The Pain of Remakes And Reboots Whenever I teach a screenwriting class, it won’t be long before someone brings up remakes and reboots. This person will most often* be a middle-aged white man at the beginning of his screenwriting journey. (*But obviously doesn’t have to be). Anyway, he will confess that remakes and reboots make him very angry … Hell, he may even GET angry just talking about them. Then he will insist that remakes and reboots are enemies of creativity and that Hollywood shouldn”t be so ‘risk averse’. When I ask him how many movies he’s watched this year… Read More »Why Remakes And Reboots Are Here To Stay (And No, It’s Not A Bad Thing)
Why We Write Scripts Everyone who has written a script has dreamt of seeing their story on the big screen, having the accolades and the kudos of being a produced screenwriter … It’s why we write scripts. But how many screenplays actually get read by people who want to make films, let alone turned into produced films? It is a very small percentage. What can you do about it? Here are 5 ways to not only get your scripts read, but produced too. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Keep it short – REALLY short Try writing a two-page script. I… Read More »5 Reasons You Should Write Short Film Scripts
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 Too often, female characters become stereotypical in unpublished novels and spec screenplays.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
So, you want to write sex scenes? There’s a surprising dearth of sex scenes in the spec pile … and when they do appear, they are often incorrect, weird or even sexist. Here’s 5 mistakes to avoid if you want to attempt one in your novel or screenplay. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Too Vague/Euphemistic If I have to read one more piece of writing that describes two characters in bed ‘lying back, spent’, I will GO POSTAL! This such a boring description and I see it SO often. Another one that makes me grimace is when writers focus on… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Sex Scenes
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
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
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?
Writing, Editing AND Submitting (Or Self-Publishing!) Your Novel B2W is best known for its screenwriting advice, but being a novelist and author myself, I also love to write and read about the art of novel writing, too. So, with lots of you Bang2writers out there resolving to write a novel then, here’s my top tips on getting yours written, edited AND out there! Enjoy … 1) Writing Your Novel DYK? Writing a novel is HARD! Le duh. The good news is, there’s a plethora of help online to get us through the process. Here’s some popular B2W articles with the… Read More »3 Steps To Writing, Editing & Submitting Your Novel
All About Script Reading Script reading can be a VERY misunderstood job. Writers often have beliefs about script readers that don’t even vaguely match what REALLY happens ‘behind the scenes’! Some common wrong beliefs about script readers include … They enjoy tearing writers down It’s an easy job They don’t really care about the scripts They make megabucks They’re jealous of writers who do well None of the above is true in my experience. This is one of the reasons I launched this blog … I wanted to demystify the submissions process for writers. After all, the more writers understand what… Read More »Script Reading: 25 Experts Share Their Expectations Versus Realities
Ever feel in need of some direction? Bang2writers often tell me they feel they need a road map to help them with their projects. One common issue many writers have is the fact we can write ANYTHING … and that lack of clear perimeters can feel very daunting indeed. Add to that other challenges like neurodivergence, family commitments, or day jobs … well it’s obvious that focusing on our writing can feel like an impossible task. Introducing: The Screenwriter’s Road Map Free Resource The Screenwriter’s Road Map is a new FREE resource for you to download. After chatting with Bangers… Read More »FREE RESOURCE: The Screenwriter’s Road Map
Feeling Awkward We’ve all been to a party where we don’t know anyone. We stand in the corner, feeling lost. Or where we are introduced to 27 people in 3 minutes and know we will never EVER remember who any of them are. It’s a horrible feeling, isn’t it … … So why would you do that to your own readers? Why??? The Birthday Party Analogy I have an analogy I use when thinking about how to start a script. I like to imagine that my audience/reader is someone I have invited to the birthday party of a friend of… Read More »The Birthday Party: A Genius Analogy To Help Writers Introduce Their Stories
On Feedback Trauma Are you suffering from feedback trauma? I don’t just mean hurting over bad reviews, but an experience so awful you feel like a ‘bad’ writer beyond redemption. These traumatic feedback experiences may include but aren’t limited to … Vitriolic feedback and script reports from paid-for readers and contests Screenwriting ‘gurus’ holding up your writing as an example of what NOT to do in classes and online Industry pros shutting you down / dismissing you in pitch meetings Industry pros telling you ‘no one cares’ about subjects dear to your heart in your writing Beta readers and peer… Read More »Are You Suffering From Feedback Trauma?