Research Tip!


I attended the Quartz Mountain Writer’s Retreat last year and learned a lot about worldbuilding and writing from the speaker, Mel Odom.  Funny enough, he shared a small writer’s tip and we were all so intrigued by something so simple–something most of us had not known about–we ended up using up some of his precious teaching time. 

But, if you ever attend a Mel Odom workshop, you’ll soon realize that the man can fit A Lot of teaching into a small amount of time. 

So, what’s the tip?

When you are on the Internet researching and come upon a great site, instead of physically printing out that site, choose your print option, then click on Microsoft Office Document Imaging.  This saves that site as an image document in whatever research folder you’ve set up on your computer.  It gives you a screen shot complete with addresses and get this… working links! 

Mel said it’s invaluable for when you need to prove a small bit of research–you’ll have the site, and everything word for word and you don’t have to wade through paper to get it. 

I use this sooo much now.  

I create a folder for each writing project.  In that folder, I’ll have documented research sites, a “note” file that stays open while writing so I can quickly refer to it for adding or finding notes, saved images of characters, uh, the actual writing, etc.  I used to print all this out but since I’m a pack rat when it comes to my office, well… you can imagine.  The nightmare! 

So now, everything I need is neatly documented in folders and I make sure to back those folders up often.   


About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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4 Responses to Research Tip!

  1. carol says:

    What a great idea. That might work for work too. I will have to try that. Thanks. Hope things are good. Working on my final draft for Agatha Ann so I can send it off. Take care, Carol

  2. michele says:

    That is a wonderful idea! Except … well … I tried it, and I don’t seem to have that feature!!! woe is me 😦

    I guess I will stick to ‘save for offline’, not as easy because you have to tote the laptop around, but it’s better than nothing I guess.

    Hope you had a ‘not-so-rainy’ weekend!

  3. relliott4 says:

    Glad you like it, Tempest!

    Oh Michelle, are you on a Mac? I wonder if that has a different option? If you’re using Windows, The Microsoft image option is in your list of printers. It looks like a little printer. Should be the last printer option. I hope you do have it. 🙂

    Good luck with that manuscript, Carol!

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