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Because You Never Know When You Might Need Random Info

So I’m mega busy and most of you lot are off to the SWF (damn you), so now seems the perfect time to indulge my love of lists and links and random stuff.

I’m not a big fan of the whole “Write What You Know” thang: too much background info distracts from your story and it can be great to sacrifice facts for drama at times – but I’m always surprised by how crazy scripts can be – and it’s usually the *small* details that can let the whole story down, like a slow puncture in a beach ball. The internet was INVENTED for writers (surely??), so there is no excuse!!!

But it’s knowing where to find them. The old adage goes that the internet is like the biggest library in the world with all the books on the floor, uncatalogued. Well fear not! I read random things every day, it’s actually fun for me, so I will do it for you. Don’t thank me: your tears and weird twitching say more than words ever could. (Actually many of these are in my favourites already).

So I will be posting themed lists of links to sites and info about various things, events and subjects that may be useful in scripts or for inspiration. Starting today we have Politics and War (including How To Take Over The World! A personal, ahem, interest of mine), but in the coming posts I’m thinking that Language and Times, Serial Killers, Heroes and Villains, Classic Literature and Disasters would be good choices too. However if you have good links you want added or an idea for a topic for me to link up, then go ahead and email me on the usual address. the plan is to eventually have a RESEARCH OR DIE LIST under the fabled LIST OF WONDER so we can make this THE research blog on the ‘net, so in other places we can enjoy our virtual coffee and throw virtual bagels at each other. Sounds like a plan. Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Because You Never Know When You Might Need Random Info”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. Writing what you know is one of the ‘rules’ of screenwriting I detest. After all, isn’t that what research is for? What did George Lucas know about space battles when he wrote Star Wars?

    People’s lives are fairly boring – If I wrote what I know, it would consist of a screenplay involving a man who wrote a hundred scripts only to be rejected a thousand times. If I had a choice between reading that and a script with a space battle, I think I can guess which one the public would go and see.

  2. SparkNotes is a bunch of free study guides for a variety of topics. Some useful stuff there.

    As for “write what you know”, I always took that to mean emotions and relationships rather than specific situations.

    – David

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