Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?



Hello, Go Teen Writers! It's Jill, here for my last hosted panel of the summer. I hope you enjoyed these. I sure had a lot of fun learning about all of you. Today is the first day back to school for my kids, which means it's also the first day back to me having to wake up SUPER EARLY! :-( But that's okay. I'm most productive in the mornings, so conceivably, I'll start getting things accomplished now. Because I'm really, really behind. Really.

So, bring it 2017-2018 school year. I'm ready!


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Yeah! Whoo! Bwa ha ha . . .





What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?


Shannon Dittemore
I just finished writing a book about ice road trucking in a magical land. I’ve researched a bunch of weird stuff lately. Maybe my favorite research moment was when I stumbled onto an image of an r/c ice road truck that looked identical to the rig my brain had concocted. It was amazing and I had to share it with everyone. Poor people. No one knew what I was talking about, but it was such a shock to see my imagination realized like that. Crazy, crazy.

Stephanie Morrill

“History of urinals” is the most recent weird thing I’ve searched for. I’ve also had to write some uncomfortable emails to doctor friends saying things like, “What’s something that could happen where the unborn baby would die, but they would already know what gender it was?”



Jill Williamson
The Safe Lands trilogy wins this answer, hands down, though it’s difficult to pick just one of the things I had to research as the strangest. There were so many weird things I researched for that trilogy. Here are a few:
-how to build a funeral pyre to burn dozens of corpses. :-/
-what to do for a gunshot wound.
-types of waterborne and bloodborne diseases.
-sexually transmitted diseases.
-vaping.
-being a doctor and knowing doctory stuff.
-a multitude of narcotics and their effects.
-what it feels like to take different narcotics, heroin in particular.
-GPS tracking implants for dogs (I put them in humans).
-how to disable a dam or an electrical power plant.
-how to make a simple homemade bomb. (I wonder if the FBI picked up on some of my Google searches that year...)
-people that live in underground sewers.
-artificial insemination.
-how live TV shows are filmed.
-what it feels like to be tazed.
-a day in the life of a garbage man.
-a day in the life on a cattle ranch.
-a day in the life working in a chicken slaughterhouse. :-P
-a day in the life in a maximum-security prison.
-prison horror stories. :-/
-how night vision goggles work.
-how to make your own hot air balloon. (This one I really enjoyed.)

If any of that intrigues you, read The Safe Lands trilogy and you’ll see how it all fit in. Ha ha.

In fact, just for kicks, here is the book trailer my publisher Blink made for the series. They did a great job with the Finley and Flynn Morning Show.




Now it's your turn. What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

36 comments:

  1. Ha, I researched how it feels to be tazed! But that was for someone else's book. Let me see...symptoms of a panic attack was my most recent search that comes to mind.

    This was a fun question!

    -Ann

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  2. Let's see. I looked up panic attacks, though I found I already knew the answers to that one. I haven't really done too much research since my book doesn't require much, but I may be looking up how to survive in an underground bunker.

    I've also been trying to find videos of street fighting and things like that.

    The government might think I have violent tendencies. :p

    ~Ivie
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. If you need help with realistic fight scenes, I would suggest finding someone who knows a thing or two about fighting and not trusting Hollywood. Videos about street fighting are likely to have some handy stuff in them, but first-hand knowledge can help sort out a lot of little things.

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  3. One thing I researched recently was "if your leg is cut open, how long will it take for you to bleed out?" Lol. It was bad.

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    1. Wow. Just wow. I really don't have a response for that one. Well, wouldn't it depend if you hit an artery? :p

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    2. I had to find out how much blood a person can lose before dying. I had thought the human body had more blood in it, but I was wrong. :P Apparently a rapid loss of blood can be fatal, too, though, so that was a dandy piece of information.

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    3. Yeah, one of my characters was fighting with no armor on and got overpowered and... I needed her to almost die but not quite.

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  4. I recently researched how putrefaction works... it was quite gross.

    I also looked up the strangest ways to kill someone.

    I'm NOT a murder, I promise! My victims bleed ink not blood!!!

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    1. Um ... Do we need to have a talk. XD

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    2. They'll be fine... I hope. My brain could come up with a horribly evil plot that is perfect, so don't trust me when I say that! XD

      AGAIN, I am talking about characters, not actual people.

      One time I was talking about killing characters with one of my writer friends, and I looked up, and this guy was just staring at us in horror and then he just hurried away, I think he thought we were talking about killing actual people! XD

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    3. Lol, that's hilarious. I can only imagine what that guy was thinking. XD

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    4. Once a friend of mine and I were discussing a character of hers who's a poisoner by trade --- out in the middle of a college campus with people walking by. We did get some odd looks. Nothing that. . . drastic. . . though.

      https://ofdreamsandswords.wordpress.com

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    5. @Ivie, he was probably thinking something along the lines of "RUN". But I can't be sure.

      @Sophia, yeah, I feel sorry for that guy, at least we gave him a good story to tell to his friends, though!

      I can only imagine the looks you got when you were talking about a poisoner, that's awesome!! XD

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    6. I may or may not have killed off a protagonist.... I actually need to look up things regarding to that still.
      -novelistinthedark

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    7. @ novelistinthedark: Ooh, killing the MC. That sounds interesting. What's you're WIP about, if you don't mind telling?

