Help! What If My Story Is A ‘Hard Sell’? Every week I hear from Bang2writers who say their stories are a ‘hard sell’ and they don’t know what to do. That’s right … EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK! With this in mind, I broke down the process into steps to help. Ready? Let’s go … STEP 1: Get REAL First things first, what makes your story a ‘hard sell’? Do you know for certain … Or are you just guessing? I always find it very interesting (but not surprising) that lots of new writers pretend to themselves their story is a ‘hard… Read More »What Do I Do If My Book or Script Is A ‘Hard Sell’?
All About Script Editors A colleague of mine told me that their friend thinks all script editors do is fix commas … if only! With this in mind, I thought it would be good to shed some light on this very complicated, frustrating, but also wonderful and rewarding job! Here’s 5 BIG mistakes to avoid when working with script editors … ready? Let’s go! 1) Stay Silent I have seen a lot of writers (especially new ones) in rooms too reluctant to ‘put up their hand’ … and that’s understandable. We’re all scared our idea will sink, right? But a… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With Script Editors
All About Female Serial Killers Female serial killers have always been a fascination of mine, as a writer, reader and viewer. True crime is super-popular because many people share this interest (but most of us are rightfully repulsed as well!). My fascination is due to the fact female serial killers don’t tend to be motivated in the same way as their male counterparts. They will frequently have ‘reasons’ for doing what they do. The rest of us may even understand some of them (though of course we won’t condone such tactics!). While male serial killers are typically coined ‘Thrill Killers’… Read More »Top 10 True Life Female Serial Killers Of All Time
All About Adapting Your Book Why not make a movie out of your book … You wrote a great book, so surely it will make a great movie — right? Not so fast! Adapting a book is not as easy as it looks. A movie or TV series needs to pack in a LOT of action. A slow-paced, emotional tale might not adapt to film so easily. Even if you wrote a fast-paced action-adventure, you will have to adapt your thinking as much as adapting your manuscript. Newbie screenwriters can make many mistakes. This list will help you avoid those specific to… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Adapting Their Books For The Screen
Why We Write Scripts Everyone who has written a script has dreamt of seeing their story on the big screen, having the accolades and the kudos of being a produced screenwriter … It’s why we write scripts. But how many screenplays actually get read by people who want to make films, let alone turned into produced films? It is a very small percentage. What can you do about it? Here are 5 ways to not only get your scripts read, but produced too. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Keep it short – REALLY short Try writing a two-page script. I… Read More »5 Reasons You Should Write Short Film Scripts
Are you your own worst enemy? If you suspect you might be your own worst enemy as a writer, this one is for you. There’s so much self-sabotaging behaviour out there (especially online, but also IRL – in real life – too). I thought I would pull together some DOs/DONT’s on how to avoid being your own worst enemy. Do you spot any you are doing right now, or perhaps in the past? Let’s go … 1) Set concrete goals … I saw a mug once that read, ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’. Whilst cheesy, it’s true. If… Read More »Hey Writers: Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy. Here’s How
Watch & Read The Black Phone Now The Black Phone is a movie adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same title by Joe Hill. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the screenplay is written by Derrickson and his long-time collaborator C. Robert Cargill. I’m a HUGE fan of both Hill and this duo’s previous output including Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, so I was keen to watch the movie regardless. The logline for The Black Phone on imdb reads, “After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls… Read More »5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn
See on Apple TV So, See on AppleTV concluded last week. Written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Dirty Pretty Things, Locke), it’s been one of my favourite TV series of recent years. Though unpopular with the critics, the show has been a big hit with audiences. This means I believe See has plenty to teach us as writers. Here’s eight powerful reminders from the show I picked out … Ready? Let’s go! 1) Old story, new telling Post-apocalyptic worlds set in the future are not new. In the past ten years, they’ve been exceptionally popular. We’ve seen such dystopian storyworlds in… Read More »8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV
‘It should ONLY be about the story!’ I often talk to writers about the commercial aspects of screenwriting. As someone who has seen lots of deals happen, I know that money talks. The industry is NOT a patron of the arts. It follows the $$$ because it’s ‘show BUSINESS’ after all. This means … Remakes and reboots are here to stay Great TV shows get cancelled if they don’t get enough views in the first few weeks (yes, really!) Why badly-written movies may still earn stacks Or why indie productions can sink without a trace if they don’t have enough… Read More »It’s Never ONLY About The Story In Screenwriting – And That’s A GOOD Thing
Screenplays –> Novels So you’ve written a screenplay, then bust a gut to get it financed and produced … But two years later you’re still no further on. Don’t give up just yet! You’ve created characters and a story so why not use this as your template and convert your script to a novel? Here are five tips to help and inspire you converting yours. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Take Back Control A film is a story told in pictures and a screenplay is really a set of short-hand instructions rather than a complete work of art. Film is… Read More »5 Top Tips For Converting Your Screenplay Into A Novel
Are you writing a complex structure? As veteran Bangers know, I’m a huge fan of a complex structure in both novels and screenplays … So when creator of Atomic Blonde Antony Johnston got in contact offering a guest post about writing his own complex structure, I bit his hand off! So if you’re struggling with your own complex structure, check out Antony’s tips and insights. Enjoy and over to you, Antony … Books are like magic tricks Books require sleight of hand, misdirection, and a grand reveal. But the truth behind any trick is often quite dull … The famous… Read More »3 Steps To Writing A Complex Structure In Your Story
If You Love Something, Let It Go When should we let go of a draft? Well, like so many writing-related things, this can be a real ‘piece of string’ question. That said, there are some best practices to consider that will help you know when to let go. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Have THE GUTS To Finish! To often, writers can’t let go of drafts. They will tinker with them endlessly, making submissions alongside these endless edits. This frequently leads to them trying to make multiple resubmissions. This is a bad idea, because industry pros want to see fresh… Read More »How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?