When you’re writing, and you come upon a thing you are writing about, but you don’t actually know much about it… don’t stop writing.
Don’t go down to the library (or flip to the Internet) to figure out what that thing is that you don’t know about… stick an * in there and forge ahead. Then, later, when you are pursuing the calm that is a rewrite (as opposed to the white hot splendor of the First Pass), you CTRL F and find every * in there, and then you do the research on whatever it is and fix it.
Simple? Yes. Oddly impossible, also yes.
This will only work if you realize that you don’t know what you’re doing. If you write about something you THINK you know about, but you don’t, the reader is going to be able to tell. For instance.
If you’re writing about businessmen but you are a writer and know nothing about business, here’s how you do it.
Jeff and Davey, high powered businessmen, go through stacks of *files on Jeff’s desk.
That’s how a lot of beginning writers write about Wall Street or real estate agents or hookers, because I see “stacks of files” all the time… Unfortunately, the writer doesn’t put the asterisk in there on their first pass… and so the LAME-O “stacks of files” stays in until they send it out to agents and producers. “Stacks of files” SCREAMS “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing here, but I don’t give a damn, so pretend these guys really are what I’m telling you they are. Read fast. Pay little attention.”
It pisses me the hell off.
You are asking for tons of money for this thing you are writing. At least LOOK like you know what you’re doing.
“The doctor comes in and presses a lot of buttons on complex looking medical gear.”
Is that in your script? I’m sure it’s not. But, if it’s in your friend’s script, help her out. Tell her to find out what doctors do and make the sentence sound like a doctor wrote it. Your friend’s lack of professionalism and effort will stink to high heaven.
If you are writing something you don’t know about, great. That’s what writing is for, discovery. But do the discovering. Put the * in there and come back after you’ve talked to someone who knows a lot about what you don’t know much about.
Otherwise, you’ll look like a dope.