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On Writing: The 3 Cs Versus The 3 Ps

Bang2writers ask me quite frequently for my “top tips” on  surviving the writing process and this industry. Before now I always felt that it depends on the person, what they’re doing, how they work and who with. But actually, having worked on a variety of projects now with various people over the last ten years, I think there are 6 things all writers of ALL formats need to know and live by, whether they’re screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, journalists, transmedia writers, the works. That’s right – just 6. But they mean SO much – literally everything. 1. THE WRITING You need the… Read More »On Writing: The 3 Cs Versus The 3 Ps

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6 Things You Need To Know As A Screenwriter If You Want Your Scripts Made

“Being a screenwriter is 10% craft; 90% trying to stop someone fucking up your script.” I remember a professional writer coming in to talk to us at university. I forget his name or what he wrote – see number 2 on this list – but I remember having seen his movie, thinking it was shit and therefore he must be a shit writer. How wrong I was. Fact is, until a writer is produced, there’s no way of truly understanding how screwed up filmmaking really is. That’s why lots of new writers point fingers at various productions they dislike, believing… Read More »6 Things You Need To Know As A Screenwriter If You Want Your Scripts Made

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Want To Get Noticed? Then Don’t Write These Type Of Screenplays

Updated Previously titled, ‘Want To Get Noticed? Don’t Write Low Budget Depressing Drama or High Budget Science Fiction/Fantasy Spec Scripts‘, this post will outline why trying to get out of the submissions pile with a low budget drama or a high budget sci fi TV pilot like a gazilion other writers (probably) ain’t gonna work for you. Strap yourself in and suck it up, peeps … Cliches + Stereotypes = BORING When I started script reading, everyone was writing very “worthy”, very personal psychological dramas where generally everybody died or was at least miserable as Hell and in the grip of addiction,… Read More »Want To Get Noticed? Then Don’t Write These Type Of Screenplays

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Please Hold …

… As of tomorrow, I am at London Screenwriters Festival 2012! If you want updates live from the event, follow me on Twitter, or join the Facebook page, here. Please note I will respond to emails when I get back – thanks! If you’re  at the fest right now on Pitching Thursday, good luck! This year I am running The LSWF’s Script Labs Scheme again, so say Hi if you see me! I will also be moderating the session Why You Need To Embrace Social Media, on the Saturday. If it’s your usual daily dose of writery goodness you’re looking… Read More »Please Hold …

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50 Shades Of Elitism by Samuel Caine

Oh, yes. This post is going exactly where you think. I’m going to talk about the much discussed 50 Shades of Grey, but I’ll confess now – I’ve not read it. This is not a critical analysis, or an endorsement of any kind. I am not defending the divisive contents of the book, which raise all sorts of issues about the glorification of consensual sexual violence, but it is a defence of sorts: it is a defence of the author and the book’s readers against the elitist demons in all of us…especially me. Over the past few months, as the… Read More »50 Shades Of Elitism by Samuel Caine

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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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The Great Writing Myth: How To REALLY Make It As A Writer

Wanted: Great Writing GREAT WRITING (ie. original and well-written) sells, right? That’s logical. So if I focus on ‘great writing’, I figured I would get there in the end. After all, that *had* to be what the AUDIENCE wants, right??? But as a script reader, I was LEFT AGOG when what **I** thought were derivative, crappily-written scripts made their way to screen. But then I decided it was just a freak occurrence and toddled off on my way… … Then it happened again. … And again. … Over And Over … Again. Argh!!! Originality is overrated I started to notice that… Read More »The Great Writing Myth: How To REALLY Make It As A Writer

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Build It And They Will Come: Lucy V’s Wager

Lots of screenwriters are fond of the Field of Dreams quote “Build It And They Will Come” – and good on ’em. I truly believe that if you keep going, no matter what, one day all will come good. I have to believe that, as it’s pretty much the story of my life, not just screenwriting. “Build it and they will come… ” Is it actually 100% true? Yes. And no. Common sense dictates that if you keep going, something has to happen for you eventually. But by that same token, common sense also says there are no guarantees either.… Read More »Build It And They Will Come: Lucy V’s Wager

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Coping With Rejection

Since I rejected 170+ people yesterday for The 4 Nights in August competition, I thought those non-longlisted entrants would like to know whether rejectors ever feel guilt. Yes, this one does. I’ve rejected A LOT of people over the years. I joke sometimes that’s why I never get very far in contests myself: it’s scriptwriting karma, if you will. Way I figure it, if you write “Pass” enough times on coverage and add up enough low scores or percentages, it’s bound to bite you in the ass in an industry that does, in part, rely on luck. And I’m very… Read More »Coping With Rejection

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I Am Not A Lucky Person

You don’t have to go far to hear writers, filmmakers, actors etc expressing RAGE when told however hard they’ve worked, they’re “lucky”. Hell, I include myself on that. I am not a lucky person. Name any given situation, even something as small as picking one outcome **or the other** – left or right? Heads or tails? Red or black? – I WILL PICK THE WRONG ONE. 100% true factoid. I’ve ended up in enough wrong places and lost enough bets and money to know this. I am a hard working person. Hell yeah. We all are. I know lots of… Read More »I Am Not A Lucky Person

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How Do I Become A Professional Scriptwriter?

Bang2writer David Bird has this question: How do I become a professional scriptwriter? This is a good question and one that could take all day, so I’ll try and keep it simple: Keep writing, keep connecting, keep building. It really is as simple – and as complicated – as that. It’s important to note however: Professional writers are NOT automatically those that are the most successful purely in terms of monetary gain. My Dad was an art student in his youth for a short time and he always tells the story that apparently Van Gogh sold just one painting while… Read More »How Do I Become A Professional Scriptwriter?

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It’s Not About Luck… And It Totally Is

Sometimes professional writers say that screenwriting success is *not* about luck – and get quite heated when people suggest it is, especially newer writers. As an example, Bang2writer Dominic Carver has written on his blog several times about contests and whether there is an element of luck involved, here is one of the posts – be sure to check out the comments, too. By coincidence, today professional writer Daniel Martin Eckhart has written on his blog about how stamina is key and comes above even talent. Check his post out here. For the record, I don’t know a SINGLE writer… Read More »It’s Not About Luck… And It Totally Is

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