Got No Confidence In Your Writing? If you have no confidence in your writing, you’re not alone. LOTS of writers lack confidence, including professional creatives. Yes really! Being a writer might be challenging, as creative people very often worry their work is not good enough. Lacking confidence can be immobilising and may influence the quality of your writing, too. But instead of focusing on your lack of confidence, check out these simple ideas and exercises. They are designed to boost your confidence and make your creative genius shine. 1) Use writing prompts Many creative people know that writing prompts… Read More »How To Boost Your Writing Confidence To New Levels
Theme is probably one of the most-asked questions I get ‘off blog’ when working on writing projects with my Bang2writers. These writers will fret people may not ‘get’ their theme or message, or perhaps even claim the point of their story is ‘wrong’ somehow. But this is the thing. People WILL disagree about the theme or message of your story — even with you, the writer! Whilst sometimes this goes waaaaay off-piste, 9/10 this is actually a good thing … It shows how your reader or viewer has participated in breaking down your story for meaning. This is brilliant! Let… Read More »Why Writers Are Not Always The Best Judge Of Storytelling
Every week I come across a writer who is confused and despondent about their draft. This is more often than not because their story is unclear on the actual page, yet it’s clear in their head. There will be a disconnect between what they want to write and it hitting the ‘bull’s eye’ for the reader. Supersadface. Nine times out of ten, a draft’s story is unclear because the writer has some kind of craft problem. This will usually relate to concept, character and structure. Basically, these are the ‘holy trinity’ in terms of making your potential audience UNDERSTAND what… Read More »Help! My Story Is Unclear – What Do I Do???
Out in the blogosphere, there’s often a lot of discussion around the idea of writers being ‘plotters’ or ‘pantsers’ (for the uninitiated, the former is a writer who plots everything out, knowing the ending in advance; whereas the latter will just begin and see where the story takes them, the idea being they ‘fly by the seat of their pants’, hence the ‘pantser’ epitaph). As any veteran Bang2writer knows, B2W advocates being a plotter, especially if you’re a screenwriter. Structure is key in screenwriting, so starting without an end point in mind can land you in what I call The… Read More »Are You A Binge Writer, Or Do You Write Every Day?
On The Second Draft Audrey asks: “What are some of the ‘working’ methods for writing the second draft? I’ll take anything at this point!” Audrey’s not alone in panicking over the second draft. I always find it interesting then writers say they love the first draft, yet hate the rewrites. Bang2writers tell me all the time the second draft is the one they really get stuck on. I would bet real money B2W reads more second drafts than any other. Myself, I’m all about rewriting. Perhaps it’s my script editor hat getting in the way, but I LOATHE writing the… Read More »4 Ways To Kick Ass On Your Second Draft
As a writer, you are often judged solely by what is on the page or the screen. This means you need to ensure you know exactly what you are doing! Here’s 12 quick tricks to take your writing to the next level and increase your confidence: 1) Brush up on the basics The least you can do before you submit or publish is check for basic errors in spelling and grammar. Before you even begin an important writing task, read up on basic grammar rules and sentence structure, and never submit anything without running it through a spell-checker first. 2) … Read More »12 Quick Tips To Improve Your Writing Right Now
The statue from The Maltese Falcon. The grail from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. “Rosebud” from Citizen Kane. They all have one thing in common: they are MacGuffins — persons, places, or things which the characters are all seeking, but which have little plot value of their own. The MacGuffin is the ultimate “prize” of every quest movie ever made. It is the microfilm from spy movies, the trophy from sports movies, and the mission objective from war movies. The MacGuffin acts as a sort of temporary stand-in, creating an immediate plot point as the story gradually pivots from… Read More »What Is The MacGuffin? (Plus How To Use It)
I’ve always considered myself a history buff and have written quite a few historical fiction novels requiring exhaustive amounts of research. Creating believable historical fiction means getting facts straight and making sure that your research and imaginative input inspires the most plausible, complex plots and characters you can possibly bring to life. Here I lay out the top 5 mistakes authors make when writing historical stories and how they can be avoided: 1) Not Enough Research Writing historical fiction can be intimidating and you might feel either overwhelmed by the amount of research that is required or constrained by the time… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Historical Stories
As any veteran Bang2writer knows, I normally don’t stand for so-called writing rules — but these are different! Pixar have shown, time and time again, their stories and characters will stand the test of time. Their knowledge of story is EPIC and every writer can learn from their movies and shorts, whether they actually *like* them or not. This is why Pixar’s 22 Rules For Phenomenal Storytelling went viral when it appeared online and continue to be the gold standard for ALL writers, screenwriters or not! I love Erika’s short and pithy additions and alternative views to Pixar’s here –… Read More »Pixar’s 22 Steps To Ultimate Storytelling Under The Microscope
Writing the First Draft The first draft is HARD. For a long time I had an embarrassing secret: I couldn’t get past the outlining phase. “Writing” was endlessly beating out plot points, charting character arcs, and shuffling notecards, never feeling like the story was quite “there.” Never feeling ready to move on to scenes and pages. Ugh. If you’ve been there, you know how frustrating this is. Really the problem was that I had identified myself as a “plotter.” It happened by default; I knew I wasn’t a “pantser.” But plotters need to nail down every last detail of a story… Read More »5 Ways to Power Through Your First Draft
Continuing with my Top 5 Mistakes series, Mary’s jumped in for me today to share her thoughts on what NOT to do *as a writer overall*. She’s telling it like it is, so you better listen, Bang2writers … Enjoy! We all want to be the pinnacle of perfection, but reality has to kick in sometime. As a writer, you’ve made mistakes before and you’re going to make them again. This doesn’t make you a bad writer: it merely makes you human. But learning from our mistakes is what prevents us from repeating them, and being aware of what to look… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make (And How To Avoid Them)
Scary Structure Structure freaks so many writers out … It can be enough to strike fear into the heart of ANY spec screenwriter or unpublished novelist. But I actually think getting to grips with this is THE KEY to not only being a ‘good’ writer, but a SUCCESSFUL one! Whilst some structure methods like Blake Snyder’s ‘Save The Cat’ may seem formulaic, it’s important to note structure is NOT a formula. (Also, don’t forget Snyder never meant ‘Save The Cat’ to become the checklist it has, especially in some Hollywood circles). Structure = Beginning – Middle – End Stories are… Read More »5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure