If you’re having trouble writing, it’s likely you just don’t know the proper steps to take or might be lacking direction. While there is no magic formula to writing a good screenplay, I think there is a helpful order to doing things. Of course, some may just want to throw order out the window as it can be hindering to their thought process. I found a great 10-part series on “Go Into The Story,” and I’m going to be sharing them week by week. This week, we’ll be talking about research, and how that may benefit you. You really should read their posts before diving into my commentary on them. I want to be clear, I’m a big fan of these blog posts, and only hope to promote this blog in a friendly way. I’m merely commenting on them, and adding some thoughts of my own. I’m hoping to share them with you to help you with your writing.
This article is great, and I only have a few comments and tips to add: Go Into the Story: How I Write A Script, Part 3: Research
Like Scott, I love libraries. I think these are especially good places to go when you need to dive deep into a subject. They’re big money savers too! I was researching imaginary friends a while back, and they had everything I could want on the topic. Books are free in libraries which is the biggest benefit, but if you’d like to own them then there is no need to go. The internet is an amazing place for information, but you better make sure your source is good, and that you’ve got your facts straight. It would really be terrible if you had a piece of information that was crucial to your story, and it turned out to be wrong.
The most in-depth questions should probably go to people that specialize in the subject you’re trying to learn about. If you have some very specific questions it’s the best idea to go to a specialist. This may not always be an option. If it’s not, the information is out there somewhere. Don’t worry. Make sure to give your research due diligence and you’ll find all the answers you need.
An important take is that during research is a great time to continue to brainstorm. You’ll nab ideas from all over the place. During the initial brainstorming you’ll likely have in idea of what happens throughout your story in a broad sense. When you’re researching, this is where you get the more focused ideas. You can’t think everything up by yourself, which is why going to outside sources is so helpful. One of the greatest parts of researching is that it helps you generate some really great ideas. Also, when you are highlighting books or are taking notes, it would be a good idea to write down how you can use those things in your story. It’ll get your mind jogging.
For a more in-depth look with some great examples, check out the article I provided above. I think this will help a lot of writers out there.