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?
All About Character Appearance Character appearance is a hot topic when it comes writing craft. How much is ‘enough’ or ‘too much’??? Needless to say, individual writers’ mileage may vary on this question. This is one of those ‘piece of string’ questions, but for the purposes of this blog post I will try and narrow it down in discussing the common main points. When it comes to novels, some authors may spend a lot of time on character appearance. Others may do it more intuitively, or leave it almost entirely up to the reader’s imagination. Most novelists will find themselves… Read More »3 Top Tips On Describing Your Character’s Appearance
On Bad Reviews All writers suffer bad reviews. If you’ve got one or more from readers, viewers or places you’ve submitted (such as film festivals, agents, publishers, or elsewhere) you will know this heartache. You’re hurt, confused and probably can’t stop obsessing about them. Those bad reviews may be all you can think about, even at the expense of the good ones. This is NORMAL. Our stories are our babies. We’ve spent oodles of our time on them. We’ve probably made all kinds of sacrifices to get them written, submitted, published or produced. Supersadface. So how to deal with these… Read More »10 Top Tips About Bad Reviews
Advice For Your Younger (Writer) Self Got some advice for your younger (writer) self? It’s so easy to look back with hindsight and go ‘Ooops! My younger (writer) self was a bit of a tit.‘ Yup … Been there, done that! I sat down and identified a whopping 30 pieces of advice for our younger (writer) selves. Have I missed any?? Be sure to add your own in the comments. Let’s go … 1) Start NOW Seriously … now. Don’t wait. Conditions will always be impossible and the odds will never get better. So get going! 2) Follow your passion Never… Read More »30 Top Tips For Your Younger (Writer) Self
Flashback And Format First up, many thanks to Anna who asks ‘How do I write a flashback within a flashback?’ In the first instance, I have to ask Anna … are you sure you WANT to write a flashback within a flashback?? I must confess, flashbacks within flashbacks are one of my very few pet peeves as a script reader. I don’t understand them in a story sense. If something *is* UNreal in the story (like memory, dreams, or whatever) then how can something create something **further unreal** within it?? It makes my brain explode. The other one that irks… Read More »Focus On Format: How Do I Write A Flashback Within A Flashback?
How To Deal With Writing Burnout It was another tough year, so chances are you may be dealing with writing burnout. I burned out HARD in both 2020 and 2021, perhaps you did too? You may be suffering from writing burnout if you … feel like you no longer care about your screenplay, novel or writing in general are increasingly forgetful, or have trouble concentrating feel like you’ve lost sight of yourself and your goals have difficulty maintaining relationships / being present with loved ones express frustration and irritability more than normal experience somatic pain, muscle tension, headaches or nausea Writing… Read More »Top 10 Tips For Dealing With Writing Burnout
All About Gender Flips Traditionally, ‘gender flips’ refer to when a character’s gender is changed through an adaptation. For example, if a character is male in the book but is made female in the movie or TV version. Over time, ‘gender flipping’ has expanded beyond specific characters and begun to include character tropes as well. A character trope is a recurring idea in fiction. The concept of the hero or villain are traditional character tropes, as well as archetypes. You can read more about tropes HERE. Flipping ‘Eck Gender flips have been in discussion across B2W lately because of remarks made… Read More »5 Simple Gender Flips To Freshen Up Your Story
Getting Rejected For No Good Reason So script reader Allan’s back again, this time talking about the reasons writers may get rejected by default (aka for NO good reason!). As B2W always stresses, writers need to follow the submissions guidelines. Super-simple? Yes. Obvious? Absolutely. But when writers don’t, this is when they will get rejected by default. Fact. I always find it absolutely fascinating that writers fear getting rejected, but don’t always do the work to ensure this doesn’t happen. Often this is because they don’t know where to start. So check out this list of obvious clangers that can… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make That Get Them Rejected By Default
Script Reader POV Following on from his first post, script reader Allan is offering his POV on common mistakes he’s discovered in the spec pile. For me, it’s SO interesting to see the same old issues rear their heads, even in 2021. It’s almost like the foundations of writing craft are timeless! Over to you, Allan … What I Learned From My First 300+ Scripts Out of a sample of 435 scripts, these were some of the most common structural and plotting errors in scripts sent to Film Festivals in 2021. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Ending Act 1 At… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Plotting (According To A Script Reader)
Outlines: For Or Against? It seems every writer has an opinion on outlines! But often writers will fall into two camps … Those who do write outlines and those who don’t. Generally speaking, novelists who do outline tend to advocate the practice as the ‘common sense’ approach. Their outlines may be super-detailed or broad strokes. The uber-organised authors may even use spreadsheets to keep track of every minute detail in their book … or they may use bullet points, notes to self or similar instead. In contrast, novelists who don’t outline are often very loud online. Such writers like Stephen… Read More »Why Novelists Should Write Outlines Just Like Screenwriters
Expensive University Courses If you want to become a writer but worry about how expensive university courses are, save your money. Learn what they teach you on a Creative Writing degree, without the expensive debt. Here are the top 5 things they teach on a Creative Writing BA … Ready? Let’s go! 1) Think like a writer It might sound strange but the first thing they teach you on a Creative Writing BA is how to “think like a writer”. That should go without saying you might think, but here are some handy tips they taught us … Make sure… Read More »How To Become A Writer Without An Expensive University Course
Film Festival Script Reader Twelve months I began reading scripts for a film festival. What started as a volunteer script reader gig of maybe 4-5 scripts per week, eventually morphed into an average of 9 scripts per day. This became just under 450 scripts in the last eight months alone. So what did I learn in that time? Quite a bit. 1) There are No Mistakes So let’s start with the first lesson I learned as a film festival script reader. First up, there’s arguably no such thing as a mistake in storytelling. There have been times where I have… Read More »5 Things I Learned From Being A Script Reader At A Film Festival