“Fiction is less expensive than non-fiction because there is no research required.” This is from a podcast I recently listened to and it really stuck in my craw. I listened to that bit four or five times to make sure I heard right. No research required for fiction? I can’t even fathom writing a story without some sort of research.
Just because I write fantasy doesn’t mean I get to make up everything. I need to ground it in reality and that takes research.
No matter how obscure the subject, I need to know the basics. Even if what I learned doesn’t end up in the book, it still colors what I write. Knowing allows me to find ways to bend things into something workable for me. I’ve twisted mythological figures. I’ve personified objects. I’ve taken little known facts about historical figures and turned them into characters. I use real world places. None of this would be possible without research.
Research also sparks story ideas. For those of you who have a problem coming up with ideas, pick a subject, do a little research, and use your imagination.
In my opinion, research is a required part of writing, it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe research is important?