Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Writing Journey 3: Research

This comic was previously published on my personal blog.

It's time for another visual representation of a part of the writing journey. (If any of the text is too small, click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Remember me? Yep, there I am, behind my laptop. I do actually have hair, but I'm incapable of drawing cartoon hair. So for the sake of this comic, I am bald.
Now, I like to be accurate with my writing, so I frequently need to cross-reference facts, just to make sure I'm not talking out my ass and accidentally having a character drive all the way from Seattle to Houston in a VW Bug without stopping for gas. As such, Google and I are good friends. Say hello to my friend, Google.
Because I have a crazy imagination and am easily amused, I often entertain myself by imagining some poor shmuck being stuck with the job of monitoring my internet shenanigans. Meet Rex:
Rex does nothing but sit at his computer all day and make sure I'm not googling anything that could be a threat to national security or offend someone who happens to walk past my laptop. Rex's job sucks.

Oblivious to Rex's watchful eye, I write.
And inevitably, I get stuck.

To Google, with a completely relevant but strange-when-viewed-out-of-context question:
And Rex doesn't really bat an eye at this point.
With my question answered, it's back to work. For a minute or two.
Because another quandary presents itself, and it's back to Google.
Question answered, back to writing. But you see, I have ADD or something (the attention span of a cracked out squirrel, anyway). So by this point, I've written the part that necessitated the google search, and have now flitted to another scene. Probably another chapter. Maybe not even the same book. And I've run into another question.
Back to Google!

Now, bear in mind, Rex doesn't know I'm flitting from scene to scene, book to book, paragraph to paragraph. He has no context for my searches, no frame of reference.

All he knows is what I'm googling.
And sometimes, in the midst of writing/googling/writing/googling/flailing/writing/googling...
...I'll have an unrelated-to-writing thought. And that thought will also necessitate a trip to Google.

Rex isn't judging me per se, he's probably just wondering what the hell I'm doing over here. I, meanwhile, have answered my random, non-writing-related question, and return to my customary madness.
But it gets better. Because I'm not just limited to Google. Oh no. There's always Wiki:
And poor Rex, he just doesn't know what to think.

He's wondering if my activities add up to something amusing, disturbing, inflammable, or possibly all three.

I flit to wikipedia once more.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.