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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

On Character Introductions Character introductions are super-important in good writing, whether it’s a novel or screenplay. A well-crafted character introduction provides context and relevance, which means the audience can connect with the characters on a deeper level. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, character introductions are often where writers stumble, which in turn affects the rest of the story. For the five biggest mistakes writers make with character introductions, check out the following … ready? Let’s go! 1) Laundry List Intros This is probably one of my ultimate pet peeve character introductions in both scripts and unpublished novels because it’s SO… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

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12 Working Writers In Movies And TV Share Their Top Advice

Screenwriters Advice by Andrew Zinnes and Genevieve Jollife One of the most Googled terms leading to this blog is the search term ‘advice for screenwriters’.  This means I was delighted to chat with Andrew Zinnes all about his and Genevieve Jollife’s new book, literally called Screenwriters Advice! It’s a great book, packed with insights, tidbits and actionable advice from screenwriters for both movies and TV, in the UK and USA. It’s super-readable too. But don’t take my word for it, here’s some great tips from the book, courtesy of the best and brightest screenwriting talent. Also, don’t miss out on… Read More »12 Working Writers In Movies And TV Share Their Top Advice

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How To Go Viral On TikTok: Promoting Your Writing Without Lip Syncing or Dancing

How To Go Viral on TikTok If you’re thinking about TikTok to promote yourself or your writing, you’re already on the ball. More people watch TikTok for news than the BBC or the New York Times! Some creators have gone from just starting out, to ‘Top 10 Viewed’ in just a year. But how do you go from zero to viral, trending and/or most viewed on TikTok? Start with understanding the algorithm. Think EIC = Engagement, Interest, and Creation. So many people are afraid of words like data and algorithm and think you need to be an expert to get… Read More »How To Go Viral On TikTok: Promoting Your Writing Without Lip Syncing or Dancing

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How We Created & Marketed A Short Film With Zero Dialogue

How To Make A Film With NO Dialogue In May 2021, I was pitched a 5 page ‘dark comedy with zero dialogue that lights the way to the end of abuse against women’. Making a short film is almost always a challenge, but this was even more difficult. How could we convey a woman trapped in an abusive relationship without a single word being spoken by her or her controlling husband? 1) Purpose-Led (At All Times) Initially, I worried zero dialogue was just a technique added in for a unique twist. It would have been easy for a script with… Read More »How We Created & Marketed A Short Film With Zero Dialogue

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How To Write A Psychological Thriller (By An Author Who’s Written 7 Of Them — And Counting!)

Writing A Psychological Thriller If you want to write a psychological thriller, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve written a stack of these types of book, such as: The Other Twin – This psychological thriller is about a young woman who believes her sister was murdered. This is because the dead girl left behind a blog that throws suspicion on pretty much everyone they know, including the protagonist’s ex-boyfriend and even their own parents. Do No Harm – In this book, a couple get married … but her ex-husband and the father of her son stalks them in order… Read More »How To Write A Psychological Thriller (By An Author Who’s Written 7 Of Them — And Counting!)

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Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

‘I Don’t Want To Get It Wrong’ Is your writing suffering from ‘moral perfectionism’? The reason I ask is that I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the writers I work with worried about ‘getting it wrong’. What ‘wrong’ means can depend, but usually relates to the depiction of marginalised characters and communities. A writer will feel stressed and even frozen by fear at seeming like an ‘over-privileged asshole’. This may relate to … Male writers writing female leads White people writing BIPOC characters Straight writers writing LGBTQ characters Able-bodied writers writing disabled characters More affluent writers writing about poverty and/or… Read More »Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

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5 Things I Learned From Writing 50k Words Of A Novel In Just 1 Month

How To Write 50K In 1 Month Earlier this year I finally got round to writing a novel (91k words) and absolutely loved the whole process. As November appeared on the horizon, I decide to take the challenge of writing 50K of a new novel in November. That works out at around 1,667 words every single day. I made it to 50K and came in at just over 52 thousand words! So here are five thing I learned while doing the challenge. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Preparation is key In the weeks leading up to November I plotted the… Read More »5 Things I Learned From Writing 50k Words Of A Novel In Just 1 Month

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No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

Do Characters ‘Have’ To Change? In any conversation online about characterisation, it’s never long before somebody pops up proclaiming characters HAVE to change. They may even insist that a character who doesn’t change has ‘no arc’. Calling the department of WRONG! No, characters do NOT have to change. I can’t stress this enough. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable they DON’T change. Have I blown your mind? If I have, I’m not surprised. Writing gurus – especially in screenwriting circles – have been SO didactic about this topic in the last thirty or forty years. As a result, generations of writers… Read More »No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

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Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

All Hail The T-Rex From Jurassic Park Over Christmas I was noodling around Facebook when I came across this fun meme (right, below) depicting Mothra, the Xenomorph Queen and the T-Rex as ‘inspiring female characters’. Cue a million nerds like me all LIKING the pic (because, obviously). But when I looked at the thread underneath it was full of … ‘Oh hardy ha, this can’t be true, very funny’ etc etc. Except I’m DEADLY serious when I say the T-Rex is one of the best, most well-written monsters in creature feature history. YUP you read that right and NOPE I am… Read More »Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

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Top 10 Writers’ Resolutions for 2024 Writing Success

Your Writing Resolutions For The New Year So 2024 is around the corner … did you achieve everything you envisaged in 2023? I hate this question. There’s never any ‘right’ answer. If you didn’t, then it makes you feel bad. If you did, it invariably never feels ENOUGH. This is why I choose the following 10 resolutions, year on year. The resolutions are achievable and don’t require lots of equipment, money or time. I can do them, bit by bit and add to my writing craft and career as I do so. Low stakes cumulative build-up — what’s not to… Read More »Top 10 Writers’ Resolutions for 2024 Writing Success

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5 Ways Podcasting Can Help Your Writing Career

All About Podcasting Podcasting is big business with the latest data showing over 460 million podcast listeners globally and growing.    I could give you fifty reasons why podcasting is a good idea, but I wasn’t allowed, so here’s five. 1) Podcasting Helps Build & Grow Your Audience It’s the most obvious one; it’s finding and expanding your audience.  They are out there.  This is especially good if you think you write for a niche group or your demographic is outside the coveted 18-34 age group. Using a podcast service like Buzzsprout will mean you can reach people worldwide on multiple… Read More »5 Ways Podcasting Can Help Your Writing Career

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Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

All Hail The Goz Ryan Gosling is a name that needs no introduction. He’s become an icon of versatility and talent in the world of Hollywood. From his heart-melting performances in romantic dramas to his intense portrayals of complex and even violent characters, Gosling has proved time and again that he can effortlessly slip into any role with ease. When I’m working with screenwriters – and sometimes authors who want to adapt their books – it frequently becomes clear they think actors are meat puppets. But this is not even close: actors bring our words to life and have interpretations… Read More »Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

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