I’m reading Kaze Hikaru this afternoon. Manga volumes have omakes and I’m particularly love the author’s side story about their work process. One that caught my attention was Watanabe-sensei’s story about how she came up with her story and how difficult to integrate a historical events/people in the story. She almost gave up the idea but she loved it to the point she went and travel to places, and read many history books. Why the effort though? I know that she needed to be at least very close to the actual since this is her country’s history and she also thought people might criticize her if she lax with her research and opted the reason of creative liberties.
My question is, you guys, how important is research in the book you are reading? It doesn’t only apply on historical related books because for me regardless of genre, a good amount of research will elevate a story. It’s not about sounding like wiki (because info-dumping is huge turn-off too). I’m not only speaking of accuracy, even if it’s fiction, it’s important to deal things such as culture and history carefully and with great consideration. It’s not slapping some of these things and make a play out of it because after all it is just fiction or because as an author they are free to bend and mold it as they please. I think they still need to respect the material that inspired in their story.
Yes, it’s true that some readers will not notice it. Not everyone will mind if they aren’t as near as the real thing. Sometimes enjoyment bypasses the lack of research. Look at Stormdancer, it’s quite celebrated despite the gaping lack of research (*was reminded again of horrible use of honorifics*). But personally, I’m upset because some authors are serious with their research; it’s totally unfair to them. And most of all, it’s unfair to the readers. To me, I feel like I’m treated with gullibility with the reason that I may not know the difference. But I think that it doesn’t matter whether the reader is an expert or not. It doesn’t matter because if they love their own stories, they, themselves as the authors, need to give the utmost attention to it, and I think research is part of it.
How about you? Does research or the lack of thereof bothers you like I do? Does proper research really important on fiction books? Have you read a book that you feel under researched? Share me your opinion, I would love to know.