Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Research, Research, Research!

This Writer’s Journey Wednesday, we’re going to look at research. Regardless whether you like it or not, research is vital in writing both fiction and non-fiction. If you don’t have your facts straight, don’t be surprised if a reader sets YOU straight.

Interviews, exploring locations, and reading books are still used as resources, but the Internet has made research not only much easier, but an every day occurrence. We research the Web for information on everything from how to bake a cake to learning about parts of an engine.

We’re including a few Web sites today to aid in your own research. If you have some great ones that you’d like to share, please post them for our readers in the comments.


BIBLE REFERENCES

Type in a word and the version of the Bible you want used, and a list of Bible verses will pop up on your screen. Great for finding a verse that fits your topic, the exact wording, or where it's located.

Blue Letter Bible
www.blueletterbible.org

Bible Gateway
www.biblegateway.com


ONLINE DICTIONARIES

Visuwords is a free online graphical dictionary/thesarus. You can look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Diagrams are generated and show how words associate.
www.visuwords.com

The Online Etymology Dictionary gives explanations of what words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago. The origin of the word and when it was first used is also given.
www.etymonline.com

The Urban Dictionary gives definitions and examples of today’s language/slang.
www.urbandictionary.com


FREE VIDEOS ON HOW TO DO ALMOST ANYTHING

Ehow is a site that provides instructive videos for various subjects. You can learn how to tie various types of knots, train horses, get rid of mold and mildew, or become a secret service agent, etc. The videos also come with transcripts.
www.ehow.com


FOR HISTORICALS

We Make History
Great site for Georgian, Regency, and Victorian fashions.
www.wemakehistory.com

USHist
If you need a description for clothing--including children's wear, uniforms, dress and work for both men and women--from 1820 through 1920.
www.ushist.com/wardrobe.htm


FOR CONTEMPORARIES

This is a Recording
All kinds of standard phone error messages, announcements, etc. so you can be exact about what your character would hear on the landline phone, payphone, cell phone (including specific carrier’s messages), ring tones and distinctive warning tones of various carriers, etc. The site has both text and audio.
www.thisisarecording.com

US Census Bureau Quick Facts
You can click a state to learn most anything (current) about that state. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html

We hope this has been helpful! Again, if you have a favorite site, please share it with our readers by posting it in a comment.

Thanks!

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