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10 Of The Worst Screenplay & Novel “Fillers”

Okkkkkkkkkk, so we all know “scene description is scene action” in our screenplays and that we should be kickstarting the prose in our novels, right? RIGHT??? Um, no. We don’t it seems, which is why there’s a stack of scripts and novels with what I call “Fillers” in them … those “actions” and moments that AREN’T REALLY ACTIONS AT ALL, but just a way of breaking up dialogue in screenplays, or filling up space in novels, just for the sake of it rather than any “real” character or story-based reason. Now, we’re ALL guilty of shoving a “Filler” in an… Read More »10 Of The Worst Screenplay & Novel “Fillers”

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7 Ways YOU’RE Screwing With Your Writing Chances

So, you think all that stands between you and “making it” is the strength of your writing, the shininess of your craft and a horde of other writers, rabid with the THIRST FOR SUCCESS? Nope, sorry (not sorry). There’s you as well. That’s right … YOU! I’ve seen so many writers divert or even kill their OWN chances in meetings, online, at pitchfests, developing their work … Anywhere you care to mention, in fact. Recognise any of these? 1) “But this happens in real life!” If I had a squid for every time a writers tells me this? I could… Read More »7 Ways YOU’RE Screwing With Your Writing Chances

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9 Steps To Get Your Spec TV Pilot Written, Edited & Sent Out …

Writing, Editing & Submitting Your Spec TV Pilot Writing a spec TV pilot? Lots of writers are! Whilst many spec TV pilots **end up** great, their writers often tie themselves up in terrible knots getting them written, slowing themselves down, especially when they often send out works in progress, left, right and centre AS WELL. Yet it needn’t be this way, with just a little more preparation at foundation level. So here’s my 9 steps on how to get YOUR polished killer spec TV pilot on the page AND out there … Step 1: Write your Series Bible Before you are able… Read More »9 Steps To Get Your Spec TV Pilot Written, Edited & Sent Out …

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4 Simple Reasons Why Many Writers Don’t Succeed

Following on from my post on how writers stand in their OWN way of writing success and “making it”, here’s Nikolas with some sage words of advice. Enjoy! 1) I Have to Make More Time??? Many beginners dream about what their life will be like when they’re a ‘real’ writer. They have a room of their own where they can be creative, spend hours writing, and be completely supported by their habit. They make good money and everyone, or at least their beloved audience, devours every new book or piece of writing. The reason it’s called a dream is because it’s… Read More »4 Simple Reasons Why Many Writers Don’t Succeed

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6 Ways YOU’RE Stopping Your Own Writing Success

You’re Stopping You NEWSFLASH – someone is stopping your writing success and it’s not who you think it is … It’s you! True story. When it comes to writing, forget those mythical “gate keepers” who won’t give you a chance … A writer can be his or her OWN worst enemy. Here’s 6 ways I’ve seen – and been! – it: 1) You’re scaring everybody off This is the thing. How you present yourself – especially online, but also networking in real life – is how people will decide whether they CAN work with you. So if you leave this… Read More »6 Ways YOU’RE Stopping Your Own Writing Success

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6 Ways To Put The Spark Back In Your Writing Relationship

Writing and I have a volatile relationship. I think about breaking up with writing at least once a week but somehow I can’t let go. One day we’ll be curled up on the sofa making plans for our future together and the next, writing looks past me at the telly even though I’m dancing around in my knickers doing my best Beyoncé meets Brontë impression. Call me a fool but I just can’t leave, so here are six ways I put the spark back into my own writing relationship. They stop me weeping into my laptop keyboard whenever I think… Read More »6 Ways To Put The Spark Back In Your Writing Relationship

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10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer

How To Get Productive Do you struggle with being productive? There’s an old saying I took to heart at a very young age, “If you want something doing, ask a busy person”. As a result I’m perpetually busy, but crucially I also get things done as well. I never thought this was weird or unusual, until I became an adult, as others kept remarking on it. A common declaration is that I must be able to somehow “bend or stretch time” to get so much in!! So, here are my tips to get the most out of your time so you can… Read More »10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer

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11 Expositional Clichés That Will Kill Your Story

Exposition: it’s a cheeky little b*****. Whether novelist or screenwriter, we all need it: too little background info will mean no one has a clue what’s going on … But equally, how much is TOO MUCH? Well, check out these expositional superclangers from the spec novels and screenplays I read: 11) Random Flashback … [… Pssssst Screenwriters! See also: dream sequence; intercut; plus all about montages].  Do you really need this? REALLY? Now, look. Flashback (and indeed flashforward) – when used correctly – is a brilliant device for novels and screenplays. It can be dramatic and intriguing. But when used badly, it… Read More »11 Expositional Clichés That Will Kill Your Story

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2 Things ALL Writers Get Wrong In Early Drafts

What Writers Always Get Wrong There’s two things writers get wrong more than ANY OTHER writing craft elements … Yep: Not. Even. Kidding. We’re talking novelists AND screenwriters, plus pro writers JUST AS MUCH as the seasoned and newbies too ! Just about every single writer IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE including aliens (and why wouldn’t *they* write?) get these two things wrong in their early drafts. And NO it’s not hyperbole either! Bang2writers might come to me and ask, “What are the most likely things writers get wrong in early drafts?” I suspect this is because they want to try and… Read More »2 Things ALL Writers Get Wrong In Early Drafts

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5 Ways To Write A Complex Female Character

Complex Female Characters As a writer it can be hard to come up with fresh new characters. We have the unfortunate tendency to only write one type of character or to write characters as stereotypes. However, writing your characters in this way does not make for a great read. Here are some ways that you can improve your female characters and make them complex and rich: 1) Forget She’s Female One of the first obstacles you need to overcome is the idea that there are intrinsically female or male characteristics. Females are not always the mother type, weak, emotional or… Read More »5 Ways To Write A Complex Female Character

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4 Unrealistic Expectations Writers Have – And 1 Thing You Can Do About Them

A writing reality check from Gemma today! Lots of writers come to me with unrealistic expectations. They may be upset their writing and/or careers are not progressing as they want them to. I was happy to hear Gemma’s idea for turning unhealthy expectations around. Thanks Gemma! Expecting the best … or worst People have different expectations of the writing world. Most of us think that being part of the writing industry is truly a great privilege: it can bring fame, honour, wealth and happiness. The reason many students aspire to become bestselling writers or authors is because of the prestige… Read More »4 Unrealistic Expectations Writers Have – And 1 Thing You Can Do About Them

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7 Steps To Road Test Your Concept

You MUST road test your concepts BEFORE you start writing. I can’t emphasise this enough. Too many writers conceive half-baked ideas and then try and run with them regardless … Then wonder why they hit roadblocks and go down various insane detours. Don’t spend aeons trying to make a draft work when it’s simply a doomed exercise, because you haven’t done the foundation work. But how to road test your concept? Try these 7 simple steps: 1. Write a logline/ novel pitch 25-60 words, describing the characters and the situation they find themselves in. Remember those all important 3 Cs.… Read More »7 Steps To Road Test Your Concept

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