When researching for your script, what do your Google searches reveal about you? I once brought up my search history following a few weeks of research and was horrified at what I had been typing into the bar. Phrases like “airport security weaknesses” and “beginner’s handgun” reflect the mindset of a man whose journal will one day appear on Nightline under a banner that reads, “Could this have been avoided?”
Somebody is watching you. I know I sound like a fretting grandmother but it’s true. I can look to my right and see a couch where two FBI agents sat for an hour as I explained my warped sense of humor in posting a video to YouTube that I shot during a California wildfire. (protip: If you’re going to shoot footage of a local wildfire, don’t put on a wacky British voice and sing Prodigy’s “I’m the firestarter, twisted firestarter”. And if you do, don’t post it to YouTube)
So how to avoid the repercussions of your research? Personally I like knowing how things work, whether it’s for research or not, but I think any story worth its salt should at least display the writer’s understanding of the subject matter. And since a good story involves action and conflict, and since most of us have never disposed of a body before, it helps to open a browser and do a little digging.
Look at your latest search activity. And then ask yourself, how would this look to somebody on the outside? To give you an idea, here’s what I pulled up:
Emergency response time
Disaster contingencies involving chemical attacks
How to preserve a body
Using the Anarchist Cookbook to Bake a Chaos Cake
Bridge Construction Schematics
Parts of an airport
Hmmmm… it’s not looking so good. I would suggest adding some kind of safety phrase in there that suggests you’re a writer, or at the very least, a sicko with a fucked up curiosity. Try “how to write an espionage thriller”.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.