The importance of research

Research is part and parcel of an author’s life. No matter where we are we would always be doing some research regardless of what we’re writing.

Even if they say we should write what we know. There are always gaps in our knowledge, and that writing is largely about the experience. And that means that we need to know what we’re talking about. And goes back to the idea of research.

If we are able to truly understand, we can bring an authencity to the entire story without feeling as though it is being lifted. Or it is copy pasted from the wikipedia page.

But writing is subjective and even if you do the best research possible immersing yourself in it. There will be someone who dislikes it. But there would be plenty more who appreciate the thought which went into it.

Just as there is no one right way to go around it. It can be the internet, books, visual or anything. Or everything. But research is a very integral part to the writing process.

Remember writing those academic papers? Or essays when we are expected to quote, and look things up the internet. For most that is something they dread, but those were papers.

It is a sign that writing is about bringing things that we see to life. To bring the world and sometimes ones which don’t exist.

That would always require a lot of thought. And thus, suggesting that research is something that we can never leave out of the writing equation.

Think of the tech manuals that you have read before. The writer likely had an expert whom they worked with, whom they consulted with who knew far more about the subject.

And the writer likely learned a lot in the process. Or when writers write their own unique experiences. Those are things that we have learned or experienced. And thus heading back to the idea that research is critical, and learning is always a part of the process.

Whether it is about a topic, yourself or perhaps about writing.

Research is not something that we should shun. Learning is something incredibly enlightening, and for me personally, as a historical fiction writer means that most of what I do is actually digging things up from the internet about what I do know.

2 thoughts on “The importance of research

  1. Personally, I have so far written works that relied on information I already knew. Sometimes I have to research a single item or two, but not for an entire book. I am always impressed by books that show the author did a lot of good research. The opposite, though, are books like The Historian, which read like the author never got beyond the wikipedia page and Lonely Planet entry. I think the depth of an author’s research comes out in the writing.

    1. I certainly agree too. That the depth of the research comes out in the writing. It is very clear since without the research, the story may or may not have a lot of holes or a very vague feel instead of a really in-depth, immersive experience.