Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Weird & Worrying: Writers' Browsing Histories

I was googling the value of cocaine the other day when it struck me it wouldn't look very good if a police officer stumbled across my browsing history. It was only research for my novel (I'm about as gangsta as Mary Poppins), but my next questions, 'Do police need a warrant to search your storage facility?' and 'Reasons why sniffer dogs retire' would hardly have put them at ease.

Still, I bet my searches are very tame compared to those of crime writers. After all I've also asked google, 'How old is pocahontas?' 'How much is a small pi├▒ata?' and um, examples of 'men with big curly hair'. 

Curious to know what was in other writers' browsing histories, I put the question to Twitter. Here's what they said. I'll leave it to you to guess the genre and possible plot of their works of FICTION* (*I hope, anyway).













What about you? What's ended up in your browsing history in the name of research? 

6 comments:

Jane Ide said...

When I was in my twenties my father used to ring me fairly regularly - not for a general chat or to ask for news, just to ask things like 'do you happen to know what the gestation period is for dolphins?' or 'what poisonous plant would leave no trace in the victim's blood stream, do you think?' It was years before I realised he was researching his latest stories. He'd have adored Google ...

As for my search history: the mummification of bodies in peat bogs. Did you know they only mummify if they are submerged during the cold winter months? Completely ruined a key plot point for me, that did.

Emily Benet said...

Brilliant! I'd be lost without google, I'm a bit of a lazy researcher really, I just want to get on with the writing bit.

And no, I did not know this mummification fact, thank you, I'm sure this knowledge will come in handy one day... Thanks for your comment Jane!

Hayley N. Jones said...

An acid that could cause serious harm, but also might be mistaken for fake blood is the weirdest search I've done of late. It took much googling, but I think I found the answer...

Emily Benet said...

Wow, that's quite specific Hayley! Especially since it should look like fake blood not even real blood... I bet your google search brought up some nasty images along the way! I think I'm glad you found it, but I'm not sure... :S

HJ Hampson said...

Oh yeah, I forgot 'how long does it take to bleed to death if your tongue is cut out'. Fortunately someone had already asked a Yahoo question on this!

Emily Benet said...

I really hope that person who'd asked Yahoo was a writer doing research too!!