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Do You Need To Be Well Read, To Be A Good Writer?

What Does ‘Well Read’ Mean? First up, let’s agree on the definition. Here’s one from the dictionary: Well read, adjective. Having a lot of knowledge from reading widely; knowledgeable. Synonyms: knowledgeable (about), well informed (about), well versed in, widely read; erudite, scholarly, literate, educated, cultured, literary, bookish, studious. Example: “She was very well read in this field”.  The key words that stand out for me there: knowledge, widely, well informed.  Should you read? HELL YES I work with writers every single day who profess they ‘don’t’ read, often because they ‘don’t have time’. And you know what? Contrary to popular belief, some of them… Read More »Do You Need To Be Well Read, To Be A Good Writer?

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5 Easy Methods To Kick-Start Your Writing

Too many ideas? Too few? Blank page syndrome (hair-tearing optional)? Mojo gone AWOL? Sometimes even Jack London’s otherwise sound idea of ‘going after inspiration with a club’ doesn’t even get the words flowing! While there is a lot of valid advice out there on how to beat writer’s block on a project, we can also get stuck in a creative quagmire. To drag ourselves out of there and get that hunger for storytelling back, a writer’s detox in 5 easy steps can help cleanse the mind. Here goes: 1)  Ask yourself the crucial question You’ll kick yourself, it’s simple …… Read More »5 Easy Methods To Kick-Start Your Writing

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5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure

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Structure freaks so many writers out … It can be enough to strike fear into the heart of ANY spec screenwriter or unpublished novelist.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

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Top 10 Words Or Phrases Storytellers Gave Us

Inventing Words Shakespeare was The Don when it came to inventing words and phrases, so we tend to think writers and filmmakers contribute to language a lot more than they do. It’s actually rather unusual for a writer or filmmaker’s words to get assimilated wholesale by popular culture, but here’s my top 10. Enjoy! 1) You do not talk about … An easy one to start. FIGHT CLUB (1999) is an iconic book and film, so whenever anyone says the phrase, “You do not talk about [whatever]” they’re usually invoking this particular scene from the movie. Over the last two… Read More »Top 10 Words Or Phrases Storytellers Gave Us

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7 Best Proofreading Tools For Writers

As a writer, you likely have a pretty long list of fears. What if people don’t love your work? What if you don’t find your audience? What if your writing is riddled with typos? While online tools can’t help with the first two concerns, they can certainly eliminate the fear of embarrassing mistakes in your novel. These proofreading tools can cross one thing off your list, at least: 1) Hemingway Editor The best writers can take long, complicated thoughts and turn them into simple, easy to read sentences. Nobody did this better than Ernest Hemingway. Bring a little Ernest Hemingway… Read More »7 Best Proofreading Tools For Writers

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5 Ways Of Bringing Real Life Into Storytelling

For our latest venture at Broken Leg Theatre, the company I co-direct with Anna Jefferson, we spoke to a huge variety of women all over the UK. From a group of midwives in London, to a group of elderly women in Leeds (the oldest of whom was 102!), their real-life stories and experiences formed the inspiration for our new play, Three Generations of Women, which tours next month. These discussions, and our interactive online platform, provided us with some confessional and deeply personal stories. The response was overwhelming, flattering, and very humbling. At the end of the research process, Anna… Read More »5 Ways Of Bringing Real Life Into Storytelling

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Structure Spotlight: 3 Things To Remember For Act 3

All About Act 3 So today we’re talking about Act 3, courtesy of  Bang2writer Craig Howells, who left this question in the B2W Facebook group: I’m really interested in the anatomy of Act 3. What are the Dos & Don’ts? I know you need to pay off, and I’ve got my own ideas (which I’m still working on) but I’d love to know your take on it. I’m not a structure purist. As far as I’m concerned, all stories *just* need a beginning, middle and end (and not necessarily in that order, either!). On this basis then, The Three Acts makes… Read More »Structure Spotlight: 3 Things To Remember For Act 3

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3 Reasons Why Writers Should Keep A Journal

I do a lot of courses and talks, plus I get lots of emails, tweets and messages from writers … A popular question is, “Where do you get your ideas from?”  My answer: EVERYWHERE! But my life is busy, so I keep a journal to record various fleeting thoughts, observations and important elements of my day. That’s why I thought this post from Tess is great advice for writers … Enjoy! To many of us, journals seem like a thing of the past. We have a tendency to treat the art of keeping a journal as something that’s no longer… Read More »3 Reasons Why Writers Should Keep A Journal

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5 Times It’s OK To Sacrifice Facts For Drama

Writing historical fiction, I have come to learn, is like navigating a slippery slope along a precarious cliff. God forbid you get a fact wrong. Anyone who knows anything about the time period you are writing about will let you know that you did: in the reviews, on the internet, for all to see. Let’s face it. Getting the clothing down, the setting, the politics and social graces of the times is the easy part. Keeping people entertained in another time period is what makes the story a story. So I have had to take liberties as well in my… Read More »5 Times It’s OK To Sacrifice Facts For Drama

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Top 10 Quotes On First Drafts

Spanish speaker? Many thanks to Sergio from Bloguionistas for translating this post into Spanish! READ IT HERE. If like me you’re struggling with an unwieldy first draft of your novel or screenplay right now, I thought you might appreciate some of these quotes from famous people on the process. Some of the quotes are uber-famous (especially number 1), plus I don’t agree with all of them (number 8 can go jump in particular, I’d say it’s TORTURE atm!) but it’s definitely a useful exercise to remember ALL writers go through this. So keep on keeping on, Bang2writers! Need MORE inspiration?… Read More »Top 10 Quotes On First Drafts

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