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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's Murder! And Notes on Research

Up to page 47 today and already at 10,400+ words. Introduced the murder in today's pages--there had to be one, of course. Also brought in another player, a cop who will figure prominently in the story. I had to stop and do some research about what particular law enforcement body would be called in on a crime at the place where this occurs.

Thank goodness for the World Wide Web! Once upon a time, a writer had to spend hours in a library or write letters to experts or amass tons of reference books which most likely became out of date in a hurry. Now, when I need a fact, I turn to a search engine, type in what I want to find out, and start picking through the hits. (Sort of like a detective?) You've got to be careful about what sources you choose to believe. Wikipedia is a good first stop for the overall. In the case of today's fact finding mission, I then turned to the website of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and read about their services and what they investigate.

I've also used mapping software and satellite images to determine if a locale I want to use is valid. Is there actually a beach where I need it to be? Are there buildings in the way of something? Is it feasible for a character to get from one place to another in a predetermined length of time? Can he/she stand in a certain spot and see the sight they need to see? There are so many possibilities for getting facts right and doing it quickly, there's really no excuse for getting it wrong.

On another subject, I heard from Shelley, the editor at Write Words, that she received "The Changeling Kill" manuscript I sent the other day. She said it might be 6 to 8 weeks before she can work on it, but I hope what I've sent is very clean and we can get through the galley process quickly.

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