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An Epic Rant On Why Your Spec Script Is Doomed (Unless You Avoid This)

So, You Want Your Spec Script To Get Noticed? Writing a spec script is hard, but getting a sale for that spec script is even harder. No screenwriter’s journey is the same, plus this crazy industry is not transparent AT ALL. That’s one of the reasons I began this blog in the first place. I wanted to help writers AVOID their scripts being doomed before they even got off the starter blocks!! So what’s the number 1 problem standing in too many new writers’ way? Themselves. They doom their OWN scripts from the get-go. Yup, you read that right. Supersadface.… Read More »An Epic Rant On Why Your Spec Script Is Doomed (Unless You Avoid This)

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10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story

Many thanks to writer and B2W Academy member Pamela PerryGoulardt who has written today’s post about Tarot archetypes … AND created these fantastic cards herself. Wow! I am blown away by how gorgeous the images are. The lady is a talent! Writers often ask me ‘how’ to write great characters visually, so when Pamela suggested Tarot I was all ears. Whilst I have been aware of the practice for decades, I’d never thought of using Tarot cards as a writing aid. So, over to you Pamela! Write Stories That Are Off The Charts! Tarot is a detailed system of numbers… Read More »10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story

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The #1 Question Writers Need To Ask Of Their Writing (Do It!!)

The Question You Need To Ask So a couple of weeks ago, I published an article, Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Their Page 1 Of Their Screenplays. In the article I gave two examples of (fake) screenplays that had issues. I also posted these script examples to the B2W social media, asking the Bang2writers ‘What’s wrong with THIS page 1?’ (below). Here’s what the Bangers said … ‘Not enough details about Katie – is she the protagonist? If so, what is she wearing? What music is she listening to?’ ‘Missing character descriptions’ ‘It says INT when it should be… Read More »The #1 Question Writers Need To Ask Of Their Writing (Do It!!)

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Page 1 Of Their Screenplays

The Page 1 Test Page 1 is THE most important page in your entire screenplay. You have to start as you mean to go on. Most spec screenwriters know they have up to 10 pages to impress the script reader … but few realise it’s page 1 that really needs to rock FIRST. So, to make sure your first page doesn’t sink your chances, read on. Let’s go! 1) Starting with something DULL on page 1 Dull is in the eye of the beholder of course … but there’s plenty of pitfalls we can commit with the very first sentence… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Page 1 Of Their Screenplays

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Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

Plotting Like a Pro One of the most searched-for terms on this blog is ‘help with plotting’. Plot – aka structure if you’re a screenwriter – can be a tricky beast. Despite it being fashionable to claim plotting is ‘easy’ to fix, this is utter BILGE … which is why it’s a good idea to try and ensure you don’t tie yourself up in knots at foundation level! So, whether you’re a novelist looking for help plotting your book, or a screenwriter who needs guidance on structuring your script, these quick tips should help. Ready? Let’s go … 1) It’s… Read More »Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

On Character Introductions Character introductions are super-important in good writing, whether it’s a novel or screenplay. A well-crafted character introduction provides context and relevance, which means the audience can connect with the characters on a deeper level. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, character introductions are often where writers stumble, which in turn affects the rest of the story. For the five biggest mistakes writers make with character introductions, check out the following … ready? Let’s go! 1) Laundry List Intros This is probably one of my ultimate pet peeve character introductions in both scripts and unpublished novels because it’s SO… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

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No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

Do Characters ‘Have’ To Change? In any conversation online about characterisation, it’s never long before somebody pops up proclaiming characters HAVE to change. They may even insist that a character who doesn’t change has ‘no arc’. Calling the department of WRONG! No, characters do NOT have to change. I can’t stress this enough. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable they DON’T change. Have I blown your mind? If I have, I’m not surprised. Writing gurus – especially in screenwriting circles – have been SO didactic about this topic in the last thirty or forty years. As a result, generations of writers… Read More »No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

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Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

So, Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense It’s the note every writer – new to professional – dreads: your draft doesn’t make sense. Eeek! When your draft doesn’t make sense, it can be very overwhelming. When we get the note our stories are hard to follow, it’s easy to sink into hopelessness and despair. Some of us may even take it as proof we’re ‘terrible writers’ too and spiral even more. Perhaps you’re confused, too? Maybe you don’t understand why your script editor, beta reader or peer reviewer finds your story so hard to follow. You may feel as if the… Read More »Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

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#1 Concept Mistake So Many Writers Make (Plus What To Do About It)

No Research = Concept Problems So often a writer will pitch me their concept and I say, ‘Oh, so like XYZ?’ They’ll look at me, totally blank. These won’t be obscure titles either. They will be big-time movies, TV shows, novels … it doesn’t matter. The writer has not done his, her – or their! – research and road-tested their idea. It always shocks me how so many writers don’t read books, or watch TV or film … then think they can write something with zero problems?? Total madness! If we don’t know what the concept is at grassroots level… Read More »#1 Concept Mistake So Many Writers Make (Plus What To Do About It)

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Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

Candyman: The Short Story Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman … Clive Barker’s 1985 short story The Forbidden is a haunting exploration of poverty and disenfranchisement. It was first published in 1985 as part of his ground-breaking horror anthology, Books of Blood. Set in the desperate sinkhole estate of Spector Street, Liverpool, England, the story takes place in October with several references to Bonfire Night being the following week. This means we can be fairly sure the events of the story take place around Halloween. The Forbidden follows Helen, a graduate student. Originally researching graffiti as part of her thesis, she… Read More »Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

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Brandon Sanderson’s 3 Laws For Creating Magic Systems In Your Fantasy Story

Actual Laws for Writing?! Not to worry, you won’t get fined for breaking Sanderson’s laws! He named them ‘laws’ as a bit of a joke (I’m guessing there’s a science joke in there, somewhere). However, Brandon Sanderson is probably one of the best people to learn from for developing magic systems that feel unique. So, it definitely can’t hurt your writing to follow his guidelines on the matter. All About Brandon Sanderson Brandon Sanderson is an American fantasy & sci-fi author who is most known for his Mistborn series and The Stormlight Archive. He’s done a great deal to teach… Read More »Brandon Sanderson’s 3 Laws For Creating Magic Systems In Your Fantasy Story

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How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

All About Character Motivation NEWSFLASH: great characterisation should lie at the heart of every narrative, whether that’s a novel or screenplay. These characters should drive the plot forward and engage audiences emotionally. What’s more, modern audiences and readers demand nuanced, layered characterisation as standard in the 2020s. One essential element that brings characters to life is their motivation – the driving force behind their actions and behaviours. I like to call this the ‘WHY’ of characterisation. Put simply, character motivation can be summed up as “A character wants or needs something for some reason, but will have to strive to… Read More »How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

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