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    8. A supervillain girl who has a condition where she has attacks where she has to either die or kill someone/something.
      The first people Sadie killed were her dad and stepmom. It was an accident. After that, she was realized what was happening. This was before my story started. During my story, she finds out that her best friend Demi is also her nemesis Lightstreak. She accidentally kills a man in a Lightstreak costume who attacks her without realizing that it's not Demi.

      In the end, she finally uses her condition for good by killing the corrupt leader of the heroes. However, he stabs her in the process (this is the part that needs research.)

      -novelistinthedark

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  5. I researched kidnapping techniques not too long ago. For some reason I never did find a handbook on abduction. ;)

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    1. Hmm, I wouldn't think there'd be much online about that. But then again, it is the internet, lol. :D

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    2. If you know where to look, the internet has everything ...

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  6. I think maybe one of the more memorable (though maybe not the strangest) topics I searched for was herbs/flowers that caused uncontrollable sneezing. And once, while I was researching Biltmore, I read about the Halloween room in the basement. That was a fun day.

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  7. I haven't actually researched that many things. The strangest one is probably different kinds of boars and where they live, which sadly isn't strange at all (it did however somehow lead to my learning about VERY strange Greek myths). All of my research involves completely normal animals or plants... that's what you get for writing epic fantasy, I guess.

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  8. Oh my, I research so many strange things, it's hard to choose. My most recent research endeavors was to learn all I possibly can about neuroscience... it has to do with my fantasy magic system. And that's the ironic thing - magic systems are supposed to be exactly that: magic. But for me, I always have to back them up scientifically. (The magic very much involves the mind, which is why I had to learn about neuroscience.)

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  9. Oh golly, this is an awesome query! Let's see, some of the things that probably make me sound most dangerous include: telescoping batons, covert listening devices, cloning phones, how to put together a simple explosive, how to pick a lock, and how to make eggs benedict.

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  10. I was writing something with a friend once and we were wondering what the effects of an injury one of my characters got would be. My friend did a google search for "can you die from getting hit with a wrench on the back of the neck." It didn't yield much helpful information, though that is, admittedly, a rather specific search. Still, that was definitely one of the weirdest things (although I guess I'm not the one that searched it) I've had to look up.

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    1. It probably depends on a lot of factors (what part of the wrench was used, what kind of wrench, how did the wrench cause the person to die (trauma too close to the brain, did it hit the brain stem, did they bleed out etc.) etc.). I know that it is possible to survive a knife to the back of the neck (it's happened IRL), but there is a lot of sensitive stuff in there, and a wrench would probably be able to do a lot of damage depending on what part of the wrench was used. Probably not an instant kill, but definitely has potential to.

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  11. Hey, Google! How do you pick a lock? How do you break handcuffs? What's a good number of lashes to give someone if you want to torture but not kill them? What kind of neurotoxic viper might you find in an underground hot springs in a temperate region?
    And... that's all I can remember looking up online. I've learned a lot of other gruesome things from my Tae Kwon Do instructor, though. Things like where the most sensitive nerves and arteries are located. How to break someone's elbow. How to air choke someone vs. how to blood choke someone. Aim for the floating ribs! Knife defenses, gun defenses, punching defenses, defenses against kidnapping. Lots of violent stuff I thankfully don't have to ask Google. :)

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    1. I had a self-defense teacher, and I learned that you can rip someone's ears off if you grab them and jump and let yourself fall, because ears only need eight pounds to rip them straight out... One less thing to google. XD

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    2. ...what is a good number of lashes to give someone if you want to torture but not kill them?
      novelistinthedark

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    3. @Gray Marie: Wow. That's actually scary to think the ears can just rip off like that.

      @Novelistinthedark: I would think 17 would be the precise number. Why 17? I don't know. I am curious now.

      The internet can be a well of useful/useless knowledge. :D

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    4. Yeah, I know that you can also rip cartilage in the ear with a powerful round-house kick (something that happened at my dojo).

      @novelistinthedark: it would probably depend on who was being tortured. Typically, a person would pass out before they would die from the lashes. I know they still carry out lashes as a sentence in certain countries. In Saudi Arabia, sentences involving lashes usually involve giving out the penalty bouts of 20/30-50 lashes. Although someone would probably need medical treatment to survive without long term damage or death there, it is possible to take it up there.

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  12. I have a WIP with flesh eaters (also known as cannibals). What's worse than online research is all the food substitutes with human flesh and body parts that pop out of my own head. Curry fingers, chocolate hearts (slices)? Really? Forget Google, what is up with my brain? Oh and don't forget the brain shake with ice. WHY?

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  13. I've mostly looked up fairly standard things - how long can someone can be in a coma (and the physical results of that, like muscle wastage); can someone get a head injury and forget their entire life; what tattoos mean a promise of revenge for a loss; what's the usual health professional's response to apparent multiple personality disorder (and is it real/what does that look like?); and how can people wake up from a coma speaking a different language?? (not relevant to the story, but I stumbled across it).

    I actually didn't get many answers.
    Jem Jones

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  14. I think my oddest one by far was when I had to look up if Western guns could kill a crocodile. Though, I also followed a vending machine blog once for research purposes.

    Fun fact: Vending machines kill more people a year than sharks.

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    Replies
    1. Beware the vending machine!

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    2. Yeah, they fall over and crush people. It happens more than you would think.

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  15. Recently (not for a book) I had to look up quotes about socks for a project in school. There were odd quotes.

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