“It’s Research, I Promise”: A Writer’s Google History

This month I’ve been a bit quiet because I’ve been taking part in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Admittedly I’m not going to “win” the month as I’m still well off the 50,000 words target but it’s been really useful for making writing part of my daily routine. I’ve also stopped feeling so paralysed by indecision on plot points and just jumped it. It’s been a lot of fun!

No doubt you’ve heard writers talking about the strange and worrying things they look up on the internet while doing research for a story. I’ve never worried about that before (I’m a medievalist, my google history has always been weird anyway) but I had a look over my recent search history this week and realised it certainly looked dodgy.

I’m writing a story set in Newcastle with lots of fantasy and supernatural elements, so I thought I’d share with you some honest google search terms that have probably got the GCHQ agent who monitors my internet a bit weirded out this month (I’d like to take this opportunity to say hello to my personal GCHQ agent! Thanks for rigging it so that the pizza shop always texts me just when I’m contemplating takeaway. I don’t know how you do it.):

Where does Newcastle’s Black Gate get its name from?

Newcastle castle architectural style

Northumberland Medieval surnames

What is an aura?

UK legal notice period for employers to employees

Mediums and séances in 1890s Newcastle

How to conduct a séance

How to conduct and exorcism

Pictures of Tom Hiddleston looking gothic

Tom Hiddleston in Victorian period dress on the set of the film Crimson Peak.

This is genuine research for a character description! Really! (Pic from pinterest)

Standard hertz measurement UK mains electricity

Map of Newcastle Victoria tunnels

Who’s Melekh?

Hierarchy of Church of England cathedrals

Why are demons associated with sulphur?

How to clear google search history

Medieval manuscript fragments used as part of book binding

Coffee shops in my area

Coffee shops that serve alcohol in my area

When did Hemmingway die? What of?

He’s dead, Jim. gif

McCoy from Star Trek Original Series crouched over a body, saying "He's dead, Jim."

Newcastle Victoria tunnels tour times

Free software to stop you checking facebook

How many otters fit in a Fiat 500?

Average size of an otter

How far can you hear an explosion?

No, not a nuclear explosion.

How fast do explosions travel through urban centres

Nuclear explosion map plotter

Lonely Island YOLO

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