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Pro Writer ‘Rules’

12 Working Writers In Movies And TV Share Their Top Advice

Screenwriters Advice by Andrew Zinnes and Genevieve Jollife One of the most Googled terms leading to this blog is the search term ‘advice for screenwriters’.  This means I was delighted to chat with Andrew Zinnes all about his and Genevieve Jollife’s new book, literally called Screenwriters Advice! It’s a great book, packed with insights, tidbits and actionable advice from screenwriters for both movies and TV, in the UK and USA. It’s super-readable too. But don’t take my word for it, here’s some great tips from the book, courtesy of the best and brightest screenwriting talent. Also, don’t miss out on… Read More »12 Working Writers In Movies And TV Share Their Top Advice

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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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No, Your Spec Screenplay Is NOT A ‘Drama/Thriller’. Here’s Why

NEWSFLASH: Drama/Thriller Is NOT A Thing! So, I keep seeing screenwriters on social media saying they’re writing a drama/thriller. OI WRITERS NO … YOU ARE NOT!! Dramas and thrillers are VERY different beasts. It’s why I wrote a whole-ass book on each of them!!! Before I start this epic rant, a reminder: B2W stands with the WGA and the current US writers’ strike. This post is NOT designed to encourage anyone to break the picket line and scab. It’s an article primarily designed to help you with your writing CRAFT. Secondly, it’s to help you realise how the industry works.… Read More »No, Your Spec Screenplay Is NOT A ‘Drama/Thriller’. Here’s Why

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How To Write A Fantastic Opening Sentence In Your Novel

Your Novel’s Opening Sentence Is SO Important The opening sentence in your novel has to do some heavy-lifting, so HOW you write yours is very important. Readers frequently read the first sentence to decide whether they will buy the book. They may do this in real life by literally picking it up from a shelf and going to page 1. Alternatively, they may utilise the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon, or download the sample to their Kindles. WHY A Great Opening Sentence is Important A great opening sentence in a novel is important for several reasons … i) It sets… Read More »How To Write A Fantastic Opening Sentence In Your Novel

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Are you ALL IN? How To Know You’re A Professional Writer At Last

Are You A Professional Writer Yet? One question I get all the time is ‘How do I know if I am a professional writer?’ The writers asking will usually tell me that though they may have had books published or screenplays produced, they just don’t feel ‘there’ yet. Alternatively, writers may tell me they haven’t earned any $$$£££ yet, so ‘can’t’ be professionals yet. So, how DO you know if you’re a professional writer? Well check out these tips … let’s go. 1) You know it’s NOT About the money Look up the word ‘professional’ in the dictionary and you… Read More »Are you ALL IN? How To Know You’re A Professional Writer At Last

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10 Superb Writing Reminders From Sally Wainwright

About Sally Wainwright So, the long-awaited third series of Happy Valley by Sally Wainwright on BBC1/iPlayer concluded last night. Wow! I thought it would be a great idea to check out what Sally has to say about writing … and I found some GOLD for you Bangers! But first up, all about Sally Wainwright! She is an English television writer, producer, and director from Yorkshire. Starting out first as a playwright, she also worked on the classic serial radio drama The Archers. She created her first original drama series At Home With The Braithwaites, which ran 2000-2003. Other TV series Sally… Read More »10 Superb Writing Reminders From Sally Wainwright

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Top 10 Tips From Neil Gaiman On Being A Writer

About Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman is a British author, screenwriter and producer. A prolific writer, he started his career as a journalist, then writing biographies and comics. His acclaimed and groundbreaking series, The Sandman (1991) was the first ever comic to receive a literary award – 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story. The series has been adapted for TV and is currently on Netflix. Gaiman’s work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. His books for younger readers include M is for Magic (2007); The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (1997); The Wolves in the… Read More »Top 10 Tips From Neil Gaiman On Being A Writer

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It’s Never ONLY About The Story In Screenwriting – And That’s A GOOD Thing

‘It should ONLY be about the story!’ I often talk to writers about the commercial aspects of screenwriting. As someone who has seen lots of deals happen, I know that money talks. The industry is NOT a patron of the arts. It follows the $$$ because it’s ‘show BUSINESS’ after all. This means … Remakes and reboots are here to stay Great TV shows get cancelled if they don’t get enough views in the first few weeks (yes, really!) Why badly-written movies may still earn stacks Or why indie productions can sink without a trace if they don’t have enough… Read More »It’s Never ONLY About The Story In Screenwriting – And That’s A GOOD Thing

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VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’

All About Kelly Marcel Kelly Marcel is a British screenwriter and producer. She co-wrote one of my favourite dramas Saving Mr Banks (eagle-eyed Bangers will remember it is a case study in my Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays book!). She also received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for it. In addition, Kelly is the screenwriter of Fifty Shades of Grey, Venom, Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, plus she created and was exec producer on TV series Terra Nova. A fabulously eclectic mix there! But how does a writer who started her working life in a video… Read More »VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’

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Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter This Year

How To Break In As A Screenwriter If you want to break in as a screenwriter, you’re not alone. ‘How to break in’ is probably one of the top Google searches that leads to this blog, in fact. Whilst it’s true B2W believes we need to build our careers over a sustained period (rather than the break in being just ONE act), we all have to start somewhere. I was joined in a B2W livestream recently by comedy writer Amanda Graham (@AGComedy). Amanda specialises in rebellious, irreverent, female leads going against nonsensical power structures. She has various projects in development (including with… Read More »Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter This Year

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Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

About Javier Grillo-Marxuach Javier Grillo-Marxuach is a screenwriter and producer. He has the kind of resumé most Bang2writers would kill for, including iconic shows like Charmed and Lost. He’s continued with fantastic modern TV such as The Witcher, The 100 and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance as well. Wow! I was delighted to Zoom with Javier recently. I love high concept, dystopian and post-apocalyptic story worlds. He’s literally worked on some of my favourite shows that have influenced my own writing! Javier also wrote the AMAZING 11 Laws of show running, an online essay/memo which really requires its own post.… Read More »Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

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5 Things I Learned From Screenwriter Stephen Beresford (PRIDE)

Talking To Stephen Beresford Stephen Beresford is an actor and screenwriter, who wrote the award-winning British lgbtq+ movie Pride. I had the pleasure of talking with him about getting the film made, his writing process, and any tips he had. Here’s what I learned. 1) There’s value in truth While the UK film industry is only roughly half of its American counterpart ($6.4bn compared to $11.4bn), there’s always something quite special when a new British film comes out, perhaps because the industry is so incredibly choosy. According to Stephen, the UK film industry is very conservative, but having something based… Read More »5 Things I Learned From Screenwriter Stephen Beresford (PRIDE)

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