Google (other search engines are available) is great for the average writerly needs. Especially now that so many libraries have reduced hours. And lets face it even in their heyday not many were open at 3.30pm on a Sunday.
The ability to type in set words and have a plethora of facts (some more reliable than other it has to be pointed out) is a boon. Writing historical fiction as I do having that tool at my fingertips saves hours of hair-tearing.
A few weeks ago it was breeds of dog. Today it was trains.
Looking into railway lines for the 4th Bunch Courtney Investigation I was drawing blanks on google. Yes I got lots of hits on railways but finding the simple facts about what lines ran where through the county of Sussex in years before Beeching was time consuming to say the least.
Fortunately I had, some time ago, obtained a Bradshaw’s Guide to Surrey and Sussex Railways, which has lain unread for a long while, but voila – it contained all I needed to know at a glance. Result!
I now know where trains stopped, which lines connected where, and all stations (if you will excuse the pun) in between.
Where could a body be dumped. Which line would take the murderer to where and did they need to change lines? Yes in the scheme of things its not much and quite probably the plot would not suffer if it was not exactly right… but I am that nerd.
Aahhh the smell of old books and the sweetness of a fact well found. I love research. Its an illness. There should be a support group 🙂