Movie Lessons For Writers

How HOME ALONE Nails Set Up / Pay Off And How You Can Too

All About Home Alone (1990) The original Home Alone is a stone-cold classic. I was a child when it first came out and as the member of a gigantic, dysfunctional family myself I loved it right from the off. It launched Macaulay Culkin’s career as probably the biggest child star in the world back then. Though his career didn’t have the kind of longevity most of us expected, Kieran Culkin (Fuller McCallister) has proved his acting chops ever since. Combining cartoon-like Tom & Jerry style violence with a Christmas story about a kid fighting off burglars seems an unlikely pairing.… Read More »How HOME ALONE Nails Set Up / Pay Off And How You Can Too

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5 Simple Gender Flips To Freshen Up Your Story

All About Gender Flips Traditionally, ‘gender flips’ refer to when a character’s gender is changed through an adaptation. For example, if a character is male in the book but is made female in the movie or TV version. Over time, ‘gender flipping’ has expanded beyond specific characters and begun to include character tropes as well. A character trope is a recurring idea in fiction. The concept of the hero or villain are traditional character tropes, as well as archetypes. You can read more about tropes HERE. Flipping ‘Eck Gender flips have been in discussion across B2W lately because of remarks made… Read More »5 Simple Gender Flips To Freshen Up Your Story

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A Feminist Ranking of 10 Rom Com Heroines

Feminist Problems I sometimes feel like I’m betraying myself as a feminist with my rom com obsession. I live for the meet-cutes, Cinderella moments, and happily ever afters … All the unfiltered romance tropes that both make the genre so great and get it (unfairly) dismissed as superficial pap. But rom coms can and do offer a space in which feminist ideas can flourish. To prove it, I’m ranking some of my favourite leading ladies (not very feminist, but fun!) from least to most feminist. 10) Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail I enjoy a Nora Ephron rom-com as much as… Read More »A Feminist Ranking of 10 Rom Com Heroines

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5 Things Writers Can Learn From MAYANS M.C

About Mayans M.C Sons of Anarchy spin-off show Mayans M.C is a great example of how diversity and inclusion can literally make storytelling better, both in front of and behind the camera. I was a huge fan of SOA back in the day. I love a hyper-masculine storyworld and I found the intricacies of this one were (mostly) delicious … BUT on re-watching all 7 series on Netflix I noticed it felt rather dated in comparison to other broadly similar crime series from the same era like Justified. I felt this was largely because of SOA’s fudged commentary on race,… Read More »5 Things Writers Can Learn From MAYANS M.C

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5 Ways To Create A Powerful Premise

What Is A Premise? ‘Premise’ comes from the Latin ‘premissa’, meaning to ‘set before’. It is also known as a central concept, controlling idea or even ‘seed of the story’. Whatever you call it, it is one of the foundations of writing craft for both screenplays and novels. A story is only ever as good as its premise, which is why we must work hard on ours. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t in good premises is really important. Otherwise we could end up with a draft built on a half-baked idea. So if you want to create a… Read More »5 Ways To Create A Powerful Premise

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7 Writing Lessons From Bingeing OUTLANDER

Outlander – Books vs. TV series Outlander is a typical TV series meant to get us hooked and binging. Binging on TV series in 2020 became an acceptable habit, though not one I was proud of. However I spent 10 days bingeing the TV series and reading its four books. Here are the benefits I found for bingeing and adaptation. Ready? Let’s go! Lessons Learned WARNING: if you have not watched or read the books, there be SPOILERS in this post! The story begins after World War 2. Combat nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall is vacationing with her husband, Frank, in the… Read More »7 Writing Lessons From Bingeing OUTLANDER

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3 Unusual Writing Tips From Quentin Tarantino

Uncommon Writing Advice Some love Quentin Tarantino’s movies and some hate them. But his results make Tarantino an interesting study material. Skipping the most common advice, we can take out of his work — like vast creative borrowing, heavy emphasis on dialogue, outrageous perfectionism, organic storytelling, and knowing your characters intimately — let us look at three not-so-common nuggets of wisdom from the Master. 1) Tell Old Stories In A New Way Tarantino often cites novelist Elmore Leonard as his single most important influence. One of the lessons that Tarantino learned from Leonard is to take old stories typical for… Read More »3 Unusual Writing Tips From Quentin Tarantino

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7 Important Writing Lessons From The Simpsons

The Simpsons Gets An A+++ One of the most popular posts on B2W is my case study of two episodes of The Simpsons. Both from season 10, I break down the plotting of two classic Simpsons episodes, Lard of The Dance and Maximum Homerdrive. You can find that post, HERE. Since it’s been a few years now, I thought I would revisit The Simpsons and make another case study. Regardless how you feel about the show, most writers have seen multiple episodes, plus at only approx. 20 mins long it is useful for watching in the classroom. As a result,… Read More »7 Important Writing Lessons From The Simpsons

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No, Diverse Characters DON’T Have To Drive The Plot

Diversity Drive Calm down Doris I have not lost the plot! The drive for more diversity (*cough* variety) in all stories is still very much part of this website. Obviously B2W would never advocate ‘ignoring’ the politics of characterisation. It’s literally this blog’s remit … I wrote an entire book about this subject, FFS!  So, what am I banging on about? Well, there’s a common misconception writers have about diversity in storytelling … They think diverse characters can ONLY exist for **plot reasons**. I’m here to say NOPE. Here’s why.  A Quick History Lesson Not so long ago, diverse characters… Read More »No, Diverse Characters DON’T Have To Drive The Plot

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How To Watch And Break Down A TV Show Episode

Watch & Learn Lots of my Bang2writers say they’re going to watch TV shows ‘for work’ … but then don’t do any work! They just enjoy them. Tsk. Naughty writers! But seriously, you CAN watch whatever you like *and* learn from these produced TV shows at the same time. I’m going to show you how to do this, using the free B2W plotting worksheet, which you can download HERE. By the way, you can watch stuff if you’re a novelist too! Everything I know about novel writing, I learned from watching movies and TV shows. Similarly, you can watch different… Read More »How To Watch And Break Down A TV Show Episode

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