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’?
Iconic Teachers In media, teachers are often relegated to secondary character status. They may appear onstage to inspire their students, drop a pearl of wisdom, and disappear from whence they came. And while this can be an accurate of the fleeting presence of teachers in our own lives, it doesn’t do justice to the impact a good (or bad!) teacher can have on us. With that in mind, I wanted to pay homage to the most iconic teachers from movies, TV, and literature in true Bang2Write fashion. Consider this a star-studded teacher’s lounge, featuring some of the most memorable mentor… Read More »The 10 Most Iconic Teachers in Movies, TV and Literature
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
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
‘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
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?
All About Kelly Marcel Kelly Marcel is a British screenwriter and producer. She co-wrote one of my favourite dramas Saving Mr Banks (eagle-eyed Bangers will remember it is a case study in my Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays book!). She also received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for it. In addition, Kelly is the screenwriter of Fifty Shades of Grey, Venom, Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, plus she created and was exec producer on TV series Terra Nova. A fabulously eclectic mix there! But how does a writer who started her working life in a video… Read More »VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’
Don’t Underestimate Or Underwrite Fifty per cent of your potential audience is female, so it does NOT pay to underestimate your female characters. Women in audiences everywhere have made it clear in the past decade on social media … Underwrite female characters at your peril! Too often, female characters become stereotypical in unpublished novels and spec screenplays. A stereotype is a simplication. Whilst writers CAN use stereotypes on purpose for effect, too often writers use them by accident. This makes characters feel flat and two-dimensional. There are lots of lists of female stereotypes online, but I always think it’s more illuminating… Read More »10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Female Characters
So, you want to write sex scenes? There’s a surprising dearth of sex scenes in the spec pile … and when they do appear, they are often incorrect, weird or even sexist. Here’s 5 mistakes to avoid if you want to attempt one in your novel or screenplay. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Too Vague/Euphemistic If I have to read one more piece of writing that describes two characters in bed ‘lying back, spent’, I will GO POSTAL! This such a boring description and I see it SO often. Another one that makes me grimace is when writers focus on… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Sex Scenes
Writing The First Draft Feeling stressed because you can’t move forwards towards your draft? You’re not alone. When we first conceive of an idea for a screenplay or novel, we often falter. This is because we are not used to being able to write whatever we want. This means we can get overwhelmed quickly. In addition, if no one is waiting on our draft, it can be hard to focus. This is one of the reasons I pulled together The B2W Screenwriter’s Roadmap (though you can use it to write novels too – I do!). But Bangers got in touch… Read More »5 Simple Steps To Getting Your Draft Written
Mystery, Thriller or Horror? Mystery, Thriller and Horror novels and screenplays do BIG business as they have high ‘adaptability’. Readers and viewers love them … plus there’s a lot of convergence between them. This is because the Mystery, Horror and Thriller genres have lots of elements that cross over. However, lots of writers run into trouble because they’re not really sure what their story *is* at foundation level. Whilst many writers know mystery usually involves some kind of twist, they often don’t know how to get there. As a result, writers may make their mystery too easy to guess, or… Read More »Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell