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Top 5 Mistakes Comedy Writers Make

‘How to write comedy’ is a VERY popular search term via Google to this site, so when Peter and Jon from The Comedy Crowd offered their expertise in the genre for the Bang2writers, I snapped their hands off! Enjoy!  There is a perception that it’s harder than ever to get into comedy. Established writers have bemoaned the shift of scheduling and budgets away from sitcoms and towards drama, or the oft-maligned ‘comedy-drama’ genre. If you’re aiming for that primetime BBC slot and you aren’t an arena stand-up those established writers are probably right – it is tough to get into comedy.… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Comedy Writers Make

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5 Problems With Structure ALL Writers Have

As any Bang2writer – new or old – knows, I am an advocate on getting on top of plotting via KNOWING STRUCTURE. However, unlike many, I really don’t care *how* writers do this. I might be a 3 Acts Girl myself (as in, beginning – middle – end and not necessarily in that order!), but whatever works as far as I’m concerned. But as we all know, very few specs’ structures WORK on the page. And it’s too often because writers are not doing enough research into this incredibly important element of writing. Instead, they’re crossing their fingers and hoping for… Read More »5 Problems With Structure ALL Writers Have

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How To Use Foreshadowing In Your Writing

Foreshadowing (also known as “guessing ahead”) is one of the most powerful storytelling tools, but only if used right. The main goal of foreshadowing is to prepare the readers for what comes next. However, this goal can be achieved with the help of different methods, and that’s when the challenge starts. Sometimes writers fail to achieve this goal at all, giving the details of the main secret right away instead of subtly hinting that a certain thing is about to happen. This is the main reason why readers sometimes hate foreshadowing. When it is used in a wrong way, it ruins… Read More »How To Use Foreshadowing In Your Writing

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The 1 Epic Mistake Nearly ALL Writers Make

So. Much. Truth. Writers are a funny bunch. We often make life a lot harder for ourselves, when all we need is a mindset adjustment. I was trawling through Facebook – as you do – when I saw this pic via super-agent and veteran Bang2writer Julian Friedmann … Why this pic is particularly relevant to writers As any script editor, agent, producer or mentor will tell you, they see writers clinging on to: Concepts that don’t work Drafts that suck Scenes that are waaaay out Rubbish dialogue Characters who are dull, derivative or weird Ill-advised approaches to gatekeepers Marketing or… Read More »The 1 Epic Mistake Nearly ALL Writers Make

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Top 5 Screenplay Format Mistakes

How’s your screenplay format? Screenplay format gets a bad rap and is often conflated with writing craft. Whilst sometimes the two things DO cross over, this post will deal predominantly with **how** your script looks ON THE PAGE. Continuing in the Top 5 Mistakes series, I’ll be concentrating on screenplay format today. (I’m assuming your layout, spelling, punctuation and grammar are awesome already. If not, you can check here: 10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now.) Ready, then? Let’s go … 1) Overly long sluglines (aka ‘scene headers’) A slugline or scene header in a… Read More »Top 5 Screenplay Format Mistakes

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Top 10 Killer Words That Make Readers Switch Off

When you’re reading all day, every day, for work AND for pleasure you tend to notice how *certain things* slip by (maybe?) unchallenged, even into produced and published works. So here’s B2W’s official top 10 of the words that MOST make me, “WTF??” when I see them, again and again and again … Enjoy! 1) Obviously This is a huge screenwriting no-no in scene description, but I see it pretty much every day, usually describing something we’re supposed to be seeing on screen that pertains to the plot in some way. I’ve noticed too this has started to slip into… Read More »Top 10 Killer Words That Make Readers Switch Off

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Writing Adages Explained: ‘Characters Are What They Do’

Lots of writers – novelists and screenwriters – believe the way a character SPEAKS literally says a lot about them. As a result, they’ll spend ages obsessing over their dialogue in the mistaken thought that accent or a way of talking will differentiate them. It’s not hard to see why, either: everyone has favourite novel, movie and TV quotes, after all. However, characters are known and celebrated not for what they SAY in stories, but for their actions in those stories: – Do we remember Ripley for making rousing speeches about never giving up … Or for busting into a nest… Read More »Writing Adages Explained: ‘Characters Are What They Do’

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Writing Adages Explained: ‘Show, Don’t Tell’

“Show, Don’t Tell” gets a bad rap as far as writing advice goes because it’s become a “catch all” for just about anything a feedback-giver feels is “bad” prose or scene description. As a result, this note can end up being frustrating, rather than illuminating. However, at its heart, it IS good stuff. It basically describes the sensation in the reader of feeling “placed away” from the events in the story. This is not dramatic, because the writer is not INVOLVING us *in* the story. Instead, it ends up feeling a bit, “And then … And then … And then… Read More »Writing Adages Explained: ‘Show, Don’t Tell’

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8 Things Script Readers Want From Your Screenplay

What Script Readers Want Script readers often get a raw deal. Writers frequently assume script readers don’t really care about the scripts they read … but in my experience this is NOT true. Fact is, script readers WANT every script they open to be AWESOME. When I find a script that truly impresses me, I am always overjoyed. My script reading colleagues are the same, too. Honest guv! But what does ‘awesome’ mean? Well obviously that’s a ‘piece of string’-type question, but I’ve managed to boil it down to 8 craft-related elements I want from a great script. Ready? Let’s… Read More »8 Things Script Readers Want From Your Screenplay

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Question: Has the standard of screenwriting improved? REVISITED

Many thanks to longterm Bang2writer James DeMarco, aka @jazadal, who asks this in The B2W Facebook group: I’d like to revisit a question I asked you a few years ago. With the plethora of info available to aspiring screenwriters via internet + classes, festivals, seminars, etc. these days, have you, as a reader, noticed any improvement in the quality of submissions you receive? An UPDATE please, if you can. Thanks! I answered James’ original question back in 2012. You can see the original post, here: Have Script Levels Improved Over The Last Decade? So, as requested by James, here’s my updated answer for… Read More »Question: Has the standard of screenwriting improved? REVISITED

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