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Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

‘I Don’t Want To Get It Wrong’ Is your writing suffering from ‘moral perfectionism’? The reason I ask is that I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the writers I work with worried about ‘getting it wrong’. What ‘wrong’ means can depend, but usually relates to the depiction of marginalised characters and communities. A writer will feel stressed and even frozen by fear at seeming like an ‘over-privileged asshole’. This may relate to … Male writers writing female leads White people writing BIPOC characters Straight writers writing LGBTQ characters Able-bodied writers writing disabled characters More affluent writers writing about poverty and/or… Read More »Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

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No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

Do Characters ‘Have’ To Change? In any conversation online about characterisation, it’s never long before somebody pops up proclaiming characters HAVE to change. They may even insist that a character who doesn’t change has ‘no arc’. Calling the department of WRONG! No, characters do NOT have to change. I can’t stress this enough. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable they DON’T change. Have I blown your mind? If I have, I’m not surprised. Writing gurus – especially in screenwriting circles – have been SO didactic about this topic in the last thirty or forty years. As a result, generations of writers… Read More »No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

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Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

So, Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense It’s the note every writer – new to professional – dreads: your draft doesn’t make sense. Eeek! When your draft doesn’t make sense, it can be very overwhelming. When we get the note our stories are hard to follow, it’s easy to sink into hopelessness and despair. Some of us may even take it as proof we’re ‘terrible writers’ too and spiral even more. Perhaps you’re confused, too? Maybe you don’t understand why your script editor, beta reader or peer reviewer finds your story so hard to follow. You may feel as if the… Read More »Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

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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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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 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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3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

Effective Character Development Effective characterisation starts with good character development. Some writers insist that characters come to them ‘fully formed’ but I call BS. Good character development is not dictation. We are CREATING characters and honing our craft! There are a few key things to keep in mind when developing your characters: 1) Make them relatable Your audience needs to be able to connect with your characters on some level. If they can’t relate to them, they won’t be invested in their story. By the way: note how the above DOESN’T say make your characters ‘likeable’. This is a red herring.… Read More »3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

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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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Top 10 Myths about Sensitivity Readers (And Why They’re Wrong)

About Sensitivity Readers Sensitivity readers are never far from the news these days. There’s been countless articles and threads online decrying them, citing ‘cancel culture’ and ‘offended snowflakes’ supposedly ‘ruining’ writing in the 2020s. A sensitivity reader is someone who reads a literary work, looking for perceived offensive content, accidental stereotypes and bias. They then create a report for a writer, publisher or another industry pro with suggested changes. No more, no less. FYI, I actually don’t like the term ‘sensitivity reader’. I feel it plays into (some) writers’ belief the job is ‘pandering’ to various communities or cultures. These… Read More »Top 10 Myths about Sensitivity Readers (And Why They’re Wrong)

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Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

The Hero’s Journey I’ve been researching The Hero’s Journey for about a decade now on this blog. When I wrote my Thriller Screenplays book back in 2013, it was a plot template that was ALL the rage. In fact, just ten short years ago, screenwriters were told it was pretty much the ‘only’ plotting archetype worth writing … and that if their characters did not change, their writing was ‘bad’!  Fast-forward to 2023 and these expectations have changed considerably. Audiences have started to tire of The Hero’s Journey and its ubiquity. Novels, indie film and even major blockbusters have started… Read More »Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

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10 Quick Reasons Why Writers Should Become Script Readers

Script Readers Assemble! We’ve all heard that screenwriters should read scripts to get ahead … But what if you became an ACTUAL script reader? B2W has been training script readers since 2015 on my Breaking Into Script Reading course. I normally only hold this course once a year (and it last ran in February this year), but 2023 is shaping up to be historic for writers. Why? Two reasons … i) The US Writers’ Strike On May 2nd, 2023, The US Writers’ Strike began. When studios and networks rejected WGA proposals, 11,500 WGA writers  voted against working for struck companies.… Read More »10 Quick Reasons Why Writers Should Become Script Readers

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5 Things Writers Can Expect When Your Screenplay Starts Filming

Congratulations! So … your project has been greenlit and the first day of principal photography (aka filming) is set. Yay! However, a lot of writers are unaware of what happens AFTER you’ve hit *send* on your “final-final-final” draft. It’s time to shed light on the production stages of your script and what happens during the filming stages … Right up to post-production! Here’s 5 things writers can expect once their project starts filming… ready? Let’s go! 1) Yet More Drafts Oh, you thought you were finished?? NOPE! Once your project is greenlit and you’re working towards the first day of… Read More »5 Things Writers Can Expect When Your Screenplay Starts Filming

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