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Kill Your Screenplay DEAD series

1 Pesky Word That Kills Your Loglines DEAD

Writing Loglines and Pitches Loglines can be pesky little things. For the uninitiated, loglines are those 1-2 sentence descriptions of your story (aka ‘short pitch’ if you’re a novelist). When I work with my Bang2writers, one thing I’ve noted is most really struggle with them. Yet being able to pitch our stories in just a sentence or two actively helps us SELL them to literary agents, publishers, producers, filmmakers, audiences or readers in … Cover letters Query Emails Pitchfests (both online & in real life) Meetings and networking events (‘What are you working on?’) Writing contests, schemes and initiatives Funding bids… Read More »1 Pesky Word That Kills Your Loglines DEAD

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Why A Vague Logline Kills Your Pitch DEAD

Vague, A Definition Newsflash: a vague logline kills your pitch … But then we know this. Every Bang2writer paying attention knows a logline (aka short pitch) should have CLARITY. It’s one of what B2W calls ‘The 3 Cs’ (clarity, conflict, clarity). Without clarity, we got nothin’. So why then, are there SO MANY vague loglines flying about?  First, it’s helpful to consider what we mean by ‘vague’. Here’s the dictionary definition of vague, below. Check out those keywords and synonyms … uncertain indefinite unclear hazy cloudy For the purposes of this post then, when we say a logline is ‘too… Read More »Why A Vague Logline Kills Your Pitch DEAD

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3 Cyber Crime Clichés That Will Kill Your Writing DEAD

Cyber Crime Clichés So many of today’s writers want to work cyber crime technology into their stories. But they don’t know how,  so they resort to Hollywood hacker stereotypes. You know the ones … Bad guy Hollywood hackers turned to a life of crime after society failed to recognise their unique talents Good guy Hollywood hackers overcame that adversity and now work for a super-secret government agency, where they regularly save the world and wish they could find a girlfriend. Good guy Hollywood hackers break the law for the greater good. Bad guy Hollywood hackers usually do it for the money.… Read More »3 Cyber Crime Clichés That Will Kill Your Writing DEAD

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How Your Concept Can Kill Your Writing DEAD

What’s The Concept? Concept, premise, controlling idea, seed of the story … Whatever you want to call it, you need that THING at foundation level in your story to be clear and compelling, otherwise your story is SUNK. Put simply, if you don’t have a great concept at the foundation of your screenplay or novel? YOU GOT NUTHIN’! Supersadface. It can’t be true … can it?? How Concepts Kill Spec Scripts & Unpublished Novels YES! It is true. The short version: if your concept STINKS? Your pitch won’t work. You will never get off the starter blocks – no one will like… Read More »How Your Concept Can Kill Your Writing DEAD

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The 2 Sentences Your Characters Should NEVER Say

Just a quick one today to remind you there’s no RIGHT way to write your spec screenplay or novel, but there *are* plenty of WRONG ways. In fact, there’s so many mini-pitfalls, pet peeves and writing mistakes out there, they soon add up to form a big fat REJECTION for your work if you’re not careful. But as I always bang on on B2W (arf) you can avoid this avalanche of writing kryptonite by paying attention to the little things. Since writers LOVE dialogue, I thought I’d draw attention to two KILLER phrases that are so stinky they immediately make… Read More »The 2 Sentences Your Characters Should NEVER Say

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Stop Torturing Readers And Write What You Bloody Mean

Look, we get it … … We’re writers now and want to show off our fancy-schmancy vocabularies and over-complicated phrasing in our spec screenplays and unpublished novels. After all, this is how we impress readers, right? NO! A thousand – no, million! – times NO!!! This is the thing. A writer’s primary job is NOT using fancy-schmancy words or over-complicated phrasing in their spec screenplay or unpublished novel. So what is it??? Tell A Story That’s right: as storytellers, we need to be thinking about – unsurprisingly – TELLING A STORY! Le gasp! HOW we tell that story may depend… Read More »Stop Torturing Readers And Write What You Bloody Mean

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10 More Writer Fails (And How To Avoid Them)

Two of the most searched Google terms on this blog are, ‘writer mistakes’ and ‘writer fails’, so I thought I would take a look at you actual WRITERS and what you might doing to kill your screenplay dead. Ready?? Brace yourselves you lot … ‘cos here’s how you’re MURDERING your chances! 1) By … Waiting for inspiration Novelist W. Somerset Maugham said (though some attribute it to Peter De Vries and other writers) “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” I love this quote (whomever said it) because it gets straight to… Read More »10 More Writer Fails (And How To Avoid Them)

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5 Reasons Why The ‘Rules’ Will Kill Your Writing DEAD

No more writing rules (seriously) Ah, the ‘Rules’ … Every single time I write about there being NO writing ‘rules’, yet more writers come rushing out the woodwork with counter-arguments on why there ARE. Look, I understand. When someone says you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT, it can feel weird and scary. But what if I told you the ‘rules’ are just considered BEST PRACTICES … and even then that can depend. Eeek! Human beings are pack animals, so it makes sense to stay with the crowd doing what is considered “common sense” rather than forging out on your own and… Read More »5 Reasons Why The ‘Rules’ Will Kill Your Writing DEAD

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8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Rom Com Screenplay DEAD

Bang2writers often ask me which genre is the “hardest” (fnar) and I have to say that the different genres have their own, very specific challenges. That said, in my experience there *is* ONE genre that consistently turns up as the worst in the spec pile, plus it can have even the most hardcore of professional scribes sobbing into their screenwriting software. And it’s probably NOT the one you think, either. That’s right — it’s the Romantic Comedy!! Here’s how … 1) No Romance WTF? I know right — yet it’s true, there’s a helluva lot of Rom-Coms in the spec pile… Read More »8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Rom Com Screenplay DEAD

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8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Comedy Screenplay DEAD

Being gifted at comedy always makes people popular. Why? Because no one EVER says, “You know what I need to do LESS in my life?? Laugh.”  On this basis then, writing comedy is a great way to get you and/or your work noticed. But, just like other genres that have their own specific pitfalls, comedy is no different. Feast your eyes on these issues that can make your comedy craptacular and your funny fizzle out in your spec screenplay: 1) Forget Physical Comedy Funny dialogue is absolutely essential in comedy screenplays, whether feature, TV pilot, sitcom or short film. However,… Read More »8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Comedy Screenplay DEAD

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