All About Vinay Patel Vinay Patel is a BAFTA Breakthrough-winning Brit screenwriter and director. I’ve interviewed him several times now, both for his TV breakthrough Murdered by My Father and for my latest writing book, Writing Diverse Characters For Fiction, TV or Film. I always find Vinay’s points about writing and life so illuminating, so I jumped at the chance of talking to him again. Vinay’s also the screenwriter behind Doctor Who, Demons of The Punjab (series 11). This episode proved massively popular with the Bang2writers, so I thought I would get Vinay back in the hot seat! I love what… Read More »7 Things I Learned From Vinay Patel, Screenwriter (DOCTOR WHO)
Wanted: Diverse Characters Diverse Characters were in demand in my latest experts panel … Producers, Agents, Publishers, Script Editors and Script readers all said they wanted more of them in the year to come. This is no real surprise, since ‘more diverse characters’ has been on the the industry’s wish list for a good while now. I am pleased to say most Bang2writers have picked up the mantle on diverse characters. Whilst there is a contingent of writers who believe diverse characters are a ‘fad’, they are mostly confined to ranting on Facebook. In the past two years in particular,… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Diverse Characters
The Comedy Awards Earlier this week the best movie, TV and radio writers came together for The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards 2019. You don’t often see writers at televised awards ceremonies. We’re an unloved category on most glitzy nights. Our natural inclination to introversion and perceived lack of dress sense define us as bad telly. The awards aren’t televised but they do attract some of the biggest names in the business, while reminding producers, agents and commissioners how great stories and the people who tell them remain at the heart of our creative industries. There are now three… Read More »7 Things I Learned At The Comedy Awards
Wanted: Great Stories & Fresh Voices What we all want is a ‘good story, well told’. That’s a given. But what does this really mean? In part 2 of my expert panel this week, I asked the industry pros a second question … What types of stories, tropes, characters, genres, story worlds (etc) would you like to see MORE of in 2019? Here’s what they replied with, below. Again, as you will no doubt see, these are not the prescriptive demands many writers believe they need to ‘sell out’ to. As with the previous post, diversity, new takes on genre… Read More »What 22 Industry Pros DO Want From Your Writing
Don’t Miss Out Bang2writers this year have swarmed all over this website … With 35K+ hits per month this year, they’ve absorbed its delicious writing-tip-goodness like the 1950s version of The Blob. Wow! But this means NON-regular Bang2writers might be at a disadvantage. You see, this blog has been going for a looooong time now. So if you’ve not read the most popular articles on this site? You are literally missing out on the knowledge your competition already knows!! But you know B2W will always have you covered. So I’ve rounded up the top 55 articles Bang2writers hit consistently this… Read More »55 Top Tips Bang2writers Already Know … Do You?
Casting Trouble Casting controversy … It seems hardly a month goes by without some! The same-old arguments and responses get wheeled out every time. Sometimes, writers may have trouble separating their own feelings about various casting troubles from the realities of the industry … Plus other times, the realities of industry actively entrench those same-old problems. Now what?? Well, here’s a round-up of the consistent casting mistakes, misgivings and confusions writers have when diverse characters and the actors who play them intersect. Enjoy! 1) “It should be the ‘best actor for the job’ You’re right, it absolutely should – so… Read More »7 Casting Debates That Need To Die The Death
The Handmaid’s Tale, Adapted The Handmaid’s Tale is that rare beast, both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Just two series in and it’s obvious it will go down in television history. More importantly, countless Bang2writers tell me they want to write something ‘just like it’, that ‘says something’ … But how? At London Screenwriters’ Festival last weekend, I lead a talk titled What Writers Can Learn From The Handmaid’s Tale. It was a brilliant session, with some great questions and observations from the switched-on delegates. Obviously I can’t cover all everything we talked about in one blog post, sadly. But here’s… Read More »6 Things Writers Can Learn From The Handmaid’s Tale
It’s Cultural Diversity Day! It’s May 21, which means we are celebrating cultural diversity today, as set up by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). But what does the term culture mean? Well, that can depend on who is using the term, but one commonly-used definition is: “[Culture] is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [a human] as a member of society.” In other words, culture is a people’s ‘way of life’ meaning HOW they do things in their group. This group may be… Read More »Happy Cultural Diversity Day. Will You Pledge?
Stigma Subjects Stigma is defined in the dictionary as ‘a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation’. Sadly, there are many subjects and things that have a stigma attached, even in today’s more enlightened times. Two such stigma subjects include suicide and rape, especially when it happens to young men. Did you know: That 84 men under the age of forty five in the UK take their lives per week? (Stats HERE). 75,000 men in the UK per year – yes, 75K! – were estimated to be sexual assault survivors, with 9K victims raped (or… Read More »How To Challenge Stigma In Your Writing
Living Colour NEWSFLASH: people of colour lived in Europe in medieval times and beyond. In some cases, they were born and died here, too. Who knew? Well, people of colour living in Europe in medieval times of course, because they were VERY DEFINITELY here. Not to mention all my British and European Bang2writers here today who are descendants of said people. Doh! Where does this ridiculous assumption come from? Well, white people of course, some of whom appear to assume the first migrants who made it to Britain were The Windrush Generation (currently in the news, if you’ve noticed). Not only is this… Read More »The Truth About People Of Colour In Historical Stories
So I’ve been waiting a while to publish this one … Not just so the Bang2writers can catch up (seriously, if you HAVEN’T watched this, what are you waiting for??), but also so BAME commentators, especially Black Twitter, can have their say on the movie FIRST. Because: obviously 😉 So, here’s my thoughts on the much-lauded BLACK PANTHER, plus what I feel writers can learn from this story and its execution. Ready? Let’s go … What’s Working Well, where to start … Sooooooo much to love here. Here goes, though: i) Behind the scenes I’ve been a huge fan of… Read More »BLACK PANTHER’s Innovative, Revolutionary Lessons For ALL Writers
All About Character Archetypes One of the most-searched Google terms leading writers to B2W is ‘stereotypes versus archetypes’. These two terms are mixed up so often … ESPECIALLY in film reviews by clueless critics, grrr. So it’s no wonder writers have trouble keeping track of them as well. Stereotypes relate to ‘the simplification of an idea or person’ (hint: that’s usually bad! Though not unless it’s on purpose … ie. for comedic effect). However, archetypes are a GREAT place to start with our own characters. After all, we can’t subvert characters and twist them, without knowing what has gone before!… Read More »Everything You Need To Know About Character Archetypes