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Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

The Hero’s Journey I’ve been researching The Hero’s Journey for about a decade now on this blog. When I wrote my Thriller Screenplays book back in 2013, it was a plot template that was ALL the rage. In fact, just ten short years ago, screenwriters were told it was pretty much the ‘only’ plotting archetype worth writing … and that if their characters did not change, their writing was ‘bad’!  Fast-forward to 2023 and these expectations have changed considerably. Audiences have started to tire of The Hero’s Journey and its ubiquity. Novels, indie film and even major blockbusters have started… Read More »Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

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Are you ALL IN? How To Know You’re A Professional Writer At Last

Are You A Professional Writer Yet? One question I get all the time is ‘How do I know if I am a professional writer?’ The writers asking will usually tell me that though they may have had books published or screenplays produced, they just don’t feel ‘there’ yet. Alternatively, writers may tell me they haven’t earned any $$$£££ yet, so ‘can’t’ be professionals yet. So, how DO you know if you’re a professional writer? Well check out these tips … let’s go. 1) You know it’s NOT About the money Look up the word ‘professional’ in the dictionary and you… Read More »Are you ALL IN? How To Know You’re A Professional Writer At Last

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Top 5 Reasons Producers Don’t Like Your Pitches

Your Next Step: Finding Producers You’ve got the script. You’re ready to get it made. Finding producers is your next step. But nobody seems to want to work on it with you. In fact, a lot of producers aren’t even replying to you!  So let’s see where you might be going wrong … Ready? Let’s go!  5) You didn’t make it personal Quite simply, you’re contacting a producer with no personal connection or interest in what you’re pitching. A producer will likely spend 6 months – 3 years devoted to a short film, and much longer for anything else. They’re… Read More »Top 5 Reasons Producers Don’t Like Your Pitches

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How To Write A Great Story Arc For Your Character (With Examples)

A Great Story Arc Needs Conflict Every great story has a beginning, middle, and end, also known as a story arc. In order to keep your audience engaged, your story should have a clear story arc with a conflict that is resolved by the end. Le duh! But what is a story arc? As you may guess, it’s the narrative structure of a story. How that story arc works will depend on the story being told. Characters may deal with problems – aka conflict – in order to make changes in their lives or important realisations. The most common of these… Read More »How To Write A Great Story Arc For Your Character (With Examples)

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Top 10 ‘Unlikeable’ Female Characters In Movies & TV

All About ‘Unlikeable’ Female Characters ‘Why are so many female characters unlikeable these days?’ That was a thread I had the misfortune to read recently, but it’s not the only one. Commentary on supposedly ‘unlikeable’ female characters never goes away, it seems. Men – and sadly, some women too – all chime in regularly about this topic online, saying shit like … … It’s ‘misogyny’ to write female characters with bad motivations or other bad behaviour (sigh) … Female characters have a RESPONSIBILITY to be role models to young girls (erm no, ENTERTAINMENT first!)  … Writers are showing their inexperience… Read More »Top 10 ‘Unlikeable’ Female Characters In Movies & TV

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No, There Are NOT ‘Loads’ Of Great Screenplays Waiting to Be Made. Here’s Why

Wanted: Great Screenplays ‘There must be LOADS of great screenplays in the pile just waiting to be made!!!’ I hear this, constantly. It’s a lament from wannabe screenwriters that NEVER goes away, it seems. But I can tell you, as a script reader & editor, IT’S NOT TRUE. Here’s why … First off, define ‘great screenplay’ Do you mean WRITTEN WELL? Hah, good luck. Finding well-written screenplays in the pile is harder than you think, especially when what constitutes ‘good writing’ means different things to different people. ‘Great screenplays’ #2 Do you mean a KILLER CONCEPT? Yeah, this shit is… Read More »No, There Are NOT ‘Loads’ Of Great Screenplays Waiting to Be Made. Here’s Why

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The 10 Most Iconic Teachers in Movies, TV and Literature

Iconic Teachers In media, teachers are often relegated to secondary character status. They may appear onstage to inspire their students, drop a pearl of wisdom, and disappear from whence they came. And while this can be an accurate of the fleeting presence of teachers in our own lives, it doesn’t do justice to the impact a good (or bad!) teacher can have on us. With that in mind, I wanted to pay homage to the most iconic teachers from movies, TV, and literature in true Bang2Write fashion. Consider this a star-studded teacher’s lounge, featuring some of the most memorable mentor… Read More »The 10 Most Iconic Teachers in Movies, TV and Literature

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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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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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Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

About Javier Grillo-Marxuach Javier Grillo-Marxuach is a screenwriter and producer. He has the kind of resumé most Bang2writers would kill for, including iconic shows like Charmed and Lost. He’s continued with fantastic modern TV such as The Witcher, The 100 and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance as well. Wow! I was delighted to Zoom with Javier recently. I love high concept, dystopian and post-apocalyptic story worlds. He’s literally worked on some of my favourite shows that have influenced my own writing! Javier also wrote the AMAZING 11 Laws of show running, an online essay/memo which really requires its own post.… Read More »Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

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3 Top Tips From Hardboiled Writer Jim Thompson

All About Jim Thompson (1906 – 1977) Jim Thompson may not be the most immediately recognisable of famous novelist names, but he’s my favourite writer of all time. A screenwriter as well as author, Thompson wrote over thirty novels. Known for hardboiled crime fiction (my ultimate fave subgenre by the way), Thompson received positive critical acclaim, but little commercial notice in his lifetime. His best-received novels include The Killer Inside Me, The Getaway and Pop. 1280. My personal favourite of his is The Grifters. I love Thompson’s work because nearly every person in his stories is not just an antihero,… Read More »3 Top Tips From Hardboiled Writer Jim Thompson

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