The greatest tool we as writers have in the early 21st Century for researching is the internet. By no means can it give us everything, but it certainly can get us going in the right direction. Before I go on a research trip, I spend several hours or even days looking up information on my destination so that when I arrive, I’m already ahead of the game and can concentrate on things that are more sense base (smell, touch, sound, taste).
I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of reliable bookmarks I use to help me in this research. So today I thought we’d do a little swap meet of sorts. Below are links to some of my favorite mainstream and offbeat web sources. Feel free to bookmark them for yourself if you don’t have them already. Then when you’re done add your own links in the comments that you think others would find useful.
So here we go!
Yahoo Currency Converter
DICTIONARIES/WORD REFERNCE SITES
Webster’s Dicitonary and Thesaurus
etymonline.com Online Etymology Dictionary.
Wikipedia Always a great place to start any search. But make sure you get back up information, some of the entries are iffy at best.
BabelFish For your quick translation needs. Again, use a real native speaker for any actual translations you’ll put into your story!
AcronymFinder.com Unsure what that odd acronym means? No problem…just enter the letters and hit Find.
IMDB.com Need to know about the career of a particular movie star? Interesting in the credits to that movie you loved? This is the site used by the pros.
WebMD.com Look up that disease you want to give to your bad guy.
Airport Routing International Find out what airports are located where, their IATA codes, elevation, runway lengths, latitude and longitude.
IntelligenceSearch.com Links to tons of international intelligence agencies.
TimeAndDate.com – great source for everything time and…well…date related. World clocks, calendars for any year, moon calendars, daylight savings time dates, etc.
FindAGrave.com Just like it says…looking for a grave? Find it here.
KissThisGuy.com A catelog of misheard song lyrics. Fun stuff.
All Time Greatest Hits From 1944 up to the present day – just the facts, the top 20 lists.
Fantasy Name Generator
Your turn now. Share some of your favorites!