Daddy's Christmas Angel

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Google Changes Everything for a Novelist

Parking Lot at Sunset - MMSikes
How quickly things change. An ordinary parking lot turns into magic at sunset. And a novel you think is going one way suddenly takes a U-turn in the opposite direction. That change in my novel happened because of Google.

When I first started writing books, as the Passenger to Paradise, I spent a lot of time at the local library using various reference materials to enhance what I already knew about the destination I was visiting. For my first novel, Hearts Across Forever, set in Jamaica, I not only researched that island nation, but I learned more about subjects such as hypnotic regression and reincarnation because my characters were involved in both.

For my current project, Jungle Jeopardy, I planned to have my characters get involved in a kidnapping and much more in Costa Rica. But then Google and my characters took over. I remembered my own adventures in the Maya ruins and started reading and Googling the ruins of Central America. What I've learned has been compelling, and my characters are out of control having a wild adventure in the jungles of Guatemala. While in the past the Passenger to Paradise has always written from personal experience, now I've discovered a journey so dangerous only Google can handle it for me.

Because so much is available at the touch of a key, Google changes everything for the novelist. Have you changed the way you research and write. Do you still spend hours at the library researching? Or do you have your own system.

11 comments:

GigglesandGuns said...

I admit, I still use both. Sometimes I use the library just to get out for a while. Other times I can bing home books and videos.

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never done research for one of my novels in a library. I love libraries . . . but I find it's so much easier to just copy and paste the information I need from a website into a document.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I admit, I've never used the library. Just experience, real-life research, and Google. And movies! Can't forget those.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Monty. I posted about this awhile ago. In researching my latest novel set on Nantucket in the US, I was able to take virtual tours of the new police station, watch cranberries being harvested, and take a drive down the streets. Too cool! I would have preferred to catch a plane and see for myself (I will if the book is successful) but for now, isn't google cool! But I do like searching through fusty papers in libraries.

Denise<3

Join the Romantic Friday Writers group. First challenge - Dire Moment.

Grammy said...

Hi, Monty,
I am trying to catch up with people who visited my blog during the challenge and return the visits. I love the library...I should since I have been a reader for more than 70 years. It is one of my life's greatest pleasures. My writing is limited to what I do on my blog, but write I must. I am a retired elementary teacher and librarian. There is nothing like the smell of books...it is better than lilacs (almost). It thrills me to meet writers. Thanks for visiting me. Ruby

Monti said...

Thanks, Giggles, Golden, Alex, L'Aussie, and Grammy for your comments. I want to keep the libraries and everything new we have. You're right, Alex, movies are a great research tool!

Hope your book hits the bestseller list, Denise, so you get to visit Nantucket!

Enid Wilson said...

You are amazing, always on different writing journeys. How did you manage your time and focus?

Chemical Fusion

Monti said...

Enid, my time and focus are insane. Right now, I am trying hard to complete my next Passenger to Paradise book, Jungle Jeopardy, on time while keeping up with everything else. It's hard. On top of it all, baseball season is in full swing, and I have to watch all the Cardinals games on satellite TV!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Oh yes. I can search for places and people that live in settings that I can't make it too. I can find weather patterns during off seasons. It's makes it easier because I can search from home and right when I have the need, but I also get distracted by all the other information out there.

Chuck said...

Monti, eveywhere I turn there are sunsets. I even posted some pictures. Must be in the air...or is that the smell of Google thinking?

Monti said...

Holly, I get caught up in searches and then sidetracked by them as well. Wish I could stop at reading only what I need, but I can't.

Chuck, I love sunsets! Google thinking? Could be...