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25 Mistakes That Send Your Screenplay To The Trash

Don’t Get Sent To Trash If you don’t want your spec screenplay moved to trash, you need to read this post. A lot has changed since I became a script reader back in the early 00s … the biggest being PDFs are now the ‘main’ format of spec scripts. Back when I began, they were on PAPER! I would have to stay in all day and wait for the courier to stagger up my driveway with a sackfull of them. Nowadays, I just get sent a link to a Dropbox folder. Aaah progress! I’ll be teaching Breaking Into Script Reading… Read More »25 Mistakes That Send Your Screenplay To The Trash

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8 Great Dialogue Tips That Will Rock Your Screenplay

Great dialogue is about one-fifth of a powerful screenplay, but it will probably be one of the most influential parts in catching the attention of the reader (and thus your potential audience!). So whilst you don’t want your dialogue to take over, it’s still VERY important to your script’s success … So check out these tips for ensuring you make the most of yours! 1) Eavesdrop! Do this subtly, of course. But listen in on conversations that people are having in a variety of environments and on a variety of topics. You’ll get a much better “feel” for what natural… Read More »8 Great Dialogue Tips That Will Rock Your Screenplay

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The 2 Sentences Your Characters Should NEVER Say

Just a quick one today to remind you there’s no RIGHT way to write your spec screenplay or novel, but there *are* plenty of WRONG ways. In fact, there’s so many mini-pitfalls, pet peeves and writing mistakes out there, they soon add up to form a big fat REJECTION for your work if you’re not careful. But as I always bang on on B2W (arf) you can avoid this avalanche of writing kryptonite by paying attention to the little things. Since writers LOVE dialogue, I thought I’d draw attention to two KILLER phrases that are so stinky they immediately make… Read More »The 2 Sentences Your Characters Should NEVER Say

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How BLADE RUNNER 2049 Confuses All Its Critics

Mild Spoilers Box Office Whoa In a week in which *that* news broke about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein broke, you’d be forgiven for missing that BLADE RUNNER 2049 apparently bombed at the box office. Of course, this may not be that big a deal in the long run … After all, the original also bombed back in 1982. What’s more, apparently the original didn’t review well, unlike 2049 which has that hallowed FRESH rating on Rotten Tomatoes (88%, no less). Once Awards Season and ancillary markets are factored in, there’ every chance 2049 will earn its place in popular culture… Read More »How BLADE RUNNER 2049 Confuses All Its Critics

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10 Useful Infographics To Help You Pick The Right Words

1) TIP: Never Use Boring Words! First up, the obvious … And one that some say is the ONLY rule every writer should follow – ‘Don’t be boring!’ Novelist Bang2writers obviously have the strongest burden in NOT being boring. In comparison to screenplays, every single word of a novel is accessible to a reader. That said, script readers have to read a screenplay first, so it’s still not wise to be repetitive and write ‘flat’ and flabby prose. This infographic from Custom Writing breaks down some common and frankly DULL words, plus what ALL writers can use instead. Remember, just because… Read More »10 Useful Infographics To Help You Pick The Right Words

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DANGER: Why Dialogue Is Killing Your Screenplay

The Bad Stuff Look, we ALL know that characters are what they DO (not what they say). So why the hell are so many spec screenplays dialogue-led??? You know the ones, you’ve probably written them yourself (I know I have). In these pesky dialogue-laden specs, we: … Have extended introduction sequences to the characters, especially via chit-chat (‘How are you?’/ ‘I remember when you …’/ ‘What do you plan on doing next?’ etc). … End up reading pages and pages of talk (‘chains of dialogue’) … Read a never-ending flow of moving body parts and false movement, so the scenes… Read More »DANGER: Why Dialogue Is Killing Your Screenplay

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Top 10 Scary Movie Lines And Why They Work

We all love Horror here on B2W, plus everyone loves quotable dialogue, so a post on top scary movie lines is a no-brainer! Many thanks to author Douglas Keesey for this post today. He provides some excellent pointers on why certain lines work in the genre and reminds us screenwriters – again! – that context is everything. Remember, great dialogue does not work in isolation. Enjoy! 1) Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1956) “They’re here already. You’re next!  You’re next! You’re next!” At the film’s conclusion, its lead character sounds crazy when he walks out onto the highway, warning passing… Read More »Top 10 Scary Movie Lines And Why They Work

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15 Cheesy Writing Fails To Avoid In The First 10 Pages

Cheesy Writing Fails We all know we have to avoid the cheesy writing fails to get ahead. As all screenwriters know, the first ten pages can be make or break … But now novelists – both self-published AND trying to smash their way out of the slush pile – are finding they have to hit the ground running too. Readers and viewers are more media literate than ever and they simply WILL NOT ‘wait’ for the story to start! When the beginning of your work is SO important, it simply doesn’t make sense to include scenes or elements we’ve seen a gazillion times… Read More »15 Cheesy Writing Fails To Avoid In The First 10 Pages

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5 Important Tips For Writing Kickass Comedy

Comedy is probably the most popular genre these days, which is not surprising! People always appreciate a good laugh, especially when their lives are complicated. So it’s no wonder that many writers want to succeed in comedy writing: it’s one of the best ways to earn money and make other people’s life better at the same time. However, it is not easy to become a good comedy writer. Being a funny person is one thing, but being able to transfer your sense of humor to a piece of paper is completely another. So how do you write a story that is… Read More »5 Important Tips For Writing Kickass Comedy

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INFOGRAPHIC: All About Dialogue – A Periodic Table

So, I’ve written A LOT on this blog about how writers obsess over their dialogue and why they shouldn’t. This is because too often, writers fall in love with their dialogue and end up telling the story via talk alone. Nooooooooooo! However, if you writers *are* going to obsess on dialogue, then you could do a lot worse than finding out exactly what dialogue really IS. Shockingly, many writers don’t differentiate their characters’ speech patterns enough, so what they *think* is cool and interesting, is actually samey and boring to read. If we consider a book like The Maze Runner… Read More »INFOGRAPHIC: All About Dialogue – A Periodic Table

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