Look For the Right Source and Have a Good Writing

By on January 28, 2014 . Category Column

Whether you write fact or fiction, there will come a point in your writing where you will have to do some sort of research.  Even fairytales (yes, fairytales) need a little research for historical accuracy. What types of garments and adornments did princesses in that day wear? How did they speak? With whom did they speak? What did a typical day entail? Writers don’t just put words on paper, they paint a picture.

Fast forward to today’s day and age and our initial reaction to research is to simply Google. Google is an excellent searching tool, but not necessarily a research tool.

The trouble with any search engine is that the source isn’t verified within the search.  Neither is the article’s accuracy.  It is up to the researcher to confirm information stumbled upon. (What’s the modern day adage? she asks with a wink. – “If it’s on the Internet it must be true!” Um, that would be false.)

Writers have to become mini experts in whatever topic they choose to write about. Altruistically, you want to get it right. But you also want to cover yourself. Once you put your words out there, they are out there forever. So make sure they’re the correct ones.

In order to verify information, first you want to check the credibility of the source. What’s the person’s educational or professional background? Have they written other articles on this subject before? Once you have established reliability, your next quest is to get multiple sources and then cross-reference them. If three different experts say that a princess wore a crown, by all means add a crown to the princess in your fairytale.

Of course, one might argue that the point of fiction or fantasy is that it’s supposed to be imaginary and completely fabricated. I don’t disagree. However, people seem to enjoy fantasies more when there’s an element of plausibility. After all, part of the fun is believing in the possibility that it can happen to you.

So for all my Widbook writers, source it, then write it and continue to write on. It is a royally gratifying experience….



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