I do believe that research can enhance a plot because it helps to make the story real based on facts.
Most books written require some form of research. This can be as extensive as knowing a whole time period (such as historical books set in Victorian times, for example), to the tiniest detail that means everything to the plot, or just gives the story a little extra polish.
In my case, a little bit of research is required. But I suppose the question linked to this is: does obedience to fact and the research restrict creative freedom? Is it even necessary?
Using the example of crime novels, the writer is expected to have a very strong knowledge of police procedure among many other legal procedures. In this case (pun not intended), many of the details that the writer finds out when researching may play a key role in the plot, because the stories are mostly based around investigative procedures. If anything, research in this scenario makes it more believable.
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