Deny, Deny, Deny! #AtoZChallenge – Peculiar ‘Pen fellows’ – Quirks only a writer can understand

Deny, Deny, Deny!

The internet can be a powerful tool, and for writers who often drown themselves in research, google is both a blessing and a curse. You can search for anything, and though you often need to confirm a source or get the information backed up, in many cases there’s visual evidence to support the results – just ask YouTube! I’ve watched live demonstrations on how to break free from zip/cable tie restraints, and how to immobilise an attacker using pressure points. I didn’t test these out by volunteering my friends as guinea pigs (ouch), but it gave me a starting point, so I could tap my source on all things defence related.

I’m sure we’ve all heard jokes about writers being on watch lists, and though this might be said in jest, it’s true that we have some pretty incriminating search results! Or we do at first glance. It’s all innocent of course, done in the name of research, and really, how else are we going to learn these things? Okay, we could ask the experts, but face to face… come on. Sometimes it’s just easier to have a computer to hide behind.

Granted, if we’re lucky, and we have contacts within the police, armed forces, or other emergency services we can bribe the information out of them for a good story. And there are people willing to share their real-life accounts of historical events, so you can put yourself in their shoes…or force your characters into them.

Regardless, there’s no getting around the fact we challenge google to answer our random, impromptu questions. And it can be a great deal of fun, because sometimes you get more than you bargained for. As long as you have a way to explain away search results to members of your family, you’re golden. It’s not like you’ll be taken in for googling the best surveillance equipment on the market, unless of course you purchase said equipment and use it for nefarious means. Looking up the information doesn’t turn you into a stalker, or a Nancy Drew wannabe. And researching exotic poisons doesn’t mean you have it in for someone. The fact is, as writers, we don’t need to take our frustrations out on real people, because our weapon is our imagination and our characters give back as good as they get!

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