This week I came to appreciate just how lucky I am to be writing during the Internet age. I recently started the research and plotting phase of my latest work-in-progress, and for the first time, the story I’m working on is set in a location I’ve never visited:
I’d love to hop on a plane and fly to
But wait? What would I do if I didn’t have the Internet? *cue blood-curdling scream*
It is hard to imagine how tough it would be to write this book without the convenience of having tons of information at my fingertips. What would my options be? Going to the library and pulling a dusty Encyclopedia Britannica from the shelf? Spending a small fortune on travel guides at the bookstore? Visiting travel agencies for brochures? Calling the Hawaiian Visitor’s Bureau and waiting weeks for a 50-page booklet that gives just the barest overview of the entire state?
Through websites such as TripAdvisor, I’ve found hundreds of pictures of the resort where my characters will be staying, along with firsthand descriptions from vacationers. Being such a popular destination, there are literally thousands of websites with endless lists of things to do on the beautiful islands of
So, while I would love to be lounging on white sand with a fruity alcoholic beverage in hand (and my trusty netbook for taking notes, of course), I am ever so grateful for this amazing tool that brings Hawaii into my small office in Austin.
What are some of the best research tools who’ve found when researching a setting that you can’t visit personally?