Do you need to research a work of fiction?

Recently, I did a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) and one person asked me why you’d need to research a work of fiction. It stunned me at first because it seemed so obvious, and then I realized, well, of course, some books are entirely made up, especially ones involving entirely imaginary worlds. However, nearly every work of contemporary fiction requires a lot of research because you aren’t always writing about things you have directly experienced. It is fiction, not autobiography; therefore, your character will be in some situations you haven’t.

TRAFFICKED required a great deal of research because I’m not from Moldova and I’ve never been a slave in someone’s house. I had to talk to Eastern-European immigrants, go to Moldova, learn from people who had been slaves and from people who worked in anti-trafficking organizations, and then, of course, the rest is based on my imagination, or on slightly altered events from my own life.

In Eve’s Fan Garden, I talked about specific experiences I had in Moldova, which changed everything about how I wrote TRAFFICKED, including a dead dog and people’s reactions to it, a girl who thought her mother had been trafficked and another girl who seemed a little too interested in having me come for a ride in a car with a very large man.

Eve’s Fan Garden: Researching TRAFFICKED


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