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When attempting to write a book, what are some good resources for finding specific information?

Whenever I try to look up specific information about what I`m trying to write, I often get stuck or can't find legitimately relevant information. Do writers have specific resources they use or do they just make stuff up?

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Tom’s Answer

It kind of depends on what you're trying to write. If you're writing a realistic story, even if it's fictional, you want to be on point with your history, your locations, and definitely with historical happenings if you're including the real world. As far as where to look, there are unlimited resources at your fingertips. Pick up a history book, look at Google, research similar movies, and even go off of your personal experiences if you need to. As far as making things up, absolutely, DO IT, especially if you're writing a fictional story. Use whatever you can for facts, inspiration, and motivation. But always, ALWAYS, make it yours. Don't pull an Eragon (yes, I went there) and model your story after so many others. Find a way to make it yours. When it comes to researching for your book though, decide what you want to write, then determine what sources you'll need. Keep it concise and related to your story though, since it's too easy to go off on a tangent and get lost in the woods, so to speak.
Above all, just write, and see what comes out of your own imagination....but yes, look anywhere and everywhere you can. The sky isn't the limit when you're writing, it's just the view.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Dal
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Harold’s Answer

In addition to Tom's advice, remember that librarians are your friend. In many cases, they can help you find material or answers (or even research for you in some cases).
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Dal
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JOHN’s Answer

Hello:

Grand responses by others.

The creative lens that one can find through experiences, observations, and many roads can guide the mentality of the words to rise into the fingertips. If you are writing about a mystical scene, that's fantasy-like, you can draw inspiration through nature settings, going on YouTube and learning about the different gems that are awaiting to be found across the Earth, and more.

The more your welcoming new education, thoughts from others and observational awakenings, and seeking to see more of life itself (online or off), can lovingly guide you into more adventurous writing.

Add all that into the blend - resources abound.

Thankful for your steps.

God Bless,

John German
Thank you comment icon Thank you, JOHN! Dal
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William’s Answer

Great question, Dal, relevant especially to younger writers—or anyone trying to differentiate expert facts from mere opinions.

1. Avoid Wikipedia. Why? Because there ANYone can post . . . even those without an informed/educated perspective.
2. The Smithsonian Institution (magazine and/or website) is an absolute trusted treasure rich with factuality. Historical fact is something that happened in the past, and is verifiable through traces left behind (i.e. World War Two, 9/11 etc.). Whether a historian has actually verified any given event is irrelevant.
3. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is the nation’s leading science-based, data-driven, service organization protecting the public’s health for over 70 years.
4. Beyond these rock-solid resources, my personal/professional guideline concerning research for fiction (novels, novellas, short stories) is simple: If an organization and/or person is legally bound (your doctor, for example) to providing information, you ought to be confident in dealing with them.
5. Make frequent use of people in your life skilled in some area (chef, farmer, banker, police, lawnmower repairman, pilot, soldier, etc.), those with real hands-on, boots-on-the-ground experience. The knowledge will be very helpful, humbling, inspiring and sometimes even heartbreaking. Always attach emotion to experience, Dal, and readers will follow you anywhere.

Write on, and all best wishes to you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Dal
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