Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Chain - Where Do You Go?

Okay, so it's my turn to chose the topic for this round and I toooootally spaced (I was supposed to post yesterday).

So! Without further ado, here is my question:

There are so many things we have to include in our storyworlds...characters, world details, settings, etc. No matter what genre you write, your stories are full of tiny details that help create your storyworld. I know that for me, at least, finding or creating all these details can sometimes be a bit tough. 

Where do you go for help? And what types of things are you more likely to research/search for as opposed to making up on your own? Do you have any favorite resource sites? Share links if you have them!!

For instance, I had a rather lame name for my girls' boarding school in my book. I was using it as a filler and sort of never got around to giving it a more unique name. I wanted to remedy that but after a million edits (and as it was nearing midnight and I was a little fried) I just couldn't think of anything.

I started googling and found this site, Serendipity, which has several random name generators. I took a couple of the names it came up with, combined them, and now have a school name I absolutely love.

This article on K.M. Weiland's Author Culture blog has several good links for historical writers.

This site has a lot of great Old West info (I've spent a lot of time in their Western Slang section) :D

I've emailed horticultural societies for info on what types of flowers bloom in England in the winter, doctors to find out if 100 year old skeletons would still have hair, checked out a pirate lover site to find info on pistols, and googled the history of toilets :D

What sorts of things have you looked up? Do you have any great resource links?

Head over to Margie's to see what sorts of things she might be googling :)


Eric said...

Wow, this is going to be a toughie to answer. I like yours though. Thanks for continuing to make us think!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have a lot of links to sites about names, but I have to admit the source I use the most is the Bible.

Caledonia Lass said...

Well... lots of mine are geared for Fantasy, but I will share them anyway. My first and most favorite is Seventh Sanctum. Name generators of all kinds, story ideas... you name it. (www(dot)seventhsanctum(dot)com)

And then we have the three different sites I use to make up my own names, languages and other sorts of things. One is the Latin translator, the second is the Drow translator and the third is the Grey Company's site that has a complete dictionary of Tolkien's Elvish language. And for those that do not know what a Drow is, it is a dark elf, dark skinned, usually white/light hair and whatever color eyes. Those links are:
Latin: http://www(dot)translation-guide(dot)com/free_online_translators(dot)php?from=English&to=Latin

Drow: http://www(dot)grey-company(dot)org/Maerdyn/resources/translator/

And Tolkien's Elvish: http://www(dot)grey-company(dot)org/Circle/language/com2elv(dot)htm

My list of resource links could go on and on, but those are the four major ones.

Misha said...

I actually have this issue today. My boarding school used to be an Elizabethan house. It exists in reality, but I just can't find enough detail for me to figure out the details of how the school would work.

There will be rooms like the great hall, the long gallery and bell tower that I'd say would remain in tact, but that means I have to know which floors they are on. Because if my characters want to do something, I'd like to know that I'm applying it consistently. So... annoying.

Thanks for the links, though. I'm definitely bookmarking them for later. ^_^

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

This should be a useful topic!

Mark Noce said...

Good post! When I need help i always go to the same wife:) She gives me the support when I need it, the critiques when I need it, the ideas when I'm lacking them, and the interest to think...'hey, maybe some actually wants to read this.' She's my muse:)

Rebecca Knight said...

Oooh! Love the name generator :D. I'm bookmarking that one.

Thanks, Michelle!

Matthew MacNish said...

I spent a whole week writing posts about how I research, but the bottom line is that there is now so much information out there, and so many resources from which you can gather it, you can find almost anything. If you know where to look.

Christine Fonseca said...

I agree with Matt on this - the info is there if you just look.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the info we need interesting?! I'd love to know why you needed to know the history of toilets! Great topic for a blog chain!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I love the Googling the history of toilets story. I sometimes am typing search phrases into Google and think that if someone saw it they would really wonder about my sanity:)