

•Direction for dissection of fetal pig

•What is the native language of Eritrea?

And that’s just a sampling. Please, tell me I’m not the only one who’s noticed this! Post your weirdest writing-related internet searches!

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a safe poem.

ryoji-iwata-QKHmi6ENAmk-unsplash

I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.