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Research and Fiction
Is Research Necessary in Writing Fiction?
One of the most important steps in the writing process is researching. This process can be a long and arduous process, but it is essential to the success of your story.
Some might argue: “But fiction depicts imaginary characters, events and situations. It has nothing to do with reality.”
Well, yes and no.
Because to be able to come up with a gripping fiction, you should write imaginary characters, events and situations in the most realistic way possible.
If you can do this, readers will be drawn into your story and your characters.
If you can do this, plot holes will be eliminated.
If you can do this, you will make your story authentic and plausible.
This is why research is important in writing fiction.
But you may ask: What should I research?
Research the genre/s you are writing about. This is to make you aware of writing conventions and tropes commonly used in that genre/s.
Research on different authors’ writing style. Don’t just read their books. Study their creative process, their writing style, and the tone and voice with which they write. But please, do not plagiarize. Instead, learn from them and create your own, unique writer’s mark.
Research on details and elements within your story, which include the following:
Setting, which does not only mean the time and location where the story is happening, but also the social, cultural and other details relevant to your story. For historical fiction, learning about historical backgrounds is a must.
Characters, which involve studying human behavior and human nature to make them relatable to readers.
Researching nowadays is a breeze and does not necessitate going out of your house.
There are lots of information on the internet, but make sure they are veritable and authentic sources. You can also do interviews with actual persons and study their behavior. Also, visit locations to gain insights about those places.
Okay, fine. You’ve done your research. Now what?
Incorporating research into your story can be tricky.
Do not put in every bit of information you’ve learned. If you do, you may come off as too technical or too preachy, and this may create plot holes.
Make sure to include only those details that are directly relevant to your story, and your research will not be in vain.
The more research you do, the better your writing will be in the end.
However, you should avoid researching too much and becoming too caught up in the process.
Research is essential to writing. But all writers should take a break from research as this can become a distraction.
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