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5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

Watch & Read The Black Phone Now The Black Phone is a movie adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same title by Joe Hill. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the screenplay is written by Derrickson and his long-time collaborator C. Robert Cargill. I’m a HUGE fan of both Hill and this duo’s previous output including Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, so I was keen to watch the movie regardless. The logline for The Black Phone on imdb reads, “After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls… Read More »5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

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5 Top Tips For Converting Your Screenplay Into A Novel

Screenplays –> Novels So you’ve written a screenplay, then bust a gut to get it financed and produced … But two years later you’re still no further on. Don’t give up just yet! You’ve created characters and a story so why not use this as your template and convert your script to a novel? Here are five tips to help and inspire you converting yours. Ready? Let’s go …  1) Take Back Control  A film is a story told in pictures and a screenplay is really a set of short-hand instructions rather than a complete work of art. Film is… Read More »5 Top Tips For Converting Your Screenplay Into A Novel

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How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

If You Love Something, Let It Go  When should we let go of a draft? Well, like so many writing-related things, this can be a real ‘piece of string’ question. That said, there are some best practices to consider that will help you know when to let go. Ready? Let’s go …  1) Have THE GUTS To Finish!  To often, writers can’t let go of drafts. They will tinker with them endlessly, making submissions alongside these endless edits. This frequently leads to them trying to make multiple resubmissions. This is a bad idea, because industry pros want to see fresh… Read More »How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

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10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Female Characters

Don’t Underestimate Or Underwrite Fifty per cent of your potential audience is female, so it does NOT pay to underestimate your female characters. Women in audiences everywhere have made it clear in the past decade on social media … Underwrite female characters at your peril! Too often, female characters become stereotypical in unpublished novels and spec screenplays. A stereotype is a simplication. Whilst writers CAN use stereotypes on purpose for effect, too often writers use them by accident. This makes characters feel flat and two-dimensional. There are lots of lists of female stereotypes online, but I always think it’s more illuminating… Read More »10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Female Characters

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10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

Important DON’Ts Storytelling is much harder than it looks, so I have composed a list of DON’Ts to think about when writing your story. If you find this post useful, please pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Ready? Let’s go … 1) DON’T: Start Too Early If you begin too early in your story, you end up with a ‘top-heavy’ draft. This is no good, because modern readers and viewers do NOT want to wait for your story to start. But how do we avoid starting too early? Well, think about beginning with some kind of EVENT… Read More »10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

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Finding Your Emotional Truth: 3 Tips from the Trenches

How To Write With Emotional Truth In the household I grew up in, showing emotions was a weakness. Naturally, my first reaction when learning that I need to “write with emotional truth” was to run for the hills. When I calmed down and came back, I started a long and exhausting process of figuring out what my emotional truth is. It took me a long time to figure out how to start the process. So, here are a few things that helped me get going. TIP 1) Explore and Excavate Emotions The first step is to figure out how you… Read More »Finding Your Emotional Truth: 3 Tips from the Trenches

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Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

Mystery, Thriller or Horror? Mystery, Thriller and Horror novels and screenplays do BIG business as they have high ‘adaptability’. Readers and viewers love them … plus there’s a lot of convergence between them. This is because the Mystery, Horror and Thriller genres have lots of elements that cross over. However, lots of writers run into trouble because they’re not really sure what their story *is* at foundation level. Whilst many writers know mystery usually involves some kind of twist, they often don’t know how to get there. As a result, writers may make their mystery too easy to guess, or… Read More »Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

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5 Uncomfortable Facts You Must Face If You Want Your Scripts Made

OR: Why There’s NOT ‘Loads’ Of Great Spec Scripts Waiting To Be Made If you want to get your scripts made, you’re not alone. It seems everyone is working on a spec screenplay! I love to see it too … Nothing makes me happier than hearing about the stories Bang2writers are working on. Whenever people talk about screenwriting though, it doesn’t take long before someone drops this claim … ‘There’s LOADS of great spec scripts just waiting to be made.’  They usually say this when a new movie reboot is announced, or a favourite TV series has jumped the shark.… Read More »5 Uncomfortable Facts You Must Face If You Want Your Scripts Made

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Top 5 Solutions When You’re Stuck on Your Novel

How To Get Unstuck On Your Novel Are you stuck on your novel? Have you tried several different approaches, only to end up stuck again? I experienced this with my most recent novel, The Beached Ones. It took me years to get past that stuck place. Talk about frustrating! I thought I was going to have to give up on the story. You may be feeling the same way. If so, I’m here to tell you: I got through that stuck place and went on to win a publishing contract for the book. You can too. When You’re Stuck on Your… Read More »Top 5 Solutions When You’re Stuck on Your Novel

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5 Examples of Story Structure You Should Know About

All About Story Structure Whether you’re writing a novel or screenplay, story structure matters. Building a story structure is like crafting a backbone for your narrative. It helps the audience understand the timeline and meaning of each event, keeping them engaged until the very end. All too often writers focus solely on describing their characters rather than the story’s overall architecture. This has a knock-on effect and an under-developed story structure can literally ruin your characterisation. The truth is that plot building is just as important, if not more, than the protagonist’s quirks and conflicts. So you’ll need to become… Read More »5 Examples of Story Structure You Should Know About

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1 Killer Screenwriting Trick From Walter Hill (ALIEN)

About Walter Hill Walter Hill is a director, screenwriter and producer with a super-shiny resumé. He is the writer-director of the classic gang warfare movie The Warriors, an adaptation of the novel by Sol Yurick. Known primarily for the action genre, Hill has worked with all kinds of Hollywood royalty such as Arnold Schwarzenegger (Red Heat); Eddie Murphy (48 Hours and Another 48 Hours); Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa (Bullet to The Head); and even Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah (Hardboiled crime author Jim Thompson’s The Getaway). But even with all that in mind, Hill is perhaps most famous for producing… Read More »1 Killer Screenwriting Trick From Walter Hill (ALIEN)

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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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