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Diversity

Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

All Hail The T-Rex From Jurassic Park Over Christmas I was noodling around Facebook when I came across this fun meme (right, below) depicting Mothra, the Xenomorph Queen and the T-Rex as ‘inspiring female characters’. Cue a million nerds like me all LIKING the pic (because, obviously). But when I looked at the thread underneath it was full of … ‘Oh hardy ha, this can’t be true, very funny’ etc etc. Except I’m DEADLY serious when I say the T-Rex is one of the best, most well-written monsters in creature feature history. YUP you read that right and NOPE I am… Read More »Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

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Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

Should writers write characters UNlike themselves? In the 2020s, writers frequently want to write characters UNlike themselves. I do, too! Looking at my books, I have written characters who are not like me. My characters may be (in no particular order): male; older or younger than me; gay; American; black; Romany; British Chinese; transgender; Australian; upper class; homeless and many more besides. The debate on social media often focuses on the notion certain writers are being told NOT to write characters UNlike themselves. It’s no accident the average writer lamenting this ‘fact’ is usually part of a dominant group, either.… Read More »Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

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Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

What is Sexual Tension? Sexual tension is a key ingredient in many successful published novels and produced screenplays. Whilst sexual tension turns up most in romance stories, it can be part of ANY story in any genre. For example, I wrote sexual tension in my crime novel, The Other Twin. Sexual tension is that feeling of excitement and anticipation you get when something hot and heavy is happening between the characters, but they haven’t yet acted on their desires. Done well, sexual tension can be incredibly addictive for readers and viewers. It keeps them turning pages late into the night,… Read More »Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

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Go Woke, Go Broke? Yeah, Go Fuck Yourself (And More Adventures In Diverse Storytelling)

A Little Reminder You can say you ‘support diverse storytelling’ all you want, but if you ALSO say it’s ‘not bigotry’ to actively prefer white actors to BIPOC or LGBTQ ones?? Guess what: you DON’T support diverse storytelling!   C’mon, this is basic. Sigh.  Another week, yet another casting controversy … This time, it’s about Cleopatra being cast as a black actor in the upcoming Netflix drama in May. If you’re yet to catch up, here are just some of the various takes: VARIETY: ‘Queen Cleopatra Director Slams Criticism of Casting Black Cleopatra THE SPECTATOR: Why is Netflix Pretending That Cleopatra… Read More »Go Woke, Go Broke? Yeah, Go Fuck Yourself (And More Adventures In Diverse Storytelling)

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Top 10 Fearless Female Archers In Movies And TV

Female Archers in Fiction You don’t have to look far to find female archers in fiction. Though male archers obviously do exist too, this is often part of their specific characterisation (Arrow and Hawkeye are the most obvious here). In contrast, female archers in fiction frequently use the bow and arrow as their weapon of choice as a warrior: nothing more, nothing less. In fact, female archer warriors use the bow and arrow so often, it’s become a trope of its own. Tropes are those recurrent ideas or motifs we see in novels, movies or TV. Whilst many internet commentators believe… Read More »Top 10 Fearless Female Archers In Movies And TV

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5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

Watch & Read The Black Phone Now The Black Phone is a movie adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same title by Joe Hill. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the screenplay is written by Derrickson and his long-time collaborator C. Robert Cargill. I’m a HUGE fan of both Hill and this duo’s previous output including Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, so I was keen to watch the movie regardless. The logline for The Black Phone on imdb reads, “After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls… Read More »5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

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8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV

See on Apple TV So, See on AppleTV concluded last week. Written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Dirty Pretty Things, Locke), it’s been one of my favourite TV series of recent years. Though unpopular with the critics, the show has been a big hit with audiences. This means I  believe See has plenty to teach us as writers. Here’s eight powerful reminders from the show I picked out … Ready? Let’s go! 1) Old story, new telling Post-apocalyptic worlds set in the future are not new. In the past ten years, they’ve been exceptionally popular. We’ve seen such dystopian storyworlds in… Read More »8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV

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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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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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Top 5 Tips For Writing A Compelling Antihero

All About The Antihero In recent years, audiences and readers have really got behind the antihero character. I love to write antiheroes in my own work, plus I love to watch them on television and in movies. I also read them in novels too. In short, I am OBSESSED with them just like everyone else! For a long time, protagonists were super-good and antagonists were super-bad. This worked at the time because it’s what audiences wanted … BUT it raised a lot of issues, too. Because of the lack of general diversity, antagonists were often villains that were coded as… Read More »Top 5 Tips For Writing A Compelling Antihero

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5 Things I Learned From Screenwriter Stephen Beresford (PRIDE)

Talking To Stephen Beresford Stephen Beresford is an actor and screenwriter, who wrote the award-winning British lgbtq+ movie Pride. I had the pleasure of talking with him about getting the film made, his writing process, and any tips he had. Here’s what I learned. 1) There’s value in truth While the UK film industry is only roughly half of its American counterpart ($6.4bn compared to $11.4bn), there’s always something quite special when a new British film comes out, perhaps because the industry is so incredibly choosy. According to Stephen, the UK film industry is very conservative, but having something based… Read More »5 Things I Learned From Screenwriter Stephen Beresford (PRIDE)

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