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What a Writer Should be Thankful For: The Internet

The Internet

I get down on my knees and thank God for this one? Why? Well, let’s go back to the days before internet, where if you wanted to know something or needed clarity on it, we had to travel all the way to the library to find a book on the subject, if we could find it. Then we had to search those books for the research we needed. And if it wasn’t in a book, then that means for inspiration and the ability to write about places no known, we had to travel there ourselves. Tough luck if you didn’t have the money to travel and see for yourself.

That meant that we writers really were stuck ‘writing what we knew, because unless we lucked out and a former Gion geisha who might have been happening to travel the states ran into us and agreed to give us an interview (that hasn’t ever happened btw) we couldn’t write about them, no matter how much we wanted to or how fascinated we were. And you try finding the French translations of certain phrases, or even trying to write accurate fanfiction back in those days (hell, fanfiction gets around through the internet). Point is, that’s a lot of research and a lot more time writing my novel which is inspired by man of the cultures, ideas, and readings I’ve done on the internet.

So we fast forward to the 2000’s and not only is there no excuse for us not to have accuracy in novels, but there’s also no excuse for anyone who wants to write a novel not to, or at least it makes the terms ‘I don’t know where to start’ obsolete. Check my blogroll folks. There’s a wealth of information on how to write anything from a paragraph to an encyclopedia on the internet, not to mention last minute stuff that you just want to be sure of is no more than a google search away. Not sure about a word and worried that your MS word spell check didn’t catch a wrong spelling or that you have the right one and MS word is just tripping as always? Google it.

Want to blend someone else’s culture into your book but have no clue what the culture is about? Google it or Yahoo it, whatever. The point is there is now no excuse for inaccuracies in novels unless you just purely want to make up your own customs through imagination. The internet is also a lifesaver for those who don’t have the transportation to get where they want, when they want, freely in the case of not having a car, or competing for it with family. And just about anyone can get to it someone. From the phones, to the tablets, computer, public library, the local college, it’s pretty easy to get to it. And finding what you want is no more than few words and a click away.

The drawback? Well, because everybody can access the internet, and everybody can get a website, or a blog, and throw together some information, the internet isn’t entirely accurate all the time and the best way to research is to cross reference different source. The possibility for inaccuracy is the very reason most colleges make you go through journals and academic essays from their own sites. At least if it’s in a book, it’s usually accurate and dependable, if you can find the book that is. Either way, the internet is still much quicker. Also, the internet needs electricity and is quite frankly very dangerous and vulnerable. All it takes is one virus and or some apocalypse that knocks out all the electricity and bye-bye internet.

But while we pray such a thing never happens, let’s give it up for the internet. It certainly made the job of us writers ten times easier. I would personally like to tell it that I don’t know how I would live without you. I wouldn’t have this blog for one it you weren’t around.

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