I live in the basement of my house. For the last few nights, I've been hearing some weird noises: scratching, rustling, small thumps, things like that. I was starting to worry that we had a mouse down here. After finding a live mouse in my desk drawer at work once (eating my peanut-butter cups!), I wasn't eager to meet another rodent.
However, I couldn't find any mouseholes in the wall, droppings, or any other sign of mice. Last night, I decided I was finally going to get to the bottom of all this.
A few minutes later, I was Googling "rabbit in my window well."
Given its tiny ears, my visitor must be a baby. From the sounds I've been hearing, I think it's been trying to get out, but it's way too little to jump that high. I don't think any of my roommates or I own a net, so this could get interesting.
Unexpected fuzzy guests aside, we writers often have to Google some unusual topics. Here are some of my favorite resources for finding those esoteric details we never knew we needed:
If you'd like to ask a real person, try the Trauma Fiction Facebook group.
Wikipedia, believe it or not. The "References" and "External Links" sections of a page can be a great resource for finding more-credible sources of information.
Searching "the art of manliness" on Pinterest brings up lots of how-tos for unusual situations, from falling without hurting yourself to calculating the number of daylight hours left. These may or may not actually be good ideas IRL (I'm not qualified to say), but they can provide inspiration for how characters might try to handle the applicable circumstances.
Writing sensitively about mental health: https://btleditorial.com/2020/01/14/writing-mental-health-and-trauma-in-fiction/
Searching "humans are weird" on Pinterest brings up lots of points about humans that we normally don't think about but that would be really bizarre to a member of another species.
Who said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" or another famous phrase? It might not be who you think. The person behind https://quoteinvestigator.com/ seems to do thorough research to figure out exactly whom we should be attributing famous quotes to.
Still need help finding that elusive piece of info? Between working as a research assistant and being a writer myself, I've learned a thing or two about how to figure out the right search terms. Click here to book a consultation call with me so I can help you quickly find what you need and get back to writing!
(Thanks to Satyabrata sm for sharing their work on Unsplash.)