As a screenwriter, coming up with a compelling and unique idea for a screenplay is only the first step in the process. To truly bring your story to life, it's essential to conduct thorough research to ensure that your idea is grounded in reality and has the potential to resonate with audiences.

In this guide, we'll explore some of the best ways to research a screenwriting idea, including reading and watching relevant material, conducting online and field research, and brainstorming to develop your ideas further.

By following these strategies, you'll be able to create a well-crafted and authentic screenplay that captures the hearts and minds of your audience.

Let's dive in. 

How to research for a screenplay'Green Book'Credit: Universal Pictures

What Are the Best Ways to Research a Screenwriting Idea?

Research is an essential part of the screenwriting process, and the more effort you put into it, the better your screenplay will be.

Sometimes, we use research to procrastinate. But I think this guide will help keep you on track while you put together your next project.

  1. Read and watch relevant material: Before starting to write, it is essential to read and watch relevant material in the same genre as your idea. This will give you a better understanding of the conventions and expectations of the genre, and help you to avoid clichés.

  2. Conduct online research: Use the internet to research the subject matter and themes of your story. Look for articles, blogs, and forums related to your idea, and try to gain a deeper understanding of the topic.

  3. Interview experts: If your story involves a specific profession or area of expertise, try to interview people who have experience in that field. This will help you to add authenticity to your screenplay.

  4. Conduct field research: If your story takes place in a specific location, try to visit that location and observe the surroundings. This will give you a better sense of the atmosphere and details that you can include in your screenplay.

  5. Take notes: As you research, make sure to take detailed notes of any ideas or information that you find interesting. This will help you to organize your thoughts and develop your screenplay.

  6. Brainstorm: Once you have conducted your research, take some time to brainstorm and flesh out your ideas. This can help you to develop your characters and plot, and make your screenplay more compelling.

How to research for a screenplay'The Royal Tenenbaums'Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Summing Up The Best Ways to Research a Screenwriting Idea

Researching your screenwriting idea is a crucial step toward creating a compelling and well-crafted screenplay. By taking the time to read, watch, interview, and observe, you can ensure that your story is grounded in reality and resonates with audiences.

Remember to take detailed notes, brainstorm ideas, and always strive to add authenticity to your screenplay. With these strategies, you can develop your ideas further, and create a screenplay that captivates your audience from start to finish.

So, don't skip the research phase, and take your screenwriting skills to the next level by following these best ways to research a screenwriting idea. 

Go get writing.