Research #atozchallenge


Research is creating new knowledge ~ Neil Armstrong

A well-researched novel consisting of beautiful prose and an absorbing plot comes close to my idea of perfection. 

I’m not referring solely to historical fiction (known for research), although I appreciate writers like Phillipa Gregory, a former historian,  known for her Tudor series. Her books are consciously researched, details attended to in superb fashion.

But well-researched historical fiction is expected, particularly when the writer is a historian.

As a reliable fan of the thriller/mystery genre, I find little more exciting, when it comes to a good read, than a well-researched book. Something that meshes fact and fiction to the point the story may well have occurred. The details are brilliant, the prose terrifyingly engaging.


Take Tom Clancy for example, the master of military and espionage-based novels. Or Robert Ludlum — the man is a research freak. And I love him for it.

One book still fresh in memory is The Day of the JackalFrederick Forsyth’s classic contribution to the thriller genre. A force of nature – indulge me that cliche, please.  An engaging narrative, detailed, believable, life-like action, and one heck of an engaging plot.

We often talk about stories that stay with us long after we finish reading them. For me, a well-researched, plausible novel is such a story.

What say you, dear blogging friend?



31 responses to “Research #atozchallenge

  1. I LOVE doing the research for my novels. I think it’s very important for authors to do the research, It brings the book alive and makes it a much better and more memorable read!

  2. Research is so fun. Sometimes I get so into my research, it’s hard to do the actual writing! It’s pretty easy to tell when someone hasn’t done the research. Unfortunately, some people insist accuracy doesn’t matter and that “it’s just a story,” even if it includes plot elements or details which are totally implausible, not just a little uncommon.

  3. I believe research is the key to any well-crafted writing regardless of whether it is a book, short story or an editorial or viewpoint article. Research is just as important to any genre of fiction as it is to non-fiction.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  4. A worrying number of Clancy’s plotlines have come true:
    Hunt For Red October – a Russian sub commander did defect with secrets of a silent cavitation propulsion system.

    Can’t remember the title (possibly the Bear and the Dragon) in which a plane was flown into the capital building by terrorists – before 9/11

    Sum of all Fears – funding of the mujahideen by the CIA leading to widespread nuclear proliferation in the middle east.

    Etc etc etc

    • I read somewhere a while back — and paraphrasing from memory, which isn’t always completely reliable — that he had access to military people, even some unclassified papers, and was even given submarine tours. Some amazing research, if that’s true, and perhaps the reason he was able to ‘predict’ the future.Thanks for reading, Dale.

  5. If something is amiss, all credibility is lost. So important a point you bring up, Silvia.

  6. I have a problem with historical novels that have real characters doing things they did not do. I like things to be accurate when possible. So, yeah, a well-researched novel is important to me. (And because I’m not into research, I write fantasy.)

    • I hear you about ‘facts’ that never happen. On fantasy — I read The Night Circus recently, and while I clearly needed to suspend disbelief, it was written in such a way that many ancillary issue seemed taken from real life. So, I enjoyed the book.

  7. Having done research my whole working life, I am so glad I get to do it again for my books! And this type of research is fun,fun!

  8. Research definitely comes with the reward of learning and knowledge. And knowledge is POWER.

  9. I love well-researched fiction and non-fiction.

  10. I agree, Silvia. And, it’s the kind of writing I like to do. I love finding out about things and then I want to write a story about it, tell others what I’ve learned, and then, of course, I have to research more to get a good foundational background. I like interweaving fact and fiction.

    Thanks. Good post.

  11. blkbtslonglegs

    I agree, I love it when an author can weave a story into factual events, blending the details together. It can really help the story find roots in my imagination :)

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

  12. I agree with your post. Research adds interesting facts, characters, and life to all forms of writing. Great job!!

  13. I have tremendous respect for authors whose writing is backed by solid research. And as you say, doesn’t matter whether it’s a novel a short story or an article. Research adds that much needed credibility.

  14. Hi Silvia – I always try and include historical snippets and dates – so I clarify my posts … and yes historical novels that ‘read true’ and I can trust I much prefer … so you’re right here – cheers Hilary

  15. Lol…hell yes i cant escape from it even at work ;) But i am not so good at history(remembering things),and i think i really have to work on it

I welcome your thoughts.

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