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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries


Guide to research for your plot and characters

Learn About Your Setting

You will want to understand the place your setting your story as well as you know your hometown. Look at:

  • official websites (city government, visitor's information, Chamber of Commerce)
  • local media (local tv news, newspapers)
  • or more unofficial sites like Reddit subreddits, Yelp, etc.

Want some official statistics about your place? Try:


Listen to First-Person Accounts

Here are some suggestions for collections of first-person accounts or interviews, to better understand a person from different backgrounds/experiences. This is hardly an exhaustive list, but rather designed to get you thinking about hearing different voices.

There is no shortage of individual first-person accounts. Just browse wherever you go to download your favorite podcasts :).

Find Interviews

Assuming that you either you cannot directly interview relevant people, or you want to supplement your in-person interviews, here are some tips on locating interviews in print.


If the book is primarily an interview with a person, or if a large portion of the text consists of interviews with various people, then the book will be given the subject heading [person or type of person] -- Interviews, for example Social workers -- Interviews.

You can try just adding the keyword interviews in the search box, but you will also get results that have the word interviews anywhere in the record. So if you get too many, try narrowing the search to interviews in the subject field. Do this by using Advanced Search.

screenshot of advanced search in EWU Library Catalog

Magazine, Newspaper or Scholarly Articles in Our Databases

There's no consistent use of the word interviews as a subject heading in our article databases. And just searching interviews brings up too many irrelevant results. I have found that it helps to narrow better if you use the exact phrase "interview* with" instead, along with the person or type of person, and any other themes. (interview* will search interview or interviews.)

ProQuest Central is a good place to start, since it has a large number of articles from newspapers and magazines, along with scholarly journals.

screenshot of ProQuest Central search results