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5 Steps To Better Sex Scenes, The Bridgerton Way

Intimate Scenes, The Bridgerton Way Anyone who’s seen Bridgerton – and who hasn’t? – can surely not have missed the intimate sex scenes the show is famous for. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at an exclusive screening of Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 with Shonda Rhimes (Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer) and Jess Brownell (Showrunner). The Bridgerton team and Jessie gave us all a step-by-step guide to portraying intimate moments on screen. The step-by-step process Step 1: Talk to the actor! (OR for writers – think about the character and the specific intimacy that’s required for the… Read More »5 Steps To Better Sex Scenes, The Bridgerton Way

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Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

All Hail The Goz Ryan Gosling is a name that needs no introduction. He’s become an icon of versatility and talent in the world of Hollywood. From his heart-melting performances in romantic dramas to his intense portrayals of complex and even violent characters, Gosling has proved time and again that he can effortlessly slip into any role with ease. When I’m working with screenwriters – and sometimes authors who want to adapt their books – it frequently becomes clear they think actors are meat puppets. But this is not even close: actors bring our words to life and have interpretations… Read More »Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

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Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

Candyman: The Short Story Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman … Clive Barker’s 1985 short story The Forbidden is a haunting exploration of poverty and disenfranchisement. It was first published in 1985 as part of his ground-breaking horror anthology, Books of Blood. Set in the desperate sinkhole estate of Spector Street, Liverpool, England, the story takes place in October with several references to Bonfire Night being the following week. This means we can be fairly sure the events of the story take place around Halloween. The Forbidden follows Helen, a graduate student. Originally researching graffiti as part of her thesis, she… Read More »Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

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Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

Should writers write characters UNlike themselves? In the 2020s, writers frequently want to write characters UNlike themselves. I do, too! Looking at my books, I have written characters who are not like me. My characters may be (in no particular order): male; older or younger than me; gay; American; black; Romany; British Chinese; transgender; Australian; upper class; homeless and many more besides. The debate on social media often focuses on the notion certain writers are being told NOT to write characters UNlike themselves. It’s no accident the average writer lamenting this ‘fact’ is usually part of a dominant group, either.… Read More »Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

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Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

What is Sexual Tension? Sexual tension is a key ingredient in many successful published novels and produced screenplays. Whilst sexual tension turns up most in romance stories, it can be part of ANY story in any genre. For example, I wrote sexual tension in my crime novel, The Other Twin. Sexual tension is that feeling of excitement and anticipation you get when something hot and heavy is happening between the characters, but they haven’t yet acted on their desires. Done well, sexual tension can be incredibly addictive for readers and viewers. It keeps them turning pages late into the night,… Read More »Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

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3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

Effective Character Development Effective characterisation starts with good character development. Some writers insist that characters come to them ‘fully formed’ but I call BS. Good character development is not dictation. We are CREATING characters and honing our craft! There are a few key things to keep in mind when developing your characters: 1) Make them relatable Your audience needs to be able to connect with your characters on some level. If they can’t relate to them, they won’t be invested in their story. By the way: note how the above DOESN’T say make your characters ‘likeable’. This is a red herring.… Read More »3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

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A Masterclass In Secondary Characters (Or Why Trent Crimm Matters In TED LASSO)

Trent Crimm in Ted Lasso Trent Crimm is one of my favourite queer characters of the last five years or so. He has an incredible arc for a secondary character! So imagine my surprise – and indignation – when I saw Twitter pontificating Trent ‘serves no real purpose’ in Ted Lasso! (Yes, yes the finale was superb … we all know this, everybody loved it, now: RANT INCOMING!). The fact that anyone – least of all wannabe screenwriters! LE GASP – think Trent is ‘pointless’ shows how little people understand the purpose of secondary characters in screenwriting. Sure, they *think*… Read More »A Masterclass In Secondary Characters (Or Why Trent Crimm Matters In TED LASSO)

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Top 10 Myths about Sensitivity Readers (And Why They’re Wrong)

About Sensitivity Readers Sensitivity readers are never far from the news these days. There’s been countless articles and threads online decrying them, citing ‘cancel culture’ and ‘offended snowflakes’ supposedly ‘ruining’ writing in the 2020s. A sensitivity reader is someone who reads a literary work, looking for perceived offensive content, accidental stereotypes and bias. They then create a report for a writer, publisher or another industry pro with suggested changes. No more, no less. FYI, I actually don’t like the term ‘sensitivity reader’. I feel it plays into (some) writers’ belief the job is ‘pandering’ to various communities or cultures. These… Read More »Top 10 Myths about Sensitivity Readers (And Why They’re Wrong)

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Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

The Hero’s Journey I’ve been researching The Hero’s Journey for about a decade now on this blog. When I wrote my Thriller Screenplays book back in 2013, it was a plot template that was ALL the rage. In fact, just ten short years ago, screenwriters were told it was pretty much the ‘only’ plotting archetype worth writing … and that if their characters did not change, their writing was ‘bad’!  Fast-forward to 2023 and these expectations have changed considerably. Audiences have started to tire of The Hero’s Journey and its ubiquity. Novels, indie film and even major blockbusters have started… Read More »Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

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Top 7 Nice Guys In Comedy In TV and Movies

Nice Guys of Comedy Nice guys finish last?? Hardly! In a macho world, there’s just something about nice guys … and you can find plenty of genuinely nice guys in comedy right now! The ‘nice guy’ trope is most often part of the ‘EveryMan (aka ‘every person’)’ archetype, which is characterised by belonging, love and enjoyment. These characters love a good time, but they are just as eager to help out and support their friends or family. This is why comedy frequently has such characters, even in the age of the antihero right now. Here’s some of B2W’s favourites. Ready?… Read More »Top 7 Nice Guys In Comedy In TV and Movies

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Top 10 Authors Who Pivoted To A Screenwriting Career

Pivoting From Novel Writing To A Screenwriting Career If you want to pivot from novel writing to a screenwriting career, you’re not alone. Of course, you may just want to be a screenwriter full stop (and that’s okay too! Or maybe you want to write a novel of your script??). LOTS of novelists have tried their hand at a screenwriting career. Some have had more success than others! Here’s just 10 of them. Let’s go … 1) Roald Dahl Frequently left off lists like these, Roald Dahl boasts an impressive screenwriting career. As well as adapting his own classic book… Read More »Top 10 Authors Who Pivoted To A Screenwriting Career

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Go Woke, Go Broke? Yeah, Go Fuck Yourself (And More Adventures In Diverse Storytelling)

A Little Reminder You can say you ‘support diverse storytelling’ all you want, but if you ALSO say it’s ‘not bigotry’ to actively prefer white actors to BIPOC or LGBTQ ones?? Guess what: you DON’T support diverse storytelling!   C’mon, this is basic. Sigh.  Another week, yet another casting controversy … This time, it’s about Cleopatra being cast as a black actor in the upcoming Netflix drama in May. If you’re yet to catch up, here are just some of the various takes: VARIETY: ‘Queen Cleopatra Director Slams Criticism of Casting Black Cleopatra THE SPECTATOR: Why is Netflix Pretending That Cleopatra… Read More »Go Woke, Go Broke? Yeah, Go Fuck Yourself (And More Adventures In Diverse Storytelling)

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