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Case Study: All About Symbolism in ALIEN (1979)

Symbolism in Screenwriting Many spec writers want to introduce symbolism in their scripts. And why not? Sometimes the best writing we see “hints” at other things; there are multiple ways of “reading” it — and us screenwriterly types can pat ourselves on the back for “seeing” it. So Think LAYERS When it comes to symbolism of any kind, think LAYERS, like an onion. You can do this any way you want: visual metaphors, allusions, motifs, character traits. There are no rules, remember. However, the biggest issue I see when it comes to symbolism: It’s not clear what the screenwriter is… Read More »Case Study: All About Symbolism in ALIEN (1979)

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Summer Break 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to threats of divorce by my Husband and my subsequent agreement to go into rehab regarding my internet addiction, The Write Here, Write Now blog is on its very first summer break. OMFG!! How will you manage?!! IT WILL BE OKAY: Script Reading. Please note I’m still available for script reads during this time: get in touch via Bang2writeATaolDOTcom: all the details including links to a price list, here. Peer Review. If you’re looking for peer review, please look through The Feedback Exchange and add your own name too. Please DO NOT spam everyone on the list. Social… Read More »Summer Break 2010

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4 Big Non Linearity Mistakes In Screenplays

Non Linearity is big news I’d venture for every ten spec screenplays I read, at least three will feature non linearity. Renowned non linear movies include Pulp Fiction, Memento, Twelve Monkeys, The Bourne Supremacy, Slumdog Millionaire, Groundhog Day and Premonition. Non-linearity sometimes finds its way into TV spec screenplays too  – particularly of the supernatural genre – usually in the form of flashback. (For the purposes of this post, note that when I say “non linearity”, I mean the “beginning, middle, end” will not necessarily be in *that* order). I love non linearity. Done well, it can really add a new… Read More »4 Big Non Linearity Mistakes In Screenplays

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Which Screenwriting Software Is The Best? (Paid-For & Free)

[Kept updated as much as possible] All About Software One question new writers always ask in the B2W Facebook group is whether they should buy screenwriting software. So hello to Michelle who asks: “I’ve heard mixed advice from everyone on the screenwriting software issue… Some advise getting it, others say there’s no need for expensive software, at least not until you’re in the thick of it. What’s your take?” Biiiig question! Ready? Let’s go … There’s lots of software choices now Some people like screenwriting software; others see it as an excuse for a company to make shedloads of cash.… Read More »Which Screenwriting Software Is The Best? (Paid-For & Free)

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I’ve Written A Screenplay. Now What?

Updated So, You’ve Written A Screenplay ‘I’ve written a screenplay, now what?’ is one of the top Google searches that leads writers to this blog. Plus Bang2writers write to me, asking me for ideas on what to do / where to send scripts they’ve written, so I thought it was time I put my thoughts on this in one place, once and for all … Enjoy!  1) Get Some Screenplay Feedback i) Getting it – do peer review You don’t have to pay for this, though you can if you want to.  Alternatively, you can do peer review aka a… Read More »I’ve Written A Screenplay. Now What?

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Top 5 Reasons Why Parentheticals Are Useless

Updated So, parentheticals aka ‘wrylies’ have a tendency to turn up in screenplays … and they’re NOT NEEDED. They interrupt the flow of the read and what’s more, seriously ANNOY actors and filmmakers as well as script readers. TRUTH! Don’t believe me? Fine … check these out for size: 5. You are the writer, NOT the director! Unless you are the writer/director, the Director and Actors need room to make THEIR interpretation of your screenplay! This is the most-oft quoted case AGAINST parentheticals: if loads of lines of your dialogue tells the actors HOW to say lines “(condescendingly)”, “(pleadingly)”, “(wryly)” or whatever,… Read More »Top 5 Reasons Why Parentheticals Are Useless

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Welcome To Rom Com Hell: 8 Awful Ways To Write Romantic Comedy

Rom Com / Real Life Hell Rom Com was always one of those genres I avoided through my teens and early twenties. Being a Goth, I was way too cool for boy-meets-girl, obviously. Besides which, by 18 I was a total cynic … I had after all been the girl who’d met the boy, then got knocked up and ripped off by him! I’d been left with a broken heart, a wailing baby and a man-hating attitude problem for approximately five years.  I was also of the (not unreasonable) belief that post-FOUR WEDDINGS in the late 90’s/early noughties that all… Read More »Welcome To Rom Com Hell: 8 Awful Ways To Write Romantic Comedy

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When Is A Rejection A Rejection If I Don’t Hear Anything?

Not Hear Anything Back? We all know rejection is a big fat NO, but very often writers don’t hear anything back at all. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. Here’s the mysterious Red Baron, who emailed me with this yesterday: I’m new to the scriptwriting business and I was wondering whether you could give me some advice. Last April I sent a script to a production company. They replied back positively in May, asking for a series treatment, character biographies etc. Since June, I haven’t heard anything back from them. From your experience, how long does it take for production companies… Read More »When Is A Rejection A Rejection If I Don’t Hear Anything?

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All About Dramatic Irony And Twists In The Tale

All About Dramatic Irony Dramatic irony is a tool I see often in produced and published works, but hardly ever in spec scripts or unpublished novels. Recently I was talking with Uber-Agent Julian Friedmann and mentioned how much I love Yves Lavender’s book Writing Drama. Segnor Friedmann replied how much he loves the book’s section on dramatic irony, lamenting the fact that so few screenwriters actually use this fantastic device. His comments really struck a chord, so I think I’ll have a good look at what makes dramatic irony so great. What is Dramatic Irony? First off however, what is dramatic irony? Well, this… Read More »All About Dramatic Irony And Twists In The Tale

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Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

You should do your preparation! Bang2writers often ask me what is the “best” way to go about writing a screenplay or novel. My answer? There is no “best” way. But it’s definitely going to help if you’ve done your preparation first in the form of an outline, beat sheet and/or treatment. Here’s why preparation work helps you get rid of all the obvious pitfalls and crap FIRST, as it … GIVES your brain time to “breathe” and work out all the machinations of the plot and the character motivations and themes etc concurrently STOPS you writing a load of junk… Read More »Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

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