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characterisation

10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story

Many thanks to writer and B2W Academy member Pamela PerryGoulardt who has written today’s post about Tarot archetypes … AND created these fantastic cards herself. Wow! I am blown away by how gorgeous the images are. The lady is a talent! Writers often ask me ‘how’ to write great characters visually, so when Pamela suggested Tarot I was all ears. Whilst I have been aware of the practice for decades, I’d never thought of using Tarot cards as a writing aid. So, over to you Pamela! Write Stories That Are Off The Charts! Tarot is a detailed system of numbers… Read More »10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story

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The #1 Question Writers Need To Ask Of Their Writing (Do It!!)

The Question You Need To Ask So a couple of weeks ago, I published an article, Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Their Page 1 Of Their Screenplays. In the article I gave two examples of (fake) screenplays that had issues. I also posted these script examples to the B2W social media, asking the Bang2writers ‘What’s wrong with THIS page 1?’ (below). Here’s what the Bangers said … ‘Not enough details about Katie – is she the protagonist? If so, what is she wearing? What music is she listening to?’ ‘Missing character descriptions’ ‘It says INT when it should be… Read More »The #1 Question Writers Need To Ask Of Their Writing (Do It!!)

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Page 1 Of Their Screenplays

The Page 1 Test Page 1 is THE most important page in your entire screenplay. You have to start as you mean to go on. Most spec screenwriters know they have up to 10 pages to impress the script reader … but few realise it’s page 1 that really needs to rock FIRST. So, to make sure your first page doesn’t sink your chances, read on. Let’s go! 1) Starting with something DULL on page 1 Dull is in the eye of the beholder of course … but there’s plenty of pitfalls we can commit with the very first sentence… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Page 1 Of Their Screenplays

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Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

Plotting Like a Pro One of the most searched-for terms on this blog is ‘help with plotting’. Plot – aka structure if you’re a screenwriter – can be a tricky beast. Despite it being fashionable to claim plotting is ‘easy’ to fix, this is utter BILGE … which is why it’s a good idea to try and ensure you don’t tie yourself up in knots at foundation level! So, whether you’re a novelist looking for help plotting your book, or a screenwriter who needs guidance on structuring your script, these quick tips should help. Ready? Let’s go … 1) It’s… Read More »Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

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Top 10 Scream Queens from Movies and TV: Which Is Your Favourite?

What are Scream Queens? Typically, Scream Queens are the ultimate female character, especially in the horror or thriller genres. They are renowned for their iconic and memorable roles as the main protagonists, survivors and/or victims, or for their brave actions in the movie. Very often, they become the ‘Final Girl’ too. It’s time for another Top 10 list of fantastic female performances … So let’s break some of the most iconic Scream Queens in movie and TV history. Vote for your favourite Scream Queens in the comments — ready? Let’s go! 1) Cecilia, Immaculate Played By: Sydney Sweeny Immaculate is… Read More »Top 10 Scream Queens from Movies and TV: Which Is Your Favourite?

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Why Obsessing Over Theme Will Make You Ruin Your Story

“I’ve got something to say” Your script or novel’s theme IS important, but you don’t want to ruin your story by obsessing over it. This is because theme refers to the meaning behind the story, not the story itself. This means you need to concentrate on craft first, THEN theme. Look, writer’s voice is important. We’ve all seen various pro writers, prodcos, agents and publishers going on about this. It would seem like putting theme under the spotlight then is a similar no-brainer. Except everybody’s forgotten these important things: Theme is all about individuals making meaning from a story This… Read More »Why Obsessing Over Theme Will Make You Ruin Your Story

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Barbie Doesn’t Have An Arc?? Puhlease! Stop Revealing Your Lack Of Craft

Barbie At The Oscars So Barbie got a single Oscar win in 2024. After weeks of speculation and outcry online, I think the most surprising thing – for me, anyway –  is WHICH song it got the gong for … ‘What Am I Made For?’ by Billie Eilish. (I don’t know about you, but I barely remember this song in the movie, whereas ‘I’m Just Ken’ is still a banger IMHO). Since being released in the summer of 2023, Barbie has inspired countless ‘think pieces’ online. Inevitably, there were lots of calls from right-wingers about Barbie‘s supposed treatment of male… Read More »Barbie Doesn’t Have An Arc?? Puhlease! Stop Revealing Your Lack Of Craft

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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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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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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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