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Encyclopedia Fun for the NF Writer

Cheryl's Musings: Encyclopedia Fun for the NF Writer

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Encyclopedia Fun for the NF Writer

As a kid, I loved encyclopedias--but as soon as I started writing professionally, I learned to shun them. After all, writers are supposed to use primary sources and hands-on research, right?

Well. Yes and no.

You can learn a lot from encyclopedias. For instance, one hot summer, I learned how to play poker: "Indian" poker, five card draw, seven card stud. I taught my younger brother and sister, then proceeded to win all their pennies. (I'm not sure my parents knew....)

My recent time using an encyclopedia introduced me to another great feature: anything that packs that much information (the history of the known world and universe) into that little space (a dozen or so volumes or, more likely, a few CDs) is a great source for article ideas. Take a look at your local encyclopedia's entries for the history of mathematics, the credit care, or zoos to gather tidbits for your next writing jaunt. Or check out the article on poker--hey, there have got to be other kids out there who want to learn how to play!

Or not :)


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