When I first became a professional writer I wrote non-fiction because that’s what pays the best. However, I lived in the middle of the forest at a time when there was no internet to use for research and I quickly discovered that research was very, very expensive since it required me to go places and do things at my own expense and hope that someone would buy what I wrote.
So I switched to fiction and have never regretted it, even though it’s harder to make a living writing short stories and novels because there are so many other people doing it.
So, as you may guess by now, I prefer fiction because there’s little or no research required. Yes, some writers of fiction do a lot of research but I believe they do so because they enjoy doing it, not because it’s a requisite for telling the story.
You see, fiction is all about the story. The background, setting, time period, and everything else that would come out of research are extra because most, possibly all stories can be transposed from one time and place to another.
Once I choose a time and place for the story, though, it’s good to get the details right. I’ve learned to do what research is needed as I write, checking things as I go so I only do the research that’s needed to provide whatever background, etc, is needed.
And, yes, I love the internet because even though the required research is less for fiction than nonfiction, it’s nice to not have to leave the house to do that small bit that is essential!