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character role functions

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go! 1) Laundry List Intros This is probably one of my ultimate pet peeve character introductions in both scripts and unpublished novels because it’s SO… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

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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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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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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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Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

Candyman: The Short Story Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman … Clive Barker’s 1985 short story The Forbidden is a haunting exploration of poverty and disenfranchisement. It was first published in 1985 as part of his ground-breaking horror anthology, Books of Blood. Set in the desperate sinkhole estate of Spector Street, Liverpool, England, the story takes place in October with several references to Bonfire Night being the following week. This means we can be fairly sure the events of the story take place around Halloween. The Forbidden follows Helen, a graduate student. Originally researching graffiti as part of her thesis, she… Read More »Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

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Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

Should writers write characters UNlike themselves? In the 2020s, writers frequently want to write characters UNlike themselves. I do, too! Looking at my books, I have written characters who are not like me. My characters may be (in no particular order): male; older or younger than me; gay; American; black; Romany; British Chinese; transgender; Australian; upper class; homeless and many more besides. The debate on social media often focuses on the notion certain writers are being told NOT to write characters UNlike themselves. It’s no accident the average writer lamenting this ‘fact’ is usually part of a dominant group, either.… Read More »Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

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Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

Family Drama If you feel you’re seeing the word ‘scapegoat’ all over social media right now, you’re not wrong. In the past couple of years, psychological terms such as ‘gaslight’, ‘narcissist’, ‘toxic families’, ‘family estrangement’, ‘no contact’ – and now, ‘scapegoat’ – are real talking points. You may have seen these terms ion Facebook memes, talked about them yourself on Twitter, or watched therapists’ TikTok videos.  Intergenerational differences on psychology, family and parenting are VERY much part of society’s conversation in the 2020s. For those who have missed it, sociologists believe Gen Z and Millennials are the first generations to… Read More »Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

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How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

All About Character Motivation NEWSFLASH: great characterisation should lie at the heart of every narrative, whether that’s a novel or screenplay. These characters should drive the plot forward and engage audiences emotionally. What’s more, modern audiences and readers demand nuanced, layered characterisation as standard in the 2020s. One essential element that brings characters to life is their motivation – the driving force behind their actions and behaviours. I like to call this the ‘WHY’ of characterisation. Put simply, character motivation can be summed up as “A character wants or needs something for some reason, but will have to strive to… Read More »How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

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Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

What is Sexual Tension? Sexual tension is a key ingredient in many successful published novels and produced screenplays. Whilst sexual tension turns up most in romance stories, it can be part of ANY story in any genre. For example, I wrote sexual tension in my crime novel, The Other Twin. Sexual tension is that feeling of excitement and anticipation you get when something hot and heavy is happening between the characters, but they haven’t yet acted on their desires. Done well, sexual tension can be incredibly addictive for readers and viewers. It keeps them turning pages late into the night,… Read More »Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

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How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

All About TV Thrillers & Target Audiences I’ve been streaming a lot of TV thrillers shows from the early 00s to approximately 2012 at the moment. As veteran Bangers know, I love to track the changes to writing craft and what’s popular with TV audiences. Many people think I get ALL my information from talking with industry pros. That is true in part now, but it wasn’t before I made those contacts (duh!). This means I was doing this long before I knew anyone of note. Many new writers are surprised to hear the vast majority of my knowledge comes… Read More »How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

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