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Thursday, 26 February 2015

How Can Writers Research Taboo Subjects?

Here in the 21st century life is impossible if you can't access the Internet. Everything now depends on modern technology and pretty soon you'll need the World Wide Web to make a simple cup of tea.

As so much information is now available on the Internet, libraries are becoming obsolete and other research methods are taking a back seat to the computer.

All this may sound fantastic but as writers this is a potentially terrifying concept. Imagine you're the next Stephen King and you have to research a particularly gruesome murder. How are you going to do this without putting the authorities on high alert?

Gone are the days where people could innocently make a mistake on the Web. Every phrase you type is instantly recorded on your browser history, so how is the sentence how to make a bomb going to look to the FBI?

Now, as I just write chick lit, I can sleep well at night. But to other writers this issue must play on their minds. So many terrorism groups exist in Cyberspace that just the mere hint of something suspicious will be enough to wave several red flags in the government's security department.

And if officials do pay you a visit, are they going to be satisfied when you tell them you're just an unknown writer and that your next book happens to be about Islamic State?


  1. I've researched how to blow up a public building on the net (for a novel, I should add) and nobody's knocked on my door yet. Mind you, I have moved house so perhaps that's thrown the authorities off. I can't keep doing that though! It's far too stressful - and expensive!

    You make a good point and one which all writers need to be conscious of. Be careful out there!

    Bark Mason

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