Is research important when writing your story?
The answer is yes.
But that doesn’t mean no creative license can’t be taken when writing.
Don’t get it?
Here how it goes.
When writing a story, the first step is obviously to know what plot you have in mind. Get a basic mould of the world you’re about to build and then ask yourself: is there something you need to know before finishing up the basic idea of your plot/world building?
Especially for historical fiction stories.
Research is extremely important to create a believable world and background since it is set in the past. I have friends who are historical fiction writers and the amount of work they put into their stories, from their plot notes to their research plans made me extremely appreciative when reading their works. They still do change things around when needed and they don’t really follow a rigid plan, but when they do incorporate their research into their stories, the quality is definitely there.
Genres like fantasy, and high-fantasy doesn’t require that much of research unless it’s venturing into steampunk and science-fantasy. That’s the beauty of the fantasy genre, you can create whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed or don’t have to research about certain things. Another one of my fantasy writer friends has set his world in the old ages and has taken time to do some research in that era and incorporated that into his completely made-up world. It shows when I read his books.
What about science-fiction or steampunk?
Research is advised in those areas as well, especially when you have a general science-fiction fanbase who knows their way around scientific terms and processes. Same goes to steampunk.
In short, research is a lot of work and sometimes can put someone off from writing but it’s worth it.
I, myself, have stopped writing many books because a certain plot requires extensive research just so it’s realistic and isn’t written poorly. Some new writers make these mistakes and I have read such books that has zero research done even when it’s needed, leaving my scientific-brain confused at certain twists in the book or certain terms that isn’t supposed to be done in such a way. You can argue it’s creative license taken by the author, but even then, to me, it has to make a little bit of sense.
But as always, at the end of the day, whatever you researched shows when you write.
It reflects the quality of your work and it shows your readers just how much you worked hard on the story you’ve written.
I, myself, have begun to realise just how important research is.
Now, whenever I’m writing, when I’m stumped about something, I don’t hesitate to look it up and jot it down. It’s also extra knowledge and as a knowledge geek, I, personally started to like researching things for my books.
New writer or old, if you start practising researching whenever you’re stuck about something or you just need some background information of the world you’re building or characters you’re writing, it is guaranteed your writing will improve and the quality of your books will increase.
In short, research is important. It’s an important step when it comes to drafting your story.
It ensures you’re not making up things especially in a realistic plot that is completely out of minds and it keeps your facts in check, especially if you’re putting your work out there for the world to see!
And so, with that said, happy writing!
Source: Happy Writing!