I like reading stories where I learn something.
Because of this, I like to research topics or visit places I’m including in my stories so that I base them on fact and I am presenting something true the reader might learn, or perhaps investigate further. Plus I think stories are more credible based on truth.
It’s nothing new, to learn something from stories. Historically, when the majority of the population weren’t literate, or before books were widely available and affordable, people learned from stories. Just think of fables and bible stories, designed to remember something, e.g. a moral.
In fact, stories are used a lot. I read about a memory training technique, a long time ago, where a person say, trying to learn the order of a pack of shuffled playing cards, creates a story. They visualise a ‘route’ along a street, or a setting they are extremely familiar with, and place the cards in positions as they create their story. Later, when they recall the story, they visualise the cards in their positions and get them in the right order. I imagine this takes a awful lot of practise and a long time to do.
Mnemonics are the same; e.g. Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain for the order of the colours of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue indigo, violet); Two Old Angels, Sitting On High, Chatting About Heaven (maths – equations for tangent, sine and cosine). I remember these two from my schooldays many, many moons ago!
What’s interesting for me, as a writer, is the research I might have to do then to find ways of incorporating facts into my story, but that’s what makes it fun for me 😉🙂