• Altersaside

A Writer's Search History

It’s time for another rundown of weird things I looked up while writing my book.


This list is mostly from chapters 6-10 of Mercury Rising, but it does include a couple of things from the rest of the book. I am working hard not to put spoilers into this series of blog posts but be careful, if you look for them you will find them.


On to Google searching!


ANIMALS

I’m going to be honest with you, the animals in my story are pretty self-indulgent. I’m terrible at picking favorites -like really bad- but I’m great at falling in love equally with more than one thing. And what better place for my favorite things to be than in my stories!


Tigers - Oh how I love them! I did not, however, love the Google search. Do you know what happens when you look up “adorable facts for tigers”? Yep, you guessed it, pages and pages of cute, distracting, adorable, photographs. I lost an entire afternoon pretending to research the felines while really just admiring them.


Also, did you know that tigers don’t purr, they chuff? Holy adorable!! Here is a link to that cuteness.


Aside from the random cute facts I needed for Lia’s journal entry, I also used Google to search:

  • Do tigers see in the dark? - Really well.

  • How fast can I tiger run? - 35-40 miles per hour (that’s about 65 kilometers for the entire rest of the world).

  • How often do tigers eat? They have a real intermittent fasting thing going on.

  • Can you mount a tiger? With a saddle is what I meant. For riding. Like a horse. Side Note - I do not, in ANY way, think humans should ride tigers. I just liked the idea for my fantasy novel.


Merlin Falcons - The thing is, if it isn’t obvious yet, I’m such a nerd. I could write an essay about how it all started, (Jack London, Tolkien, etc). When I found out there was a falcon -already love it- named Merlin -I’m a true sucker for Merlin/King Arthur lore- I was so excited. Then I looked them up and found out that Merlin Falcons are blue. I could go on and on about being in love with them.


I learned from Google that I will need two years of falconry before I can get a Merlin falcon. So, there you go, you now know my retirement plans.

It should be noted that Merlin Falcons are only blue if they are male, and in my story, they are blue if they are male or female. That’s not because I didn’t know about the gender difference, it’s because I didn’t care.


Magical Steeds For Water - There are several times when I was writing that I could have made things easier on myself. I could have kept the characters on land and let them get attacked while they were sleeping. But no, I was too excited about putting them on a ship. So there I was, using Google to figure out what I could possibly use to get a hunter onto a ship in Fae territory. I’m happy to say that I quickly fell in love with Kelpies and I do think it would be great to see them in more stories.


ELEMENTS

As mentioned in my previous Google blog, I have characters in my book that are based on elements from the Periodic Table.

Phosphorus was a fun element to make a character from. In some ways, it was far easier than writing a character based on Mercury.

I still have a difficult time getting the kind of answers I need from Google regarding elements, but I think it’s because what I’m searching is a bit too abstract. Again, if it comes down to it, there’s no shame in abandoning Google searches in favor of talking to an expert.


Just remember to tell them you’re a writer BEFORE you ask any questions.



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