Feeling Awkward We’ve all been to a party where we don’t know anyone. We stand in the corner, feeling lost. Or where we are introduced to 27 people in 3 minutes and know we will never EVER remember who any of them are. It’s a horrible feeling, isn’t it … … So why would you do that to your own readers? Why??? The Birthday Party Analogy I have an analogy I use when thinking about how to start a script. I like to imagine that my audience/reader is someone I have invited to the birthday party of a friend of… Read More »The Birthday Party: A Genius Analogy To Help Writers Introduce Their Stories
On Feedback Trauma Are you suffering from feedback trauma? I don’t just mean hurting over bad reviews, but an experience so awful you feel like a ‘bad’ writer beyond redemption. These traumatic feedback experiences may include but aren’t limited to … Vitriolic feedback and script reports from paid-for readers and contests Screenwriting ‘gurus’ holding up your writing as an example of what NOT to do in classes and online Industry pros shutting you down / dismissing you in pitch meetings Industry pros telling you ‘no one cares’ about subjects dear to your heart in your writing Beta readers and peer… Read More »Are You Suffering From Feedback Trauma?
All About The Antihero In recent years, audiences and readers have really got behind the antihero character. I love to write antiheroes in my own work, plus I love to watch them on television and in movies. I also read them in novels too. In short, I am OBSESSED with them just like everyone else! For a long time, protagonists were super-good and antagonists were super-bad. This worked at the time because it’s what audiences wanted … BUT it raised a lot of issues, too. Because of the lack of general diversity, antagonists were often villains that were coded as… Read More »Top 5 Tips For Writing A Compelling Antihero
All About Character Appearance Character appearance is a hot topic when it comes writing craft. How much is ‘enough’ or ‘too much’??? Needless to say, individual writers’ mileage may vary on this question. This is one of those ‘piece of string’ questions, but for the purposes of this blog post I will try and narrow it down in discussing the common main points. When it comes to novels, some authors may spend a lot of time on character appearance. Others may do it more intuitively, or leave it almost entirely up to the reader’s imagination. Most novelists will find themselves… Read More »3 Top Tips On Describing Your Character’s Appearance
On Bad Reviews All writers suffer bad reviews. If you’ve got one or more from readers, viewers or places you’ve submitted (such as film festivals, agents, publishers, or elsewhere) you will know this heartache. You’re hurt, confused and probably can’t stop obsessing about them. Those bad reviews may be all you can think about, even at the expense of the good ones. This is NORMAL. Our stories are our babies. We’ve spent oodles of our time on them. We’ve probably made all kinds of sacrifices to get them written, submitted, published or produced. Supersadface. So how to deal with these… Read More »10 Top Tips About Bad Reviews
Advice For Your Younger (Writer) Self Got some advice for your younger (writer) self? It’s so easy to look back with hindsight and go ‘Ooops! My younger (writer) self was a bit of a tit.‘ Yup … Been there, done that! I sat down and identified a whopping 30 pieces of advice for our younger (writer) selves. Have I missed any?? Be sure to add your own in the comments. Let’s go … 1) Start NOW Seriously … now. Don’t wait. Conditions will always be impossible and the odds will never get better. So get going! 2) Follow your passion Never… Read More »30 Top Tips For Your Younger (Writer) Self
Talking To Stephen Beresford Stephen Beresford is an actor and screenwriter, who wrote the award-winning British lgbtq+ movie Pride. I had the pleasure of talking with him about getting the film made, his writing process, and any tips he had. Here’s what I learned. 1) There’s value in truth While the UK film industry is only roughly half of its American counterpart ($6.4bn compared to $11.4bn), there’s always something quite special when a new British film comes out, perhaps because the industry is so incredibly choosy. According to Stephen, the UK film industry is very conservative, but having something based… Read More »5 Things I Learned From Screenwriter Stephen Beresford (PRIDE)
Flashback And Format First up, many thanks to Anna who asks ‘How do I write a flashback within a flashback?’ In the first instance, I have to ask Anna … are you sure you WANT to write a flashback within a flashback?? I must confess, flashbacks within flashbacks are one of my very few pet peeves as a script reader. I don’t understand them in a story sense. If something *is* UNreal in the story (like memory, dreams, or whatever) then how can something create something **further unreal** within it?? It makes my brain explode. The other one that irks… Read More »Focus On Format: How Do I Write A Flashback Within A Flashback?
All About Jim Thompson (1906 – 1977) Jim Thompson may not be the most immediately recognisable of famous novelist names, but he’s my favourite writer of all time. A screenwriter as well as author, Thompson wrote over thirty novels. Known for hardboiled crime fiction (my ultimate fave subgenre by the way), Thompson received positive critical acclaim, but little commercial notice in his lifetime. His best-received novels include The Killer Inside Me, The Getaway and Pop. 1280. My personal favourite of his is The Grifters. I love Thompson’s work because nearly every person in his stories is not just an antihero,… Read More »3 Top Tips From Hardboiled Writer Jim Thompson
Writing Stereotypes So it’s accepted modern writing wisdom that writers should never, ever, ever, ever write stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplification, a short-hand if you will. It’s generally thought nowadays that only BAD writers use stereotypes. But what if I told you stereotypes are a writing TOOL like any other … it just depends how that tool is USED??? Really!! Writers can use stereotypes whenever they want … as long as it’s ON PURPOSE, not by accident. But what does ‘on purpose’ mean? Check out the below and pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Let’s go! 1) For… Read More »5 Times It’s Okay To Write Stereotypes (Really!)