Working on a historical screenplay is more difficult than writing an original screenplay! When I first started researching “the ladies” I thought, “Wow! This is going to write itself!” Now that we have done the outline and the 22 steps and discussed these characters until they haunt me day and night, I have become pathetic on the details. My writing partner is getting a tad impatient with me. “What difference does it make what the name of the ship was? What does that have to do with the story?”
Perhaps she is right, but I think details make the story real and alive. I start writing a scene and then I grab all the books and start looking for information that verifies the story line. This is more time consuming because frankly I have memory issues. I doubt what I am recalling and wonder where I read it or even if I read it or imagined it! So I keep re-researching to make sure I have the facts straight. Now I have to cut myself some slack. No one else will! We are also researching some other stories and they start to bleed into one another. That’s not a problem, right?
Funny thing happened this week. Cyndi asked me, “How many magistrates were in the court room?” What was fun was that I KNEW the answer. Instead I just looked at her, narrowed my eyes and said, “Hmmm, what does that little detail have to do with the story?” Now that was fun! I grabbed the RIGHT book, flipped open to the correct page and read the answer to her. What a historical moment that was! GREAT FUN!