Let me try to wrap this up more or less neatly by returning to my claim that I don’t do research. I can’t. I mustn’t. Not in the way that people who don’t write novels do research. For a novelist, research must always and exclusively serve the purposes of one’s characters, one’s narrative forms, story, theme, plot, and style. Not vice-versa. From my point of view, scholars and journalists have got it all backward.
From Russell Banks, “On Research” in Constance Rooke, ed., Writing Life: Celebrated Canadian and International Authors on Writing and Life (McClelland & Stewart, 2006).