Even when you’re writing fiction, even when you’re making up new worlds and magical realities, you still need to do your homework sometimes.
Unfortunately, it’s really easy to get sucked down a rabbit hole and lost in a swirling whirlpool of wikipedia posts that rob you of valuable writing time. Here are a few resources to help you get organized about your research:
- A great Reddit post on getting the most out of Google searches, including the use of boolean logic in a search.
- Try using the “Scholar” function on Google by typing in scholar.google.com – this will bring up articles, patent information, etc.
- When perusing a Wikipedia article, pull up some of the sources cited at the bottom of the page. First of all, it’s better to go direct to the source than to read someone’s paraphrase of it, and second, a lot of material comes from journals or trade publications that may pull up related articles – giving you many more options.
- Don’t just depend on Google. Believe it or not, there are other search engines out there, and they don’t all return the same results in the same order. Check out The Search Engine Colossus for a complete list of sites.
- L-Soft has a searchable database of mailing lists you can subscribe to, giving you the option to search by topic.
Hope those gave you some extra avenues to explore. And remember, reading about what you want to write about is a good thing, but reading more than you’re writing gets you nowhere fast. Use it all judiciously and wisely.