Movie Lessons For Writers

What Marvel Can Teach Us About Writing Powerful Villains

Marvel Villains Every hero needs an opposing villain. They go together. Plus you can’t get more heroic or iconic than the notion of a SUPER hero! There have always been stories of these special kinds of hero, in every culture. There’s always talk of ‘superhero fatigue’ online, but the reality is audiences can’t get enough. It’s no accident that studios like Marvel have been doing so well with superheroes. Marvel knows what entertains their target audience and they have provided it. AVENGERS ENDGAME finally usurped TITANIC at second place on the biggest box office smashes of all time recently.  Love or loathe… Read More »What Marvel Can Teach Us About Writing Powerful Villains

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Spotlight On Structure: The Monomyth Versus The Hero’s Journey

Structure Is A Journey NEWSFLASH: we don’t watch movies or TV or read books ‘about characters’. We watch movies and TV and read books about characters who do something for SOME REASON. Lots of new writers will say structure is a ‘formula’. Nope. It’s a FRAMEWORK. The most obvious is ‘beginning – middle – end’. Even children know how this works. It’s built into our DNA. If we think of characters as having to go on a journey from A to B to C, then we can see how plotting and characterisation are interlinked. This is never more obvious than… Read More »Spotlight On Structure: The Monomyth Versus The Hero’s Journey

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How FRIENDS Makes Character Archetypes Look Easy

All About Archetypes The difference between archetypes and stereotypes is subtle, but crucial. Archetypes are frequently mistaken for stereotypes and vice versa … Not just by writers, but audiences and critics too. This is never more obvious than with comedy. This genre sometimes DOES use stereotype for comedic effect, in shows like The Simpsons. Homer is ‘The American Dream gone wrong’. He is a cliché of white, middle-class male entitlement. It doesn’t matter how he screws up, he will fall on his feet (usually because someone else will clear up his mess).  It is the point of his character and why we… Read More »How FRIENDS Makes Character Archetypes Look Easy

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How To Structure Your Writing: 9 Top Tips On Acts

All About Acts People have been writing about story structure since the days of Aristotle’s tragedies. Though some of us resist structure in life, for writing screenplays it really serves an important purpose. More often than not, The Three Acts is the one most screenwriters choose to employ in creating the roadmap of their narrative so the reader doesn’t get lost. How does it work and what do these three acts need? Let’s start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. All About Act 1 SHORT VERSION: This sets up the story and hits the who, what, where, why and… Read More »How To Structure Your Writing: 9 Top Tips On Acts

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14 Masters Of Comedy Share Their Secrets

Comedy Heavyweights If you want to learn, ask the masters … and wow, does Bang2write have some real comedy heavyweights on the site today! I’m delighted to welcome Paula Finn to B2W, who has interviewed the comedy greats and compiled their comedy mastery in her book, which you can find on Amazon. For a taste of what you can find there, check out these nuggets of wisdom from the masters below. Don’t forget to check out Paula’s book either. Enjoy! Learning From The Masters Over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed in-depth conversations with over 50 successful comedy TV writers. Here… Read More »14 Masters Of Comedy Share Their Secrets

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25 Epic Years of JURASSIC PARK: What Can Writers Learn?

Jurassic Snark Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came out last week to coincide with 25 years of the franchise. Needless to say, many official critics gave the new instalment a kicking, plus there was the inevitable cries on social media about it ‘not being as good’ as the original. But love or hate the new Jurassic Worlds, there’s plenty for us to learn as writers from the franchise. You ready for another instalment of Movie Lessons For Writers? OBVIOUSLY there will be *some* spoilers for the franchise as a whole,  but only mild ones. So let’s go … 1) Entertainment first, ALWAYS… Read More »25 Epic Years of JURASSIC PARK: What Can Writers Learn?

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6 Important Writing Reminders From THE SHAPE OF WATER

Right now, diversity is the name of the game in storytelling, so it’s no accident a movie like THE SHAPE OF WATER won ‘Best Picture’ at The Oscars last week. (Whilst Jordan Peele’s GET OUT was technically more ‘deserving’ of the so-called diverse tag, it is still a genre movie … Whereas historically, The Oscars have always been more appreciative of drama movies, even ones with sci fi elements like TSOW). I won’t pretend THE SHAPE OF WATER was my favourite movie of the year because it wasn’t, but there’s still plenty for writers to learn here. Let’s go: 1)… Read More »6 Important Writing Reminders From THE SHAPE OF WATER

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BLACK PANTHER’s Innovative, Revolutionary Lessons For ALL Writers

So I’ve been waiting a while to publish this one … Not just so the Bang2writers can catch up (seriously, if you HAVEN’T watched this, what are you waiting for??), but also so BAME commentators, especially Black Twitter, can have their say on the movie FIRST. Because: obviously 😉 So, here’s my thoughts on the much-lauded BLACK PANTHER, plus what I feel writers can learn from this story and its execution. Ready? Let’s go … What’s Working Well, where to start … Sooooooo much to love here. Here goes, though: i) Behind the scenes I’ve been a huge fan of… Read More »BLACK PANTHER’s Innovative, Revolutionary Lessons For ALL Writers

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Why PADDINGTON 2 Is The Best-Written Family Sequel, Ever

Paddington 2 Love Have you seen Paddington 2? I did, over the Christmas break (which seems like a MILLION years ago now! Waaah!). In fact, I ended up seeing it TWICE! But unusually, I had no issues watching Paddington 2 a second time because it was so damn good — a script editor’s dream, in fact! I actually think it improves on the first Paddington in pretty much every way. Here’s why, plus what writers can learn from it as ‘Top Tips’ to take away. Ready? Let’s go … 1) The plot has a MacGuffin A MacGuffin is ‘a plot device in… Read More »Why PADDINGTON 2 Is The Best-Written Family Sequel, Ever

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2 Simple Tips That Will Transform Your Writing Forever

No Spoilers Goals, Wants & Needs When it comes to characterisation, most writers know that a protagonist needs to want something – and stuff needs to block the way of him/her getting it. Those same writers will also know the antagonist will be one of those obstacles: perhaps s/he wants the same thing as the protagonist; or to get it first; or to prevent said main character from getting it altogether? It’s Characterisation 101 From there, however, writers’ notions of characterisation will begin to falter, usually in 2 ways: i) Comic Book Villains Look, we live in the age of the… Read More »2 Simple Tips That Will Transform Your Writing Forever

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