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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go! 1) Laundry List Intros This is probably one of my ultimate pet peeve character introductions in both scripts and unpublished novels because it’s SO… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions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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Master Your Mindset As A Writer With 6 Powerful Japanese Productivity Techniques

Mindset Is Everything I’ve written many times on this site that a writer’s mindset is everything. Being a writer is difficult, whether that means: getting words on the page making submissions and dealing with rejection networking and creating relationships creating your writer platform or persevering in the face of adversity like financial struggles This means you have to cultivate a writer’s mindset that helps with this varied list of duties! So I was super-interested in this infographic Custom Writing sent me recently. I hadn’t heard of most of the names here, though I realised I was familiar with some of… Read More »Master Your Mindset As A Writer With 6 Powerful Japanese Productivity Techniques

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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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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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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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Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

So, Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense It’s the note every writer – new to professional – dreads: your draft doesn’t make sense. Eeek! When your draft doesn’t make sense, it can be very overwhelming. When we get the note our stories are hard to follow, it’s easy to sink into hopelessness and despair. Some of us may even take it as proof we’re ‘terrible writers’ too and spiral even more. Perhaps you’re confused, too? Maybe you don’t understand why your script editor, beta reader or peer reviewer finds your story so hard to follow. You may feel as if the… Read More »Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

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Unlock the Power of Cause & Effect in Your Writing with The Story Chain

All About The Story Chain Cause and effect is super-important in your novel or screenplay, which means a solid ‘story chain’ is everything. Cause and effect creates an engaging and cohesive story. In simple terms, cause and effect is all about showing how one event leads to another. This creates that ‘chain reaction’ that ultimately shapes the story. An obvious example of this we’re all familiar with is The Hero’s Journey. This plotting archetype shows us how a protagonist goes from ‘zero to hero’ via a number of well-thought-out steps that escalate. During the journey, the protagonist must go up… Read More »Unlock the Power of Cause & Effect in Your Writing with The Story Chain

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6 Simple Tips To Crafting Emotionally Charged Settings

All About Settings In Your Story In fictional stories, in which characters and plot typically take centre stage, settings are often relegated to the background. But a story’s setting is not just a backdrop; it can be a dynamic force that shapes characters, emotions, and the narrative itself. The challenging task of a fiction writer is to immerse her readers into her story. Characters have to be somewhere while they are talking, thinking, and behaving. Settings that immerse readers in a sensory experience will spark emotion in your readers, so let’s look at 6 tips to help you craft emotionally… Read More »6 Simple Tips To Crafting Emotionally Charged Settings

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