If anybody were to look at my google search engine they would probably lock me away and take my laptop. I could be googling anything from the meaning of a word to figuring out how long a dagger wound takes to heal.(Or where you can get stabbed and still live) It's really important that authors know what they are talking about, right?
Here are a few questions and random things I've had to google this last week.
1) The order of military ranks.
- Lieutenant. A seasoned lieutenant with 18 to 24 months service. Leads more specialized weapons platoons and indirect fire computation centers. As a senior Lieutenant, they are often selected to be the Executive Officer of a company-sized unit (110 to 140 personnel).
- Captain. Commands and controls company-sized units (62 to 190 Soldiers)
- Major. Serves as primary Staff Officer for brigade and task force command regarding personnel, logistical and operational missions.
- Lieutenant Colonel. Addressed as "Lieutenant Colonel" or "Colonel." Typically commands battalion-sized units (300 to 1,000 Soldiers),
- Colonel. Typically commands brigade-sized units (3,000 to 5,000 Soldiers)
- Major General. Addressed as "General." Typically commands division-sized units (10,000 to 15,000 Soldiers).
Answer: It's a common misconception that cats can't see any colors, only shades of gray. Humans are known as trichromats, meaning they have three kinds of cones that allow them to see red, green, and blue. Cats are also thought to be trichromats, but not in the same way that humans are. A cat's vision is similar to a human who is color blind. They can see shades of blue and green, but reds and pinks can be confusing. These may appear more green, while purple can look like another shade of blue.
3) What is a suede jacket?
Answer: Suede - leather with the flesh side rubbed to make a velvety nap.
4) What is a foray?
Answer: A sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, especially to obtain something; a raid.
5) How long does it take for a fractured rib to heal?
Answer: A fractured rib usually takes at least 6 weeks to heal.
Making your book realistic requires research. It's time to own up to it: You don't actually know everything. (as nice as that would be) I have found that a really great way to learn more is to keep a notebook with me while I'm reading. The moment I come across something I don't know, a question pops into my mind, or I want to see if something is accurate I write it down so I can google it later. (That way I can finish the chapter!) It only takes a moment and your book and your IQ will be better because of it.
Readers depend upon authors to know what they are writing about. We, as authors, are communicating to readers and helping them learn - even if they don't know it.
What is one of the strangest things you've had to google for your book or just something you wanted to know? I would love to hear it! Please share in the comments below!