I wanted to just put the idea out there, see what you make of it: Recently I read another interview, where an author talked about doing a whole lot of research before starting to write with the goal that he could make the world more real to his readers. Things like smell/society/dresscode/.. (really, just read an essay on worldbuilding to know what I am talking about) to name a few, would make it more easy to accept. Yet I think that there is another kind of research, which for me is more important and it has to do with character-building. If I want to make a character interesting I have to give him a real personality, and that does not mean I want to be limited to my own, personal experiences. So.. Some people are more easily swept along on paths they would not follow on their own (music, or videos, watching nature, or art can accomplish that for me). Their minds then can explore new experiences, which they did not have before. Imagine 'what it would be'. For example, I sometimes watch war movies, or disturbing ones, or drama, just to get an idea of this particular experience. That does not mean that I would seek out this experience personally, but if I want to write realistically, if I want to draw my reader in, then I have to give his imagination kicks. And there is nothing more exasperating (for me) than reading about a one-dimensional character who does not grow on his story. And that means I have to have some idea of what I am putting him through, that he can draw his own conclusions. Does that sound schizophrenic? Anyway, hope you can make something of this post and I will be interested what you think!