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Why Theme In FRIENDS Is Better Than You Think

Theme in Friends It’s fair to say the internet erupted with news of a Friends reunion, recently. I’ve written about Friends a fair amount this year on this blog, so thought I would return to the show, with reference to theme. Theme refers to ‘an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature.’ Friends is about a bunch of young friends, all getting through life and love, dealing with whatever it throws at them. Being a sitcom, it’s about dysfunctional family too. Le duh. However, with theme we make our OWN meaning too. How each individual audience… Read More »Why Theme In FRIENDS Is Better Than You Think

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5 Reasons Why We Write Realistic Fiction For Young Adults

With NaNoWrimo ploughing on, I thought many of you might be flagging right now, so I’m upping the ante with MORE great posts on novel writing from some brilliant guests and Bang2writers. Today we have Applecore Books with us, telling us why they write YA fiction. This served as a powerful reminder for me too for my Decision Books, but even if realistic YA is not *your* niche, Kate and Wendy offer some GREAT insights in this post – I love the idea of becoming a micropublisher, strength in numbers! Enjoy and check out the links in the post, too.… Read More »5 Reasons Why We Write Realistic Fiction For Young Adults

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4 Reasons To Love JUNO

On the day book 2 of The Decision Series, JASMINE’S STORY hits the virtual shelves, many thanks to @LizziesDecision ally and photographer/filmmaker Jendella Benson for this week’s excellent guest post about Diablo Cody’s Oscar-winning dramedy JUNO! Jendella has been taking pictures of young mums and their kids for her visual project on the subject, which included me and the Male Spawn. I was honoured to be part of the project and Jendella’s currently crowdfunding so she can set up her own exhibition and workshops on the theme of Young Motherhood. This is of course very dear to my heart, so please do… Read More »4 Reasons To Love JUNO

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6 Ways YOU’RE Stopping Your Own Writing Success

You’re Stopping You NEWSFLASH – someone is stopping your writing success and it’s not who you think it is … It’s you! True story. When it comes to writing, forget those mythical “gate keepers” who won’t give you a chance … A writer can be his or her OWN worst enemy. Here’s 6 ways I’ve seen – and been! – it: 1) You’re scaring everybody off This is the thing. How you present yourself – especially online, but also networking in real life – is how people will decide whether they CAN work with you. So if you leave this… Read More »6 Ways YOU’RE Stopping Your Own Writing Success

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5 Reasons Bullying Happens At School

Today, my youngest ever Bang2writer, Harri (just 12 years old!) is talking about his new book and why he thinks kids get bullied at school and how bullies are created … This is a great opportunity for adult writers to see school from a kid’s perspective – I found number 5 particularly useful, I’d never thought of this being a useful way of avoiding bullies! So make sure you check out the post and Harri’s sites and profiles — and buy his book! Enjoy! It’s About Being “Different” … 1) Talents For example, if you’re particularly good at something like… Read More »5 Reasons Bullying Happens At School

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10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer

There’s an old saying I took to heart at a very young age, “If you want something doing, ask a busy person”. As a result I’m perpetually busy, but crucially I also get things done as well. I never thought this was weird or unusual, until I became an adult, as others kept remarking on it. A common declaration is that I must be able to somehow “bend or stretch time” to get so much in. Others will ask how I manage it: after all, I’m not just a writer, I’m a script editor, a social marketer, a London Screenwriters’… Read More »10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer

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6 Reasons To Follow The Decision

So I’ve written a lot online about teen pregnancy (especially on Twitter, via #teenpreg & #FeminismIsForTeenMomsToo), as well as  my prochoice novel, THE DECISION: LIZZIE’S STORY, not to mention my own experience of becoming a mother as a teenager. Lizzie’s Story is out this year sometime in English, having been published in the German Language last year … And she’s a character that just won’t stay confined to the pages of the novel, ‘cos she’s JUMPED OUT and got her own Facebook page and Twitter account! Follow her here, as LizziesDecision, tweeting about the ins and outs of #prochoice matters,… Read More »6 Reasons To Follow The Decision

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Heroes, Villains & Disposable Men AKA 5 Reasons Male Characterisation Needs An Overhaul Too

Whoa! So the internet went a little nuts for my post on The Bechdel Test. Ta very much. Seems like a good time then to talk about representation of ALL characters. It’s not fashionable or cool to talk about male characterisation, but then when Bang2write started, it wasn’t cool to talk female protagonists either and look what’s happened since. IMHO, critique of any kind is very important in challenging the status quo, but currently we are SO focused on female characters I fear we are in danger of two things: a) putting undue pressures and expectations on individual films, characters… Read More »Heroes, Villains & Disposable Men AKA 5 Reasons Male Characterisation Needs An Overhaul Too

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7 Reasons Why Being A Teenage Parent Made My Career

I Was A Teenage Parent I stick up for teenage parents every chance I get. If you’ve followed this blog a while, you’ll know I was a teenage Mum ‘back in the day’. Far from apologising for this, or thinking it’s any way shameful, I actually celebrate this. Yes you read that right. I’m proud I was a teenage parent. My pride is not just because I went up against some pretty exceptional odds and became a professional writer ‘despite’ having my son young. **I**  am not exceptional, either. I know LOADS of brilliant teenage parents who are kicking ass… Read More »7 Reasons Why Being A Teenage Parent Made My Career

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Women & Writing # 1: Suzanne Palmieri, Novelist

Now, a new series of articles dedicated to women and writing – I’ll be profiling inspirational ladies and their writing (or related work) in the coming months. First up we have novelist Suzanne Palmieri who I befriended on Twitter recently and discovered I have an amazing amount in common with! Plus her book comes out today – happy publication day, Suzanne! Enjoy … 1) If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be and why? Scrappy: I was a young, single mother on welfare and I picked myself up, went back to college, received a presidential scholarship to Fordham to do… Read More »Women & Writing # 1: Suzanne Palmieri, Novelist

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6 Stock Characters That Need Retiring By Writers NOW

All About Stock Characters A stock character is a stereotypical fictional character in a work of art such as a novel, play, or a film. Stock characters are immediately recognisable because they occur so frequently. I put it to you there are the stock characters infecting – yes, infecting – the spec pile. We must attempt to treat this disease with a huge dose of Spec Writing Salve, so we might cut off these tired tropes and offensive myths, rather than perpetuate them in our novels and screenplays! But where do we start??? 6) ‘Magical Queer’   AKA The “Gay… Read More »6 Stock Characters That Need Retiring By Writers NOW

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Your Character’s Motivation

I get that writers work very hard to differentiate their characters in relation to one another within their ACTUAL SCRIPTS. So when a writer gets the head-scratching note “differentiate characters more”, I can empathise with their confusion. After all, they’ve already done that… Right??? Probably not. Sorry. You see, script readers see certain characters OVER AND OVER AGAIN, regardless of who has written them, what genre script they’re in or what format, TV, movie, radio. Really. I’m not even talking about stereotypes or so-called “stock characters” either: those familiar characters even laypeople might notice (ie. the “tart with the heart”,… Read More »Your Character’s Motivation

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