Thanks to both Ironspider and Charlie Cheesburger for their recent contributions to the discussions.
How important is research in writing for SFF? For example, in fantasy, how important is it to learn about real life examples of Medieval combat strategies and techniques? In SFF, how important is to be au fait with the actual science behind the world one is trying to describe? Isn't there space for a completely off-the-wall high fantasy 1001 Nights Gods, Men and Monsters story-telling? And who do you think such accuracy is more important for? For the reader or for the writer? Let us know below people.
At a former BALTICOM conference, some famous or at least successful write said something like a warehouse full of research notes for a bout a few paragraphs. But without it, there would have been no story.
It is said that research should be done, but not seen. SFF being different from today’s reality, it needs a lot of research, obviously. The completely off-the-wall fantasy appears effortless like that, but always has inbuilt logic for which the author works hard, I believe.
Might be considered a cheat, but I consider most of my non-fiction reading to be research, whether that be books, journals or online sources. Some of my writing has incorporated vague concepts I've stumbled across, others may be more vigorously researched science, history and the like. Sometimes a story is the direct result of my 'research', which may have help firm an idea I've explored, or the reading itself may spark a plot line or setting. I may then go into full research mode to try and check on possibilities rather than getting bogged-down in hard science. I agree with RT, that sometimes days' worth of fact-checking and note-compiling may only result in a paragraph or even a single line.
I used to read a lot of Arthur C Clarke's stories when I was young. It may have influenced my ideas on writing. I have a goal of making my stories as accurate and realistic as possible. I have this paranoid fear of writing a story and have a reader, who is a expert on that story's subject matter, say, "this writer knows nothing about this!" I fear being looked upon as a fraud. Also if you add some scientific background to your story, it adds to the readers enjoyment--I think. A lot of Sci Fi readers like science and want to see some detail. I admit Clarke goes overboard on science stuff. Anyway...that's what I do. With the internet, it really isn't hard to fesearch.
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