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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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Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

Should writers write characters UNlike themselves? In the 2020s, writers frequently want to write characters UNlike themselves. I do, too! Looking at my books, I have written characters who are not like me. My characters may be (in no particular order): male; older or younger than me; gay; American; black; Romany; British Chinese; transgender; Australian; upper class; homeless and many more besides. The debate on social media often focuses on the notion certain writers are being told NOT to write characters UNlike themselves. It’s no accident the average writer lamenting this ‘fact’ is usually part of a dominant group, either.… Read More »Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

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Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

Family Drama If you feel you’re seeing the word ‘scapegoat’ all over social media right now, you’re not wrong. In the past couple of years, psychological terms such as ‘gaslight’, ‘narcissist’, ‘toxic families’, ‘family estrangement’, ‘no contact’ – and now, ‘scapegoat’ – are real talking points. You may have seen these terms ion Facebook memes, talked about them yourself on Twitter, or watched therapists’ TikTok videos.  Intergenerational differences on psychology, family and parenting are VERY much part of society’s conversation in the 2020s. For those who have missed it, sociologists believe Gen Z and Millennials are the first generations to… Read More »Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

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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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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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Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

What is Sexual Tension? Sexual tension is a key ingredient in many successful published novels and produced screenplays. Whilst sexual tension turns up most in romance stories, it can be part of ANY story in any genre. For example, I wrote sexual tension in my crime novel, The Other Twin. Sexual tension is that feeling of excitement and anticipation you get when something hot and heavy is happening between the characters, but they haven’t yet acted on their desires. Done well, sexual tension can be incredibly addictive for readers and viewers. It keeps them turning pages late into the night,… Read More »Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

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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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How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

All About TV Thrillers & Target Audiences I’ve been streaming a lot of TV thrillers shows from the early 00s to approximately 2012 at the moment. As veteran Bangers know, I love to track the changes to writing craft and what’s popular with TV audiences. Many people think I get ALL my information from talking with industry pros. That is true in part now, but it wasn’t before I made those contacts (duh!). This means I was doing this long before I knew anyone of note. Many new writers are surprised to hear the vast majority of my knowledge comes… Read More »How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

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3 Unusual Female Character Tropes Audiences Can’t Get Enough Of Right Now

Female Character Tropes Good news: female character tropes are finally becoming more varied as standard! Not so long ago, female characters were sidelined or defined by the men in their lives … but these days, we’re much more likely to see holistic and layered female characters in movies, TV or novels. However, when B2W talks about tropes, many writers say: ‘Aren’t tropes a bad thing??’ It’s not difficult to see why writers might think this. Many online commentators – including actual critics! – often conflate tropes with clichés. Whilst tropes can indeed become clichés when they’re overused, tropes are actually… Read More »3 Unusual Female Character Tropes Audiences Can’t Get Enough Of Right Now

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How To Write A Great Cover Letter That Gets Results

Why do writers need to write cover letters? It’s the 2020s and the digital era, so why do writers need to worry about cover letters? Well, these days cover letters are most likely cover EMAILS … but you’ll still need the basics of how to write them. The only thing that’s changed is the delivery, basically. This means you’ll usually write cover letters as part of your submission process. This will frequently be a requirement, even if you’re using an online submissions portal such as CoverFly, Submittable or QueryTracker. Other times you may be expected to use cover letters is… Read More »How To Write A Great Cover Letter That Gets Results

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How To Write A Logline: 5 Key Tips To Remember (And 5 To Avoid)

How To Write A Logline ‘How to write a logline’ brings Bangers to this blog every single day.  Here’s a round-up of the topic, divided into DOs and DON’Ts. Ready? Let’s go … A logline is a one-sentence summary of your story that outlines the conflict and sets up the stakes. It’s the boiled-down version of your story that you use to sell your script or project to industry pros like agents, producers or investors. Here are 5 key tips on how to write a logline … and 5 to avoid! 1) DO: Keep it short and sweet! Remember, a… Read More »How To Write A Logline: 5 Key Tips To Remember (And 5 To Avoid)

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