There are so many writers on Twitter and WordPress and probably just about any social media site who talk about research for their writing. That no writer should cut corners during their research. That research is SO important. That readers will know if they read something that hasn’t been properly researched. And these same writers seem to think that a simple Google search is research. It isn’t.
My genre of choice is crime fiction. Think of all the things that can potentially happen in a crime novel. Physical confrontations. Gunfire. Policing. The list is endless. Let’s just say that just about anything can happen in a crime novel. And obviously one can’t possibly know all of these things off the top of their head. Which means it’s time to research.
Let’s say you want to know what it feels like to be tased. Are you going to find the Wikipedia page and see what it says or are you going to get yourself tased? Easy. Let’s say you want to know what it’s like to be pepper sprayed. Same thing, are you going to do a little Google search or are you going to get pepper sprayed? Another easy choice. But let’s say that you want to know what a particular bodily injury really feels like…maybe a broken arm. No one is going to break their own arm in the name of research, but one could speak with a doctor about the injury rather than read some article online that may or may not be accurate.
See, this can go on and on. You can either conduct actual research or you can play around on Google and label it as such. Just because you call it research doesn’t make it research. And quite frankly, I don’t care which you do. But I think it’s funny how so many writers seem to think they’ve become experts after Google searching something for their writing.