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How To Get The Most Out Of A Writer’s Group by Lisa Shoreland

Writer’s groups are a great way to get feedback about your work and learn how to improve your writing. They also provide you with the inspiration and motivation you likely need to keep writing and stay on track. Plus, they’re a great way to meet other writers and to form long-lasting friendships. However, as with any group, writer’s groups can easily lose focus and turn into unproductive social hours where you’re just chatting about the latest books you read or movies you saw. Even if you manage to stay on topic about writing, these groups can devolve into personal attacks… Read More »How To Get The Most Out Of A Writer’s Group by Lisa Shoreland

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Theme

I recently asked Bang2writers to get in touch with their thoughts on narrative function, so Ben W emailed me this: “I was in a meeting recently and the producer kept going on about how much she liked my theme of “Anti-Capitalism taking on big corporations”. I just nodded and said “thanks” but to be honest, I didn’t really know what she meant because I never really thought about any of that writing it … To me, it’s just a Zombie movie! So who’s right?” The dictionary defines the word “theme” as an “implicit or recurrent idea”. Typical themes in movies… Read More »Theme

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How Do I Become A Freelance Writer?

Updated for 2017 Writing and making money from it is probably everyone’s dream … and we ALL dream of the six figure deals for our novels and screenplays! But before we get to that fabled return, we have to earn money – so it feels like we may be stuck in the boring day job FOREVER. Yet it IS possible to make money writing in OTHER ways while we write our specs and unpublished novels – welcome to the wonderful world of the freelance writer! Freelance writers are available to hire for any number of writing jobs, small, medium or… Read More »How Do I Become A Freelance Writer?

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Genre & Tone, A Case Study: BEETLEJUICE

This post is inspired by  two separate Twitter conversations over the last two weeks between myself and Michelle Goode & Claire Yeowart and then Hina Malik – so stand by for some serious musing. Years ago I attended a conference held by The British Board of Film Classifcation (BBFC). It was a very interesting  – and of course the notion of film censorship reared its head. Since the majority of us in the room were students, many of us expressed outrage that censorship existed at all; we claimed that as artists we should be “trusted” to make the “right” stuff.… Read More »Genre & Tone, A Case Study: BEETLEJUICE

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#scriptchat @Londonswf 50 Kisses Comp #1: Concept

So this is the first of my posts on the brilliant London Screenwriters Festival “50 Kisses” competition, a FREE opportunity which asks writers to come up with a 2 page script, including a kiss. From there, placing scripts will be made available to filmmakers to make, meaning writers’ screenplays *could* become the first CROWD-SOURCED feature film with distribution at the cinema from Valentine’s Day 2013. For full details and how to enter, CLICK HERE. So, number one – CONCEPT. From my time as a script reader (ten years + now) I would venture concept is one of the most UNDER-VALUED… Read More »#scriptchat @Londonswf 50 Kisses Comp #1: Concept

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A Few Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting Started

Yeah, I know: you’ve had that GREAT idea, you just want to DIVE IN to your screenplay. I’ve been there myself. But should you? – Should you be writing a treatment – not a long one, wouldn’t even need to be ten pages… Why not four… Or three? – Could even a one page pitch expose your idea’s FLAWS? – Could just starting with a LOGLINE? There’s a reason many screenplays don’t get off the starting blocks… And sometimes it’s not because of your WRITING, it’s because of the way YOU sell your script “off the page”. It’s no good… Read More »A Few Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting Started

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Guest Post: The Importance Of Collaborating & Networking by Scott Baker

Here’s a great story from Scott about how you MAKE your own opportunities by getting “out there” and never giving up – enjoy! It was about August/September time last year where I logged into Talent Circle and found a job advert for a Scriptwriter, I thought to myself: “Am I good enough to apply for it?” I still classified myself as a “novice” as I’ve been writing for just over a year now and in that time I was really struggling to discover my “VOICE” – what made me unique in my style of writing and storytelling. If you were… Read More »Guest Post: The Importance Of Collaborating & Networking by Scott Baker

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Writing From Life

About five or six times a year I get an email that goes *something* like this: “I/my parents/my grandparents/my best friend/somebody I found in a book or newspaper had an amazing life! I really want to turn the story of my/their life into a screenplay. Can you help me?” First off, well done for finding the story and being so inspired. Secondly, I absolutely CAN help – via my e-library, “The Required Reading List“, where I have collected articles on everything writing-related I can think of, by many different authors, so you can get multiple perspectives on things like character,… Read More »Writing From Life

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How Free Writing Can Help You Get Started

Updated  You can’t fix a blank page I’d say the most important step in any writing related endeavour is the actual starting. But, like many writers, I often find this step to be the hardest. There’s something about staring at a blank page that makes doing something – anything – else seem suddenly compelling. After doing the laundry, washing the dishes and vacuuming every flat surface in the house, my self-promised ‘five hour writing session’ has dwindled to about 30 minutes. I was talking about this fear of the blank page with some fellow writers recently, and the topic of free… Read More »How Free Writing Can Help You Get Started

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Your Character’s Motivation

I get that writers work very hard to differentiate their characters in relation to one another within their ACTUAL SCRIPTS. So when a writer gets the head-scratching note “differentiate characters more”, I can empathise with their confusion. After all, they’ve already done that… Right??? Probably not. Sorry. You see, script readers see certain characters OVER AND OVER AGAIN, regardless of who has written them, what genre script they’re in or what format, TV, movie, radio. Really. I’m not even talking about stereotypes or so-called “stock characters” either: those familiar characters even laypeople might notice (ie. the “tart with the heart”,… Read More »Your Character’s Motivation

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Hollywood: Mighty Machine

It’s very fashionable at the moment to denigrate Hollywood movies. And as screenwriters, it’s not difficult to see why this has occurred. Hollywood is a gigantic machine with a HUGE output, so liken it to a sausage factory and really, you’re not far wrong. Yet the difference between Hollywood movies and indie output, apart from sheer volume, is not really that big: Hollywood has many, many misfires – those films no one would touch with a barge pole. Yet their hits are SO big, this distracts us even as filmmakers. After all: who *really* cares if no one went to… Read More »Hollywood: Mighty Machine

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The Tip Of The Iceberg

Once upon a time, not so long ago, we might have heard something on the radio or TV or read it in a newspaper and mentioned it to our spouse or housemate when they got home. Perhaps we might mention it at work and have a brief five minute conversation, before moving to do something else. It’s all different now. Never before have we been able to share opinions so quickly and so widely. With the like of Twitter and Facebook, we can send something to someone on the other side of the world at the touch of a button.… Read More »The Tip Of The Iceberg

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