What type of research needs to be done?

by Marissa

Question In my book I want one of my characters to be a pretty good hacker and as cool as it would to be one I am not and I know really nothing about them and what they do. So what kind of research would I need to do so it seems like I know what I'm talking about when my characters hacking into somewhere? Do I need to actually do research or can I just say that the character hacked into the system and stuff like? that way you know they're hacking but you don't have detail on it. If I need to do research where would I find this kind of information? Do I just google hacking information?

Answer: The more you know about hacking, the more authentically you will be able to write about it. If hacking is important to the story, it is the details that will make it seem real.

When I say important, I mean does the hacking procedure constitute an important part of the plot? There are lots of police procedure stories where the focus is on catching the bad guy and not on the fact that he hacked into something. It depends on your story.

Either way, doing at least some research on hacking and hackers will give you more ideas for the story, because you will learn about what can and can't be done, the problems and challenges hackers deal with, the methods they use, etc. You don't need to become an expert hacker yourself, but you want hackers to be able to read your book and see that you know what you are talking about. Such details will also give any reader the impression that you know your subject matter. You may discover some interesting facts about the hacking world that could make your story richer.

Chances are you will also learn something about the people who become hackers, which may help with your character development.

I wouldn't recommend breaking any laws, but you might check out groups like Anonymous. I believe there are certain websites that offer information on how to participate in Anonymous and basic hacking methods. This may be useful if you want to have a scene where you describe your character hacking into something.

On the other hand, if you just want more general information, you can find plenty of articles on the subject of hacking.

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