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10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

Important DON’Ts Storytelling is much harder than it looks, so I have composed a list of DON’Ts to think about when writing your story. If you find this post useful, please pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Ready? Let’s go … 1) DON’T: Start Too Early If you begin too early in your story, you end up with a ‘top-heavy’ draft. This is no good, because modern readers and viewers do NOT want to wait for your story to start. But how do we avoid starting too early? Well, think about beginning with some kind of EVENT… Read More »10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

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Focus On Format: How Do I Write A Flashback Within A Flashback?

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?

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Top 20 Screenplay Contest Tips From Scriptapalooza

Screenplay Contest Tips From Scriptapalooza Many thanks to The Scriptapalooza Screenplay competition for today’s post. There’s some straightforward gold here that can provide a powerful reset and act as a really useful checklist. If you’re planning on entering contests this season, be sure to check out Scriptapalooza at the bottom of the post. Ready? Then let’s go … 1) Read the Submissions Guidelines Each competition has its own guidelines/rules. Make sure you read them and submit exactly what each competition suggests. 2) Always spell check your script Nothing is more frustrating than a producer reading your script and seeing mistake… Read More »Top 20 Screenplay Contest Tips From Scriptapalooza

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15 Awesome Tips For Cutting Down Your Page Count

All About Cutting Down Page Count Cutting down scripts is an essential tool of the trade for writers. Last week I had to cut a script down from 138 pages to the required 104. Losing 34 pages is no mean feat, but most of us will have to do this at some point … Some writers will find themselves cutting down even more! I’m a writer who continually overwrites (I’d rather have too much than too little). This means cutting down page count is a skill I’ve developed over the last few years. Here’s my top tips on how to do… Read More »15 Awesome Tips For Cutting Down Your Page Count

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Top 5 Formatting Mistakes Writers Make

Formatting Errors If you’ve written a great screenplay, you don’t want to ruin its chances of success by getting something simple like the formatting wrong. By formatting it properly, you’re making sure the reader won’t be distracted or disengaged. Screenplay software makes the job much easier, but there’s still a few major formatting things you have to look out for on your own. Here are the top formatting mistakes to avoid at all costs. 1) Too Much ‘Black On The Page’ … Or Too Little! It’s normal that people would rather read text that has plenty of ‘white space’. It’s… Read More »Top 5 Formatting Mistakes Writers Make

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5 Cool Things About John August’s Highland 2.5 Screenwriting Software

All About Highland 2.5 Last week in Los Angeles, about 100 screenwriters gathered in a Hollywood penthouse bar to celebrate the latest update to screenwriting software Highland. The Mac-based app was created by BIG FISH, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and ALADDIN screenwriter John August. Highland counts Hollywood heavyweights among its fans, including Michael Chabon who said: “It is truly such a beautiful app. I have more genuine affection for it than almost any other: the way you love a favorite hand tool or kitchen knife.” So, what makes this app so intriguing? A few things … 1) It was created… Read More »5 Cool Things About John August’s Highland 2.5 Screenwriting Software

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infographic version of how to write TV series bibles

What No One Is Talking About In The Great Screenplay Format Debate

The Debate Every year or so, what I call ‘The Great Screenplay Format Debate’ pops up. Some years it’s just once, others it’s multiple times. It never gets more heated than on Twitter, where produced screenwriters will  insist over and over it’s about ‘great writing’, NOT ‘great format’. Mic drop. Debate over. So, are these guys right? Of course. B2W also bangs on about this, after all. As far as I’m concerned, the notion of great writing ultimately comes down to just three things (that’s concept, characters and structure, for anyone wondering). OF COURSE there’s a bunch of other stuff… Read More »What No One Is Talking About In The Great Screenplay Format Debate

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Top 6 Tips On Editing Your Own Writing

Editing is hard work Editing your own writing is a huge undertaking. It’s difficult to edit your own work, so you need to be vigilant. You also have to take into consideration things such as when you edit and who you get to assist you. Identify crutch words, pay attention to technical aspects, and you’ll be left with a polished masterpiece. Well, a polished draft anyway! Check out these top tips:   1) Have your draft read to you It’s much easier to detect errors when you hear your work read aloud. There are two options: have someone read it to you or… Read More »Top 6 Tips On Editing Your Own Writing

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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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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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1 Wrong Belief That Is Destroying Your Scene Description

Did you know? The one craft element Bang2writers struggle with – probably more than anything else, in fact – is (wait for it) … … Scene description.  WTAF! I hear you say. Surely character and structure are more problematic?? Well yes, I’ll give you that – especially when we’re talking HOLISTICALLY. But when we’re talking about looking at elements IN ISOLATION – as in literally looking at the page in front of us, in order to try and improve our actual screenwriting craft generally – then it’s scene description all the way that causes the biggest headaches for writers of ANY… Read More »1 Wrong Belief That Is Destroying Your Scene Description

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Top 5 Reasons To Use WriterDuet Screenwriting Software

Click onto any writers’ group on social media (such a Bang2writers on FB – join now!) and you won’t have to scroll far to find posts asking “what screenwriting software do you use?” There are a lot of options out there, some of which I talked about in my Top 5 Tips For The Long Distance Screenwriter article for B2W back in 2014. But that article was written B.W.D. – Before WriterDuet! There’s my top 5 reasons why you should be using it too: 5) Collaboration Collaboration with other writers is easier than ever in the digital age, and WriterDuet makes it… Read More »Top 5 Reasons To Use WriterDuet Screenwriting Software

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