There’s nothing better than the Farmer’s Almanac when looking for facts. Here is a link to the resource. I found some other great sites to supplement it.
One other quick reference is Time and Date. This site lets you play with time like you’re a Time Lord. No, not really, but it does show you the exact time and date for your time zone. Great! (sarcasm font) It lets you explore calendars from any year. You can find out what day of the week your heroine from your regency novel was born. You can explore time with questions such as how many days between two dates. Wonderful for those characters who say things like, “My birthday is in two hundred and eleven days.” Or maybe it’s a wedding count down or one for a military deployment. You can check the time in any time zone as compared to your own. The site also has weather, moon phases, sunrise, sunset, and lunar and solar eclipses. You can really explore your world with these accurate time measurements. There is also a For Fun section that will give you a clock and a countdown clock for your website. I haven’t tried it yet, but what fun to have a countdown clock for your latest release?!
World Fact Book probably could have worked nicely on the encyclopedia page. (Wiki says it’s an almanac, and I believe them.) The page is brought to you by the CIA. Yep, the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Here you can find facts about every country. Each entry includes a map, the flag, and a complete list of facts and figures about the country. This site can be instrumental if your character is a world explorer. Under their reference section, they have even more options. If you only need a bit of data, check out their Country Summary section. There’s a flag page, a travel page, and even a comparison of the country section.
I’ll throw this site in as a reference we only remember at census time. The US Census Bureau’s site contains oodles of information that can make your novel sharp. You can explore topics such as marriage, employment, race, poverty, health, and more. And you can check for any year. Again, great for historical novels. You can view the level of education in the population you’re writing about and get those data points correct. You can also see how diverse the population was or wasn’t. One section that really caught my eye was America Counts: Stories. There are articles and stories about various topics regarding education, population, and more. Talk about inspiration for a new story!
Hopefully, these three resources, along with the good old Farmer’s Almanac, will give you the data needed to make your story great.
Our last reference entry for next week will be specific writer resources. See you then!