Wikipedia has 3 different definitions based on what type of research you're trying to do, but the relevant one here, I think, is the basic one, the first one wiki gives: "human activity based on intellectual application in the investigation of matter . . . purpose . . . is discovering, interpreting . . ."
It's a bit lengthy of a definition, but there it is in a nutshell, sort of. As much as you can despise research, to make anything more real, you have to learn more about it. Even if you live it and go through certain experiences within it, sometimes an objective perspective is really important to help you see things in a way that will help convey your story.
Like so many out there, I'm not a fan of research. It makes me think of assignments in high school and college. Delving into the dusty shelves of the library because heaven forbid any of the research I needed to do at that time was actually available online.
I knew my newly "finished" (using the term loosely here) project needed something. That's probably why I couldn't close the file and let it sit for a few days. So off to research I go.
All the topics I need to learn more about I find really interesting, so I anticipate this may turn into more books to add to my list of Recent Reads . . . speaking of which I need to post one of those . . . Will do soon! Anyway, some of the topics are folklore and legends, others are more around human psychology and I'm all about finding out how people tick.
Anyone else out there riding the research train? How's it going?