I work with first-time novelists all the time who desperately want to convince me that they can’t begin their first draft until they do more research.
Research is important, and it’s also misunderstood.
Particularly in fiction, we are more interested in the characters in relationship to each other than we are in the minutiae.
It’s not that we don’t care about the details, it’s just that the research process AFTER you have written the first draft of your novel is far simpler than the one that precedes it.
After you’ve written your first draft, you tend to have clarity about the research necessary to provide the world with the stink of reality.
Much of the research that precedes the first draft of your novel is just procrastination.