Obviously, authors research. Even if it’s only to double check if a certain style of shoe was worn during the 1800’s (for example). It’s the research and accuracy of details that add credence to an otherwise fabricated tale.
But what happens when aspects of a book an author is asking the reader to accept are something that can’t be researched?
Or would be nobody’s business if they had been researched?
I bring this up only because of certain comments I’ve seen dotted about the ‘Net.
For the first kind, I’ll refer to a Tweet and blog post I spotted by a well known author, who felt the need to state for the record that just because she writes urban fantasy with characters who can do stuff beyond what is considered ‘normal’ for our population (NB: this is not an exact quote), that does not mean she believes herself to be superhuman.
I concur. My books are all about werewolves. Trust me: I don’t actually turn into one myself. Not on week days, anyway. ;o)
Now … how about for the second kind? It’s a constant dispute I see from those who write what I like to call romp-romance: That just because they write erotica with X-rated scenes, does not mean they lead that kind of wanton life themselves.
This second one is even harder to judge. Right? I mean, just because a writer has written this awesome scene of sexual fantasy doesn’t necessarily mean they have actually BTDT. Right? Not convinced? Okay, what about all those female erotica authors who write M/M? No way on earth could they have made that kind of research on a personal level. You following me?
So how much does the fact that these elements have to be fabricated and not be based on fact compromise the story?
Yes, yes, I know werewolves can be researched. But not on your nelly can one research the process of a werewolf Change. OR the sensations one must endure to alter their physical structure by that amount. So we have no choice but to make it up. See?
Just as the (to keep my reasoning solid) latter mentioned for the romp-rom writers. No woman can ever fully understand how it feels to a man during intercourse, just as a man could never grasp the experience through a woman’s eyes. They would have only verbal or visual research for guidance.
But should, really, these writers actually be concerned by such comments that have incited these responses?
Or should they be flattered?
Surely, for the reader to believe the author had to have experienced these acts themselves should mean the author has done a bang up job in their portrayal of them.
What are your thoughts on author research? How far do YOU think they should go? Or is majority-fabrication acceptable so long as it’s done well?