Ever read a story and thought, “Man, what is this, a how to manual?”
Conversely, ever read one and thought, “Holy cow, that is not how that works!”
So, how much research is too much?
From a scifi perspective, I try to incorporate as much reality in my biology, environmental procedures, and technology; I mean, spaceships need some kind of fuel, right?
Is it better to use an endless supply of 100% energy output ElementX, or is it better to utilize zero-grav propulsion and provide a slight description of how it works?
Maybe a combination of the two is best, and my suggestion is if a long description is absolutely pertinent, put in dialogue. Make it fun, not a study guide.
Not everything is scifi, though. Sometimes, stories utilize history or criminal methodology.
Research is always important. The last thing you-as a writer-want is a review from a reader stating that you don’t know what you’re talking about. It can really affect your reader base, and as a reader, the last thing you want is to find a wholly inaccurate depiction of something in which your well educated.
It’s a delicate balance, no doubt, but I wanted to put it out there. Research is important; researching a town, a culture, history, science, whatever, but it can’t overshadow the plot, characters, or story in general. Beta readers are a great way to find out what the right balance for your particular story is, and it can vary based on the length of your work as much as your portrayal of the study.
I’d love to know if anyone can share an experience, a reader or writer, on this topic.
Have you written a story and received comments regarding your research?
Have you read a story and found it to benefit/detract because of the level of research implemented?
Thanks, everyone. You’re all aces in my book.