serria: (Default)
[personal profile] serria posting in [community profile] write_away
I recently watched the documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply, which was about the lack of privacy online. One segment was about an apparent ability to track down what individuals have searched for on Google. The film crew tracked down one guy whose Google search results included things like "how to kill my wife", "cheating wife" and "decapitation"... seems fishy, right? Surprise, the guy was actually a writer for a crime drama, and did the searches for work.

So my question is, do you ever google really weird things for writing research? Anything that might seem suspicious to an outsider?

I can say I've googled a lot of injuries - knife and sword injuries, mainly, as well as effects of poisons. I think I even once googled home-made bombs, or historical explosives, or something like that, and even remember getting really paranoid that the FBI was going to get suspicious.

Date: 2014-10-26 04:11 pm (UTC)
inevitableentresol: video game character Ema Skye writing in her notebook (Ema Skye writing)
From: [personal profile] inevitableentresol
I tend to make my google search terms as oblique as possible, while still hopefully getting the results I want, for exactly this reason. Or I go to Wikipedia and search through there.

The thing I feel least comfortable about searching for is actually international ages of consent, even though I have no intention of writing anything skeevy in that area. It's a genuinely interesting subject and my own country changed its age of consent while I was a teenager, adding to my confusion, but I still feel a little creepy doing it.

I'm guessing hundreds of thousands of bored teenagers have searched for how to make a bomb. I know my brother and all his friends did. I doubt the FBI tracks them all. And I'm in a country where they regularly still find terrorist bombs, so if anyone is worried, I should be.

The latest bomb they found near me was so badly made that the police issued a statement that it couldn't harm a kitten. The maker probably should have done more googling himself.
Edited Date: 2014-10-26 04:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-10-26 04:46 pm (UTC)
siofrabunnies: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siofrabunnies
Weirdest thing? Probably the research for a cannibal serial killer. Taste of human flesh, how to cook people, real-life cases, how to butcher a human body, how to dispose of inedible remains.

And, while I've never done it in my own writing, I've also researched bombs, especially when a show or book makes me go, "how does that go in a bomb?" The oddest one was probably toothpaste.

Date: 2014-10-26 06:11 pm (UTC)
silailo: (pencils)
From: [personal profile] silailo
What really gets me is the crazy results I get with seemingly benign search words. Especially when I'm trying to search for images. There are so many things I have not been able to unsee.

I think the closest "weird" thing I've had to search for was about safecracking or maybe bank robberies.

Date: 2014-10-26 08:05 pm (UTC)
nayance: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nayance
This site is super useful for all sorts of things that you can't really just type into Google. AskReddit on Reddit (funny enough) is a goldmine for personal experiences that are sometimes ultra-specific, so sometimes I search there to see if anyone's posted anything that could help me.

To answer your question, probably a mix of ultra specific injuries and DIY medical crap. I've got a friend who looks up gore and such, so normally I just ask him, but y'know.

Date: 2014-10-27 01:40 am (UTC)
perfectworry: she was still young not yet highly strung which you need to be when you get older (she grows wild in my heart)
From: [personal profile] perfectworry
My writing tends towards innocent and tame - no serial killers, not even any detailed sex. I think the weirdest thing I've searched for was "pseudocide," for a character who faked his own death.

When in doubt, I'll read through the tags on [livejournal.com profile] little_details.

Date: 2014-10-27 12:53 pm (UTC)
inevitableentresol: video game character Ema Skye writing in her notebook (Ema Skye writing)
From: [personal profile] inevitableentresol
Thanks for that link. What a fantastically useful community.

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