5 Sites to Answer Your Questions When You Can’t Get to a Librarian

Being a librarian, I do like a good reference website. I thought I would share a handful of my favorites, although I could easily list a couple dozen more.

Behind the Name and Behind the Surname
If naming characters drives you nuts (and it does me), these two sites are the best thing I’ve ever found.

Online Etymology Dictionary
Especially for fantasists and historical fiction writers who need to know word meanings and when they came into use, this is my favorite free source. (For favorite not free source, see the OED.)

Mayo Clinic
For people who are physically cruel to their characters and want to hurt them or give them some horrible disease, there are a lot of good medical websites out there. For instance, PubMed, is an excellent site, but I’m a huge fan of the Mayo Clinic site, especially the stuff found under Diseases and Conditions. It’s reliable information and easy for a normal person to understand.

Legal Information Institute
If there’s anything harder to understand than medical information, it’s the law. Cornell Law School runs this really excellent site explaining all manner of legal terms, concepts, cases, etc., in a way you have a hope of understanding.

Purdue OWL
Purdue’s Online Writing Lab is awesome for answering pesky grammar/language questions, and every writer has those from time to time.

So that’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll post more handy reference information from time to time.



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