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Pro Writer ‘Rules’

5 Reasons Writers SHOULD Include Sex Scenes In Their Writing

Hey Writers: Include  Sex Scenes In Your Writing! Yeah I said what I said: I have argued for a LONG time that writers should include sex scenes in our writing. In the past twenty years I’ve seen sex scenes in the spec screenplay and unpublished novel pile DECREASE. But it’s not anti-feminist to include sex scenes in your novel or screenplay … plus modern storytelling is NOT porn, as Matt (below) points out. It’s a worrying trend that people KEEP making this accusation of stories on social media. Far from being progressive (as many insist), complaining that ‘all’ expressions of… Read More »5 Reasons Writers SHOULD Include Sex Scenes In Their Writing

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Spotlight on Structure: How To Use The Rashomon Storytelling Technique

What Is The Rashomon Storytelling Technique? If you haven’t heard of the Rashomon storytelling technique, you’ve almost certainly watched a movie or TV show or read a book that uses it. Named after the 1950 Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking Rashomon, this technique is known for its use of multiple perspectives to tell a single story. By allowing different characters to share their individual versions of events, the truth becomes subjective and open to interpretation. Examples of films and TV shows that use the Rashomon technique are … Pulp Fiction (1994) The Usual Suspects (1995) The Simpsons, Trilogy of… Read More »Spotlight on Structure: How To Use The Rashomon Storytelling Technique

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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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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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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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