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1 Killer Screenwriting Trick From Walter Hill (ALIEN)

About Walter Hill Walter Hill is a director, screenwriter and producer with a super-shiny resumé. He is the writer-director of the classic gang warfare movie The Warriors, an adaptation of the novel by Sol Yurick. Known primarily for the action genre, Hill has worked with all kinds of Hollywood royalty such as Arnold Schwarzenegger (Red Heat); Eddie Murphy (48 Hours and Another 48 Hours); Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa (Bullet to The Head); and even Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah (Hardboiled crime author Jim Thompson’s The Getaway). But even with all that in mind, Hill is perhaps most famous for producing… Read More »1 Killer Screenwriting Trick From Walter Hill (ALIEN)

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: 10 Screenwriting Commandments From William Goldman

About William Goldman William Goldman was a novelist and screenwriter. If you’ve never heard of him, then where have you been?? His contribution to the creative arts is phenomenal. He was also a huge influence on B2W!! Goldman’s works include his thriller novel Marathon Man and his cult classic comedy/fantasy novel The Princess Bride, both of which he also adapted for the film versions. Goldman also won Oscars for his screenplays Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and All the President’s Men (1976). He also did a brilliant job of illuminating the process for writers in his non fiction books… Read More »IN THE SPOTLIGHT: 10 Screenwriting Commandments From William Goldman

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Scenes

All About Writing Scenes In my new book, The Craft of Scene Writing: Beat by Beat to a Better Script, I complement the overwhelming amount of material on story and structure for screenwriters by focusing on craft. In fact, avoid these common 5 Scene Mistakes and improve your script today! 1) Scenes That Ignore The Story’s Concept A scene that doesn’t link its surprise to the concept is a non-sequitur. It’s generic. Avoid scenes that could work in other films. Dance with the one that brought you: your concept. Stay true to it and reap many rewards. The main conceit… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Scenes

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Why FRIENDS Has An Awesome Pilot (And What It Can Teach Writers)

Rise of the Spec TV Pilot Every screenwriter alive wants to write a great pilot episode of their own, if the spec pile is anything go by. When I started B2W back in the day, I hardly ever saw spec TV pilot episodes of any kind. Fast-forward fifteen years and I would venture I read more spec TV pilot episodes than anything else! It also means THE most popular article on this entire site is How To Write TV Series Bibles – over 130K+ unique hits now. Wow! That said, spec TV pilot episodes are notoriously difficult to write. Whilst… Read More »Why FRIENDS Has An Awesome Pilot (And What It Can Teach Writers)

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FOCUS ON FORMAT – When To Use Captions

What is a caption? On a screenplay, ‘captions’ are those bits of text you may see flash up on screen – i.e.: 24 HOURS EARLIER NEW YORK DAY 32 COLONY 1, THE MOON BAGHDAD, IRAQ INSIDE DEREK’S LOWER INTESTINE You know the ones. You will have seen them countless times whilst watching movies, TV dramas, sitcoms, documentaries and even short films, web series, sketches, YouTube reviews etc. Lots of Bang2writers ask me how to format these. Well, it’s pretty simple. You just need to write: SUPER: [Caption you want to put in] Apparently, ‘Super’ is short for ‘Super impose’. This… Read More »FOCUS ON FORMAT – When To Use Captions

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38 Good Reasons Your Script Might Get Rejected

Has Your Script Been Rejected? If your script has been rejected, you may be feeling confused and despondent right now. Often it’s hard to know why your script did not advance … especially when we compare our scripts to friends’ work, or produced stuff. You may remember this infographic from when it was doing the rounds three or four years back. I thought I’d revisit it and see if anything has radically changed in how I view it from B2W’s POV as a script reader and script editor. Since this blog always posits there’s no ‘right’ way to write (just… Read More »38 Good Reasons Your Script Might Get Rejected

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INFOGRAPHIC: Everything You Need To Know About The Screenplay

So, we have a new infographic on B2W today that will hopefully kickstart your new screenplay and/or keep it going, so you can get it written and revised and sent out. Let’s check it out … What Should You Write About? There’s some great tips here on adaptation. Though most screenwriters aren’t going to have the money for options on adapting bestselling books, they can still collaborate with authors (especially self published ones, though literary agents may pair scriptwriters with authors too – always worth asking! ). Beyond adaptation, it’s always worth doing lots of work on your central concept… Read More »INFOGRAPHIC: Everything You Need To Know About The Screenplay

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The Art Of The Unspoken: Give Your Reader A Chance To Fill In The Rest

If you want your readers to NOT get bored with a stereotypical ending and/or to keep them hooked, then it is high time for you to learn about The Art of the Unspoken! This technique can be hard to grasp and utilise effectively at first, but it means you will give your readers chance to fill in the rest WITHOUT you needing to be ‘on the nose’ with it. These 7 tips will make your journey to creating the breathtaking mysterious atmosphere easier. Chew on these for size: 1) Pacing With a purpose to create a mystery you need to control… Read More »The Art Of The Unspoken: Give Your Reader A Chance To Fill In The Rest

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How To Create A Memorable Antagonist

What’s a story without a masterful villain? A boring thing that gets no one’s attention, right? Great stories are based on conflicts between good and evil, meaning that a memorable antagonist is just as important as the story’s protagonist! But how exactly do you create an outstanding antagonist? Check out these tips  to understand the essential characteristics of a memorable antagonist. The imperfection of a perfect villain Name few of the most powerful antagonists you can think of. Is there a violent and psychotic gangster, a murderer, or sociopath among them? Are some of them a simple guy next-door ?… Read More »How To Create A Memorable Antagonist

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3 Important Tips About Theme And Story

1) Theme – A Definition Many thanks to Robert Maitland who asks: I’ve written a screenplay and I am struggling to define the theme. I thought I had understood what the theme/premise was, but on sending it to someone they disagreed. I was wondering if you could offer any advice? If we look up ‘theme’ in the dictionary, you’ll see key words from the definition in the graphic above: ‘subject‘, ‘topic’, ‘idea‘, ‘recurs’ and ‘pervade‘. In layman’s terms then, theme is what your story is ‘REALLY ABOUT’ at foundation level. 2) The Importance of Theme Some writers attach a lot… Read More »3 Important Tips About Theme And Story

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