Wish They Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday is my new feature where I talk about things I wish authors would or wouldn’t do. This week’s topic is: Wish They Wouldn’t: Over Research.
I’m not even going to pretend that I know all the hard work that goes into writing a book. Especially when trying to be accurate and authentic within specialized genres like historical fiction or something science-related, justice system-related, etc. A lot of research needs to go into making these stories feel real for the reader.
However, there are often times that I feel things get OVER researched. Like the author has done so much research that he/she can’t help but use it. It often does nothing for me in terms of enhancing a story. Sometimes it even feels like the author is flaunting his/her intelligence on the subject, taking away from the actual characters and their story.
Partials by Dan Wells.
It’s been awhile since I read this book (I still haven’t made it to Ruins yet), but what I remember the most was that it seemed soooo much longer than it needed to be. And Kyra’s scientific research became way too detailed for me. I really have no idea if Wells did lots of Scientific research, if he’s just really smart, or if he made everything about it up. But how it came across to me was, “Look how smart I am, while I bore you for pages and pages and forget about the rest of the story.” That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the rest of the story or his writing. The science was just too much.
Undetected by Dee Henderson
The submarine description, Naval procedures, and science took up way too much time in this book. It made the book way too long and bogged down. I think it also really took away focus from the characters and their development.
The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Ablom
I still am scratching my head over the inclusion of the history of the telephone in this book. This is a perfect example of over researching a subject and including it in a book when it really does absolutely nothing at all to advance or add to the plot.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Are there other books you think are Over Researched?