As a historical fiction writer, I have to do a fair amount of research.
What I write is based on facts more so than, say, sci-fi, so I have to get as much of history right as I can. Because, believe me, if there is one historical inaccuracy, SOMEONE will notice and if they aren't really nice, they'll not like you very much for it.
Also, if you add a nice little historical bit like a type of food or a certain way something was done, it just adds...something to the story. Not only does it make the book more believable, but it just adds a nice touch.
Research is important to other genres of writing as well, but I won't get into that as I'm primarily a historical fiction writer.
So how do I research?
In all reality, I would really love to have someone else do my research for me, even though I love history. I really kind of don't like research.
So, for me, I have a fairly wide knowledge of history by reading it in other works of fiction. For the most part, the only books I read are historicals.
Next, once I decide what time period my new book is set in, I do general research on everything in the century. And I mean everything like food, clothing, customs, entertainment, and daily ways of life.
Then, as I'm writing, I look up specific things that I need to add to my story.
And, there you go! That's about how I do my research.
If you're a writer, how do you research and what do you research?
And, for my lovely readers, do you notice when the author did a lot of research when you read? How?