Writing: How Authors Can Find Answers to Tricky Questions

Headshot of Samantha Warren

With 20 self-published  books to her name, US indie fantasy writer Samantha Warren was familiar with the problem of struggling to find answers to the kind of tricky questions that many authors face – the kind that even Google can’t always answer. An avid and resourceful networker, she set about providing a solution that would not only answer her questions but other authors’ too. She named it the Writer’s Question Cave, and she’s here to invite you to step inside…

“Ignore my search history. I’m not a serial killer, just a writer.”

I’m pretty sure all writers have run into a moment when you needed the answer to a question, but Google failed you. Then you were stuck asking friends or family, which would get you strange looks, if not a call to the police. “How do you chop up a body?” isn’t exactly a confidence-building question. (Yes, I did ask that one.)

I was in the process of writing a story about a woman who killed her ex-boyfriend in self-defense, but she freaked out and wanted to dispose of the body. I wasn’t quite sure what to do and Google was not at all helpful (weird, right?)

Enter the Writer’s Question Cave

Cover of Third Key

Samantha Warren’s latest book

I realized that lots of author buddies have had to ask strange, and sometimes outright scary, questions in a public forum like Facebook. And I’m sure our non-writer friends worry about us. So I created the Writer’s Question Cave to solve this little problem that all writers run into.

Amazingly enough, it was a big hit and we’re already nearing 100 members. And no one freaks out at strange questions. Not only do you get wonderfully helpful answers to questions like “What drink will knock someone out but not be detectable in a drug test?” and “What berries grow in the tropics?”, authors have been sharing fabulous information, such as what size bullet holes different calibres would leave, the limits of the human body, and what different poisons will do in a murder.

You know, basic writer stuff.

A Generous Community

Photo of two goats

One of Samantha Warren’s special subjects: goats!

One thing I didn’t expect, which I’m absolutely in love with, is that people started offering up their expertise without being asked. We created a document to keep track of what everyone would be able to help with, and let me tell you, that list is HUGE. There’s everything from backgammon to scuba diving to goats (that would be me) to anesthesiology. I think we might be able to give Wiki a run for its money.

So writers, do you want a place to ask those morbid, strange, crazy questions without having your parents call to ask if you’re okay? Come on over and join the Writer’s Question Cave!

OVER TO YOU Has Sam’s Writer’s Question Cave solved a problem for you? Do you know of any other great resources like this? We’d love to know!

#Authors - puzzling over a weird question? You need @_samanthawarren's Writer's Question Cave!… Click To Tweet



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7 Responses to Writing: How Authors Can Find Answers to Tricky Questions

  1. Dean Morrissey March 9, 2016 at 11:12 pm #

    By the way,can i join this group?

  2. michael james gallagher March 9, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    I just put in my request. Nice article.

  3. Bill Thompson March 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    I clicked the link on Writers Question Cave but it says “closed group.” How do I join? This is a great idea, by the way. I researched for how to keep signs of heroin addiction secret from your friends and got a live chat person who wanted to reach out and help me fight my addiction!

    • Samantha Warren March 9, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

      There should be an option to join on the right-hand side.

  4. Russell Phillips March 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    There’s a similar community on LiveJournal, called Little Details:


  1. Writing: How Authors Can Find Answers To Tricky Questions | WordHarbour - March 10, 2016

    […] Samantha Warren With 20 self-published books to her name, US indie fantasy writer Samantha Warren was familiar with […]

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