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7 Important Writing Lessons From The Simpsons

The Simpsons Gets An A+++ One of the most popular posts on B2W is my case study of two episodes of The Simpsons. Both from season 10, I break down the plotting of two classic Simpsons episodes, Lard of The Dance and Maximum Homerdrive. You can find that post, HERE. Since it’s been a few years now, I thought I would revisit The Simpsons and make another case study. Regardless how you feel about the show, most writers have seen multiple episodes, plus at only approx. 20 mins long it is useful for watching in the classroom. As a result,… Read More »7 Important Writing Lessons From The Simpsons

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How To Watch And Break Down A TV Show Episode

Watch & Learn Lots of my Bang2writers say they’re going to watch TV shows ‘for work’ … but then don’t do any work! They just enjoy them. Tsk. Naughty writers! But seriously, you CAN watch whatever you like *and* learn from these produced TV shows at the same time. I’m going to show you how to do this, using the free B2W plotting worksheet, which you can download HERE. By the way, you can watch stuff if you’re a novelist too! Everything I know about novel writing, I learned from watching movies and TV shows. Similarly, you can watch different… Read More »How To Watch And Break Down A TV Show Episode

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5 Ways To Road Test Your Central Idea

All About Your Central Idea How good is your central idea? (AKA concept, seed of the story, premise, core). How do you know? Everyone has ideas. Occasionally you might have a brilliant one. But even the best central idea still needs to be thought through, prodded and stretched to breaking point before you write a single word of script. Here are five ways to thoroughly interrogate your central idea, and to make the script you’re writing stand out from the crowd. 1) Work out your USP (unique selling point) Recently for our Sitcom Geeks podcast James Cary and I read… Read More »5 Ways To Road Test Your Central Idea

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10 Lessons On Writing Women From Phoebe Waller-Bridge

About Phoebe Waller-Bridge If you’ve never heard of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, my first question is where have you been???  She is, of course, the English actress and writer who created, wrote, and starred in the BBC tragicomedy series Fleabag. Phoebe was also the showrunner and executive producer for the first series of the BBC America thriller series Killing Eve. More recently, she signed on to ‘spice up’ the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die. So it’s fair to say this is a creative who knows her stuff! With all this in mind, Bang2write took a look at her thoughts on… Read More »10 Lessons On Writing Women From Phoebe Waller-Bridge

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Maurice Gran: ‘Comedy is a kind of genetic weirdness’

All About Maurice Gran Maurice Gran is one half of scriptwriting duo Marks & Gran. The majority of Brit Bang2writers will no doubt know of him from such popular UK comedies as Shine On Harvey Moon, their breakthrough hit back in 1982. As they say, the rest was history … With such comedy classics as Birds of A Feather, The New Statesman, Love Hurts, Goodnight Sweetheart coming next. But that’s not even the half of it! Maurice has also written a stack of other stuff for TV going back forty years, plus theatre as well. Check out more of his… Read More »Maurice Gran: ‘Comedy is a kind of genetic weirdness’

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Why Theme In FRIENDS Is Better Than You Think

Theme in Friends It’s fair to say the internet erupted with news of a Friends reunion, recently. I’ve written about Friends a fair amount this year on this blog, so thought I would return to the show, with reference to theme. Theme refers to ‘an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature.’ Friends is about a bunch of young friends, all getting through life and love, dealing with whatever it throws at them. Being a sitcom, it’s about dysfunctional family too. Le duh. However, with theme we make our OWN meaning too. How each individual audience… Read More »Why Theme In FRIENDS Is Better Than You Think

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In The Spotlight: Billy Wilder’s Top 10 Writing Tips

All About Billy Wilder Billy Wilder’s considered one of the best screenwriters and filmmakers in film history. Working with other greats like Raymond Chandler during the golden era of Hollywood, Wilder co-wrote and directed such classics as Sunset Boulevard, Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, and Double Indemnity. In short, Wilder’s the bee’s knees and screenwriting royalty! I re-posted his top 10 writing tips to the Bang2write instagram recently and it went WILD. Which one is your favourite and why? Let us know! 1) ‘The audience is fickle.’ Notice Wilder says ‘fickle’, NOT stupid. It’s very fashionable for writers to… Read More »In The Spotlight: Billy Wilder’s Top 10 Writing Tips

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No, Woke Culture Is NOT ‘The Death Of Storytelling’

On ‘Woke Culture’ Hardly a week goes by without some (white) guy lamenting some version of the ‘death of storytelling’. Recently it was film director Todd Phillips’ turn, saying ‘Woke Culture’ is Killing Comedy Movies. Another director, Adam Hertz also chimed in on this saying American Pie wouldn’t get made today. (His position was slightly more nuanced than Phillips’ however, ultimately conceding that’s ‘probably a good thing’.) This is the cruncher though: TIMES CHANGE. This is how the industry works. It is not ‘woke’, it’s just good business sense. What is popular in one decade, is not in another. What’s more, audiences are becoming… Read More »No, Woke Culture Is NOT ‘The Death Of Storytelling’

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1 Important Thing To Remember About Rejection

All About Rejection The thing about rejection is, IT STINGS. When we put all our hopes and dreams into a piece of writing and it gets rejected, it can feel devastating. What’s more, rejection happens to ALL writers. It’s not something that ever magically goes away. Even if a successful pro writer gets most of his or her projects greenlit, there’s still some that will fall through the net. Also, there’s no guarantee of success with target audiences! Pro writers’ work may fail at the box office, bookshops or streaming. That’s just the way it is. Basically, rejection is part… Read More »1 Important Thing To Remember About Rejection

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In The Spotlight: Kirsten Smith’s Top 10 Writing Rules

All About Kirsten Smith Kirsten Smith and her co-writer Karen McCullah are trailblazers in the Rom-Com genre. They are the screenwriting duo behind classic teen movies Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You, to name just a few. But just what is the secret behind their success? What are the rules, tips or best practices they swear by?Smith in particular has been open with her advice for screenwriters. Here’s what she has to share … Enjoy! 1) Conflict is key “Conflict, conflict, conflict between characters. Although we try to avoid it in life, it’s essential to embrace it in… Read More »In The Spotlight: Kirsten Smith’s Top 10 Writing Rules

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No Writers, You’re Not Being ‘Excluded’

On Being Excluded Feeling excluded from the industry? You’re not alone. It seems a lot of writers feel this way. If you’re part of the B2W Facebook group, you may have seen several mini-spats in there this week. These things always seem to jump up at the same time, because feelings run high and writers have A LOT of feelz. The purpose of this post is to address why writers might feel excluded, but also why this is not necessarily the issue they think. Ready? Let’s go. The BBC Drama Writers’ Scheme The first one revolved around the new BBC TV… Read More »No Writers, You’re Not Being ‘Excluded’

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5 Times It’s Okay To Use Clichés In Your Writing

When are clichés not clichés? WHEN THEY WORK! Yes, that’s right, there are FIVE WAYS in which clichés are the comedy writer’s friend. Let’s go … 1) In Your Catchphrases It’s worth remembering why clichés are clichés. They were, when first heard, fantastic sentences or statements that touched the core of a great truth in the shortest possible time. Shakespeare wrote loads and the Bible have given us plenty more. Real clichés become clichés when they are over-used and over-familiar – or as B2W would say, CHEESY! No one ever sits down to write a straight cliché, but we always hope… Read More »5 Times It’s Okay To Use Clichés In Your Writing

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