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How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

If You Love Something, Let It Go  When should we let go of a draft? Well, like so many writing-related things, this can be a real ‘piece of string’ question. That said, there are some best practices to consider that will help you know when to let go. Ready? Let’s go …  1) Have THE GUTS To Finish!  To often, writers can’t let go of drafts. They will tinker with them endlessly, making submissions alongside these endless edits. This frequently leads to them trying to make multiple resubmissions. This is a bad idea, because industry pros want to see fresh… Read More »How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

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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’

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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

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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

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10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

Important DON’Ts Storytelling is much harder than it looks, so I have composed a list of DON’Ts to think about when writing your story. If you find this post useful, please pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Ready? Let’s go … 1) DON’T: Start Too Early If you begin too early in your story, you end up with a ‘top-heavy’ draft. This is no good, because modern readers and viewers do NOT want to wait for your story to start. But how do we avoid starting too early? Well, think about beginning with some kind of EVENT… Read More »10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

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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

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Sex Scenes

So, you want to write sex scenes? There’s a surprising dearth of sex scenes in the spec pile … and when they do appear, they are often incorrect, weird or even sexist. Here’s 5 mistakes to avoid if you want to attempt one in your novel or screenplay. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Too Vague/Euphemistic If I have to read one more piece of writing that describes two characters in bed ‘lying back, spent’, I will GO POSTAL! This such a boring description and I see it SO often. Another one that makes me grimace is when writers focus on… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Sex Scenes

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Finding Your Emotional Truth: 3 Tips from the Trenches

How To Write With Emotional Truth In the household I grew up in, showing emotions was a weakness. Naturally, my first reaction when learning that I need to “write with emotional truth” was to run for the hills. When I calmed down and came back, I started a long and exhausting process of figuring out what my emotional truth is. It took me a long time to figure out how to start the process. So, here are a few things that helped me get going. TIP 1) Explore and Excavate Emotions The first step is to figure out how you… Read More »Finding Your Emotional Truth: 3 Tips from the Trenches

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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

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Top 10 Tips To Get Your Writing Out There

So, you want to get your writing out there … I get emails and messages from Bangers on the regular about getting their writing out there. I thought I’d round up the most common questions about this topic so it’s all in one place for you. So if you’re feeling stumped but want to get your writing out there, make sure you check out the top 10 below for tips. Ready? Let’s go … 1) How do I know my draft is ‘ready’ to send out? This can depend, but never send out a first draft for starters. Then do… Read More »Top 10 Tips To Get Your Writing Out There

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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

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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?

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