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character role functions

7 Writing Lessons From Bingeing OUTLANDER

Outlander – Books vs. TV series Outlander is a typical TV series meant to get us hooked and binging. Binging on TV series in 2020 became an acceptable habit, though not one I was proud of. However I spent 10 days bingeing the TV series and reading its four books. Here are the benefits I found for bingeing and adaptation. Ready? Let’s go! Lessons Learned WARNING: if you have not watched or read the books, there be SPOILERS in this post! The story begins after World War 2. Combat nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall is vacationing with her husband, Frank, in the… Read More »7 Writing Lessons From Bingeing OUTLANDER

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Female Leads Through The Ages: Top 10 Must-See Characters

On Female Leads The roles of women have changed dramatically throughout history, so female leads are no different. How does our evolution mirror that in the media? Here’s 10 must see television shows and movies to show female leads’ growth in the media. 1) Wizard of Oz, Dorothy Gale (1939) We love Dorothy for her path of loving where she is, in the moment. Apparently Judy Garland was not even first choice for this iconic role, but she really made it her own. I cannot imagine anyone else playing the lead in the 1939 movie. 2) Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly (1961) No… Read More »Female Leads Through The Ages: Top 10 Must-See Characters

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Top 5 Basic Story Mistakes Even Pro Writers Make

Too Basic? I always find it interesting when writers talk about books, courses, articles etc being ‘too basic’ for them. In my experience, NO ONE is above revisiting the basic principles of storytelling … Not least because there are SO MANY spec screenplays and unpublished novels in the submissions pile that make zero sense! By the way, YES, I include myself on this. If we don’t keep the basics in mind at all times, we can go off-piste very quickly. I am always looking for refreshers on stuff like concept, character and structure … I might learn something new or… Read More »Top 5 Basic Story Mistakes Even Pro Writers Make

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B2W’s Top 20 Tips In 2020

Goodbye 2020 2020 is almost over … and thank goodness for that! I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that for most of us, 2020 has been a terrible year on a personal level. Creating our writing against a backdrop of anxiety, grief, isolation, trauma and anger as well as practical concerns like day jobs, unemployment, homeschooling/ caring and much more has been a real struggle. That said, 2020 has been a steep learning curve for many of us too. B2W is no exception. I reassessed and re-evaluated my goals and strategies. I also learned new technology and methods… Read More »B2W’s Top 20 Tips In 2020

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Women

Writing Women Character development is a part of writing mined with lethal pitfalls even at the best of times. But for male authors writing women, or vice versa, the challenge is made more problematic by one pretty large obstacle: gaining insight into the opposite sex. So in a bid to see more authentic women grace our pages, I’m here to address five common pitfalls authors run into when writing women, and how you can circumvent them! 1) Substituting appearance for personality The problems tend to fall thick and fast within the first few pages. Lots of writers introduce a female… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Women

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What Writers Can Learn From 5 Unusual Male Characters

On Male Characters When I say ‘name an unusual male character’, who do you think of? Whilst it’s true male characters tend to have more variety as standard, it’s still very easy to fall into expected tropes and characteristics. ‘The usual’ as we know is BORING! Since B2W is always banging on about going against the grain, here’s 5 unusual male characters we can learn from. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Detective Loki, Prisoners (2013) Why he’s unusual: Morally ambiguous Written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners is an unusual beast … A vigilante story with a… Read More »What Writers Can Learn From 5 Unusual Male Characters

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10 Things Every Great Character Needs

Developing Characters’ Needs Whether you’re a plot or character-driven writer, every story needs fleshed-out characters to engage readers. Read below for an easy checklist to make sure your characters are real enough to jump off the page. What Every Character Needs … 1) A Positive Quality More than likely you’ve heard of the book Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder. The title alone shows the need for developing a positive quality in your character. Even if your main character is meaner than your Aunt Lyda without her Dirty Coke and cigarettes, give him something readers can appreciate. He can care about… Read More »10 Things Every Great Character Needs

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: 10 Screenwriting Commandments From William Goldman

About William Goldman William Goldman was a novelist and screenwriter. If you’ve never heard of him, then where have you been?? His contribution to the creative arts is phenomenal. He was also a huge influence on B2W!! Goldman’s works include his thriller novel Marathon Man and his cult classic comedy/fantasy novel The Princess Bride, both of which he also adapted for the film versions. Goldman also won Oscars for his screenplays Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and All the President’s Men (1976). He also did a brilliant job of illuminating the process for writers in his non fiction books… Read More »IN THE SPOTLIGHT: 10 Screenwriting Commandments From William Goldman

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NEWSFLASH: You Can Learn How To Plot Watching TV

How To Plot One of the questions I get asked most by writers is ‘How do I learn how to plot?’ It’s easy to understand why … If screenwriting is structure (and it is), then plot is all-important, no matter the genre or tone of your story. Authors are not exempt either. Whilst novels can get away with less plot than the average movie or TV show, the convergence between the mediums is very strong. Readers demand a considerable amount  more plot as standard, especially from genres and subgenres that get adapted a lot. This means horror, romance, comedy and… Read More »NEWSFLASH: You Can Learn How To Plot Watching TV

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3 Unusual Writing Tips From Quentin Tarantino

Uncommon Writing Advice Some love Quentin Tarantino’s movies and some hate them. But his results make Tarantino an interesting study material. Skipping the most common advice, we can take out of his work — like vast creative borrowing, heavy emphasis on dialogue, outrageous perfectionism, organic storytelling, and knowing your characters intimately — let us look at three not-so-common nuggets of wisdom from the Master. 1) Tell Old Stories In A New Way Tarantino often cites novelist Elmore Leonard as his single most important influence. One of the lessons that Tarantino learned from Leonard is to take old stories typical for… Read More »3 Unusual Writing Tips From Quentin Tarantino

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