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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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Writer Parents – Do You Know About These Services?

Top scribe and charity volunteer Adrian Mead has been in touch, wanting Bang2writer Parents to know about Parentline, a charity which gives online and telephone support to parents who need it: “We all know how tough it is to get time, space and inspiration to be creative but add childcare to the mix and franlkly I’m just amazed you get anything done! Recently I’ve been volunteering for PARENTLINE, a great organisation that supports anyone who cares for, or has concerns about a child. If you are needing somewhere to get info, support or a place to vent your frustrations or… Read More »Writer Parents – Do You Know About These Services?

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Don’t Let Your Secondary Characters Take Over

I’ve written on this blog before about back story and how it shouldn’t take over from “present events”: too often a spec script puts too much thought into back story, so the story we’re *supposed* to be watching lacks “forward thrust” (oooer). Bang2writers often believe they must put MORE back story in, at the expense of “present day” plotting, especially when it comes to secondary characters in feature-length scripts – and let’s face it, we’ve all done it and probably will again. But it’s important we realise this means we will be set off at wild tangents as we struggle… Read More »Don’t Let Your Secondary Characters Take Over

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Writing & Kids, Pt 2: Working From Home

The title of this post is a little misleading, as I feel it can be applied to anyone who works from home whilst looking after children – not just writers. And there are a lot of us: I am of course not just a writer, but a script reader and self employed teacher (ie. “outside” the state school system) as well. I know parents who make jewellery and other crafts whilst looking after children (my own parents did this for a time as I was growing up, in fact); accountants; copy editors; web designers – the list of jobs you… Read More »Writing & Kids, Pt 2: Working From Home

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Writing & Kids, Pt 1: Getting The Spec Done

This post is for StrawLaneScott, who asked on Twitter for advice on writing when you have kids in the house to look after at the same time. I was a parent long before I was a writer or script editor; having a child in your teens before you have even gone to university, never mind started your career, means you have to be able to time manage. Yet there appears to be this feeling one has a baby, then you wait for it to get old enough to go to nursery or school, THEN you get started on whatever it… Read More »Writing & Kids, Pt 1: Getting The Spec Done

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Media Parents Meeting In Bristol

Amy Walker joined me on a panel about parenthood and flexible working at London Screenwriters Festival, so I was only too happy to pass this message along from her – I think Media Parents is a fab idea and could really open up flexible working for everyone, not just parents. If you live in Bristol or the surrounding areas, please give Media Parents your support! ————————-Media Parents is a jobs and social networking website for parents and others who want to work flexibly in TV. 5000 women and 750 men left TV over the last 3 years – Media Parents… Read More »Media Parents Meeting In Bristol

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London Screenwriters’ Festival 2010

Wow. Just WOW. Words can’t describe the fantastic experience I had at London Screenwriters’ Festival but as we all know I’m not going to let a little *thing* like that try and stop me, so I’ll have a go. Regent’s College was amazing. The production staff, volunteers and helper-outers were amazing. The delegates were amazing! Everything was amazing! Oh, you want more? Okay: Friday. I didn’t have any sessions of my own on the Friday so I was tweeting and Facebooking like a mad thing. Leilani was the official blogger for the festival, you can check out all her amazing… Read More »London Screenwriters’ Festival 2010

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