Skip to content

case study

VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’

All About Kelly Marcel Kelly Marcel is a British screenwriter and producer. She co-wrote one of my favourite dramas Saving Mr Banks (eagle-eyed Bangers will remember it is a case study in my Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays book!). She also received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for it. In addition, Kelly is the screenwriter of Fifty Shades of Grey, Venom, Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, plus she created and was exec producer on TV series Terra Nova. A fabulously eclectic mix there! But how does a writer who started her working life in a video… Read More »VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’

Share this:

Top 3 Tips to Write a Perfect Query Letter

All About The Query Letter (Or Email!) A great query letter or email can make all the difference to your writing career. It can mean hooking an industry pro with your writing … or having to shelve the screenplay or novel you have worked so hard on. Eek! But do not worry, we got your back. Let’s go! 1) Get Them Hooked Bad query letters often miss that extra ‘oomph’ that is supposed to intrigue agents in your writing. So how do you hook them? Mention if you have ever met the agent at a conference or a similar event.… Read More »Top 3 Tips to Write a Perfect Query Letter

Share this:

10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Female Characters

Don’t Underestimate Or Underwrite Fifty per cent of your potential audience is female, so it does NOT pay to underestimate your female characters. Women in audiences everywhere have made it clear in the past decade on social media … Underwrite female characters at your peril! Too often, female characters become stereotypical in unpublished novels and spec screenplays. A stereotype is a simplication. Whilst writers CAN use stereotypes on purpose for effect, too often writers use them by accident. This makes characters feel flat and two-dimensional. There are lots of lists of female stereotypes online, but I always think it’s more illuminating… Read More »10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Female Characters

Share this:

Top 5 Self-Publishing Mistakes Writers Make

On Self-Publishing Mistakes Self-publishing mistakes can cost time and money, which is why many writers shy away from it … But what if I told you the biggest self-publishing mistakes are actually EASY to avoid? This list will help you avoid the most obvious self-publishing mistakes and get your book out there. Ready? Let’s go … Mistake #1: Bad cover art Why’s this one first?? Well, rightly or wrongly – because EVERYONE judges a book by their cover!!! Ideally, you need a cover designer whose speciality is cover art. There’s lots out there, including designers who create ‘ready-made’ covers that… Read More »Top 5 Self-Publishing Mistakes Writers Make

Share this:

5 Simple Steps To Getting Your Draft Written

Writing The First Draft Feeling stressed because you can’t move forwards towards your draft? You’re not alone. When we first conceive of an idea for a screenplay or novel, we often falter. This is because we are not used to being able to write whatever we want. This means we can get overwhelmed quickly. In addition, if no one is waiting on our draft, it can be hard to focus. This is one of the reasons I pulled together The B2W Screenwriter’s Roadmap (though you can use it to write novels too – I do!). But Bangers got in touch… Read More »5 Simple Steps To Getting Your Draft Written

Share this:

Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

Mystery, Thriller or Horror? Mystery, Thriller and Horror novels and screenplays do BIG business as they have high ‘adaptability’. Readers and viewers love them … plus there’s a lot of convergence between them. This is because the Mystery, Horror and Thriller genres have lots of elements that cross over. However, lots of writers run into trouble because they’re not really sure what their story *is* at foundation level. Whilst many writers know mystery usually involves some kind of twist, they often don’t know how to get there. As a result, writers may make their mystery too easy to guess, or… Read More »Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

Share this:

Writers Ask: What Does ‘Authenticity’ Really Mean, Anyway?

Accuracy Vs. Authenticity Last weekend I taught B2W’s Breaking Into Script Reading workshop where I talked about accuracy versus authenticity. I said that audience preferences have changed in the past ten years quite considerably. Whereas not long ago creatives had to be accurate or risk being considered a ‘bad’ writer, this is now the case when it comes to authenticity. This lead to a discussion of authenticity and HOW writers can ensure their writing feels real. I thought this might be useful for all the Bangers, so here goes. First things first, let’s define the actual word ‘authenticity’. Here it… Read More »Writers Ask: What Does ‘Authenticity’ Really Mean, Anyway?

Share this:

Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter in 2022

How To Break In As A Screenwriter If you want to break in as a screenwriter, you’re not alone. ‘How to break in’ is probably one of the top Google searches that leads to this blog, in fact. Whilst it’s true B2W believes we need to build our careers over a sustained period (rather than the break in being just ONE act), we all have to start somewhere. I was joined in a B2W livestream recently by comedy writer Amanda Graham (@AGComedy). Amanda specialises in rebellious, irreverent, female leads going against nonsensical power structures. She has various projects in development (including with… Read More »Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter in 2022

Share this:

Script Reading: 25 Experts Share Their Expectations Versus Realities

All About Script Reading Script reading can be a VERY misunderstood job. Writers often have beliefs about script readers that don’t even vaguely match what REALLY happens ‘behind the scenes’! Some common wrong beliefs about script readers include … They enjoy tearing writers down It’s an easy job They don’t really care about the scripts They make megabucks They’re jealous of writers who do well None of the above is true in my experience. This is one of the reasons I launched this blog … I wanted to demystify the submissions process for writers. After all, the more writers understand what… Read More »Script Reading: 25 Experts Share Their Expectations Versus Realities

Share this:

5 Examples of Story Structure You Should Know About

All About Story Structure Whether you’re writing a novel or screenplay, story structure matters. Building a story structure is like crafting a backbone for your narrative. It helps the audience understand the timeline and meaning of each event, keeping them engaged until the very end. All too often writers focus solely on describing their characters rather than the story’s overall architecture. This has a knock-on effect and an under-developed story structure can literally ruin your characterisation. The truth is that plot building is just as important, if not more, than the protagonist’s quirks and conflicts. So you’ll need to become… Read More »5 Examples of Story Structure You Should Know About

Share this:

1 Killer Screenwriting Trick From Walter Hill (ALIEN)

About Walter Hill Walter Hill is a director, screenwriter and producer with a super-shiny resumé. He is the writer-director of the classic gang warfare movie The Warriors, an adaptation of the novel by Sol Yurick. Known primarily for the action genre, Hill has worked with all kinds of Hollywood royalty such as Arnold Schwarzenegger (Red Heat); Eddie Murphy (48 Hours and Another 48 Hours); Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa (Bullet to The Head); and even Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah (Hardboiled crime author Jim Thompson’s The Getaway). But even with all that in mind, Hill is perhaps most famous for producing… Read More »1 Killer Screenwriting Trick From Walter Hill (ALIEN)

Share this:

Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

About Javier Grillo-Marxuach Javier Grillo-Marxuach is a screenwriter and producer. He has the kind of resumé most Bang2writers would kill for, including iconic shows like Charmed and Lost. He’s continued with fantastic modern TV such as The Witcher, The 100 and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance as well. Wow! I was delighted to Zoom with Javier recently. I love high concept, dystopian and post-apocalyptic story worlds. He’s literally worked on some of my favourite shows that have influenced my own writing! Javier also wrote the AMAZING 11 Laws of show running, an online essay/memo which really requires its own post.… Read More »Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

Share this: