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Don't worry about if your story is going to be considered "literature"; no one really knows what it is, and it's usually not what you want to be.
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While you shouldn't be afraid to discuss politics in your writing, don't go overboard: Too much political talk can ruin the story, making it little more than a mere screed.
When you research don't be afraid to explore all of the weird tangents that come up. They can only help your story.
Your project can't survive if no one hears about it. Do what you can to make sure everyone hears about it!
When you start doing research, keep in mind that you should question every source that you come across.
Any expression of a person's creativity will express things important to that person; as such feel free to talk about politics if it's what you want to talk about.
Too many writers worry about working in original territory when they should just worry about writing a good story.
A little extra detail can help create an identifiable character. Add those peacock feathers, red caps, and...dare I say it? Twirl those mustaches!
Anyone can do all of the bio stuff; it takes a real world-builder to know what the foods of the world are.
It's your life. Do you really want to deal with medical advice that may cost you that?