Research sounds like it'll be boring. Your muse gives you the imaginative plot and characters and research guy is just there to check your facts. But sometimes the fact-checker can have some good ideas too.
After a trip to remote country town in Victoria called Warracknabeal, I decided I wanted it as a location for a story. I just had no idea what story. After researching the area, I discovered the local racetrack had almost closed down forever in 1939 due to debts. Then a fire mysteriously swept through the track and burned down the clubhouse. This resulted in the club receiving enough insurance money to rebuild the clubhouse and pay the debtors.
I had my background story - was the fire accidental or was it arson? I then built on that and inserted one murder-victim body at the scene of the fire, now I had a mystery to solve.
Further research revealed that 1939 also saw Black Friday, the worst bushfire experienced in Australia, with a terrible death count. This affected my story as well. If the fire was from a well-meaning supporter or organiser of the club, even if they were innocent of the actual murder, there would be no sympathy for such a character. Arson would have been an unforgivable crime after the massive bushfire.
My research is actually shaping my story, The Waracknabeal Kids. I'm finding lots more interesting bits and pieces about country life during this time and it's providing plot ideas. Have you found anything surprising in your research?
Still not sure you NEED to research a story? Maybe you should watch the following tutorial:
I'm surprised so many people use Twilight as an example of failure? Seems to have done well with sales and movie adaptations. I'm not into sulky vampires but I'm happy to see kids reading anything with words in it :-)