Your Writing Resolutions For The New Year So 2024 is around the corner … did you achieve everything you envisaged in 2023? I hate this question. There’s never any ‘right’ answer. If you didn’t, then it makes you feel bad. If you did, it invariably never feels ENOUGH. This is why I choose the following 10 resolutions, year on year. The resolutions are achievable and don’t require lots of equipment, money or time. I can do them, bit by bit and add to my writing craft and career as I do so. Low stakes cumulative build-up — what’s not to… Read More »Top 10 Writers’ Resolutions for 2024 Writing Success
Query Via Email Email is a much abused and misunderstood tool when it comes to querying. Yet sending query emails is your first line of attack and is a great way of getting your writing solicited. Sadly, most query emails however are badly worded, weird and/or generally needy. This makes it very easy for agents, producers and their assistants to delete or send that “no unsolicited material” link back to writers. Supersadface. But as we know, it’s perfectly possible to get your screenplay solicited, EVEN IF that company’s official line is “no unsolicited material”! So how do we do that?? Model… Read More »3 Top Tips On Querying Via Email (Plus 3 Cringey Things to Avoid)
Your Next Step: Finding Producers You’ve got the script. You’re ready to get it made. Finding producers is your next step. But nobody seems to want to work on it with you. In fact, a lot of producers aren’t even replying to you! So let’s see where you might be going wrong … Ready? Let’s go! 5) You didn’t make it personal Quite simply, you’re contacting a producer with no personal connection or interest in what you’re pitching. A producer will likely spend 6 months – 3 years devoted to a short film, and much longer for anything else. They’re… Read More »Top 5 Reasons Producers Don’t Like Your Pitches
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?
Looking for Representation? There’s something that’s #1 on most writers’ wishlist: representation. The search term ‘how to get an agent‘ brings hundreds, if not thousands of writers to this blog every single month. It’s not difficult to see why. Gaining representation FEELS like the ultimate validation for a writer. After all, your screenplay or novel MUST be *good* if someone is willing to stand up and try and sell it, right? It’s also arguably better to have representation than not … Even though B2W is the first to say not every writer needs an agent, having representation can mean certain… Read More »Hey Writers: Here’s Why You Haven’t Scored Representation Yet
On Feedback Trauma Are you suffering from feedback trauma? I don’t just mean hurting over bad reviews, but an experience so awful you feel like a ‘bad’ writer beyond redemption. These traumatic feedback experiences may include but aren’t limited to … Vitriolic feedback and script reports from paid-for readers and contests Screenwriting ‘gurus’ holding up your writing as an example of what NOT to do in classes and online Industry pros shutting you down / dismissing you in pitch meetings Industry pros telling you ‘no one cares’ about subjects dear to your heart in your writing Beta readers and peer… Read More »Are You Suffering From Feedback Trauma?
On Bad Reviews All writers suffer bad reviews. If you’ve got one or more from readers, viewers or places you’ve submitted (such as film festivals, agents, publishers, or elsewhere) you will know this heartache. You’re hurt, confused and probably can’t stop obsessing about them. Those bad reviews may be all you can think about, even at the expense of the good ones. This is NORMAL. Our stories are our babies. We’ve spent oodles of our time on them. We’ve probably made all kinds of sacrifices to get them written, submitted, published or produced. Supersadface. So how to deal with these… Read More »10 Top Tips About Bad Reviews
Traditional Publishing to Self-Publishing Two years ago, I thought all my prayers had been answered after landing a traditional publishing deal for my uplifting trilogy of novels. However, upon regular bouts of pulling my hair out and eye rolls a-plenty, I quickly felt the siren call of self-publishing. I took the leap earlier this year. Why would I do such a thing? Read on . . . 1) Creative control You won’t be surprised to learn that, as an author, I am a creative beast. Emphasis on the word ‘beast’. Even though my previous publisher was a huge advocate for… Read More »5 Reasons Why I Switched from Traditional Publishing to Self-Publishing
Choices, Choices Very often writers will contact me asking how to choose ideas to write. They will say they have so many ideas, it feels impossible to pick one. I can relate to this problem. Back when I first started writing, I found it SO DIFFICULT to choose. I had notebooks and files full to the brim with ideas. I also loved all kinds of stories … from dramas and biopics and literary fiction, through to high octane thrillers and super-scary horrors. I also loved genre fiction, from crime through to feelgood women’s fiction. How did I begin?? What did… Read More »How To Choose An Idea To Write
Past Vs. Present Lots of Bang2writers are writing novels these days, meaning they ask me about past and present tense. But does tense really matter? To an extent, YES it does. Put simply, a story written in the past will turn out differently to one written in the present. It’s just the way of things. This leads to some writers believing choosing tense is all about gut instinct. If that works for you, go for it. However, for many writers, deciding between past and present tense in novels can be difficult. Lots of people have strong opinions on tenses, which… Read More »How To Decide Between Past and Present Tense In Your Novel
Playing The Long Game No doubt you’ve been advised to ‘play the long game’ when it comes to making movies, but what does this mean? Well, it’s gone down in screenwriting folklore that it took writer-producer Allan Scott 30 years to get his Netflix smash hit The Queen’s Gambit made. Walter Tevis’s chess novel was published in 1983 – and Scott optioned it immediately, buying the exclusive film rights in 1993. Over the ensuing years he concentrated on trying to get a movie version made (“I won’t embarrass all the directors with whom we didn’t make the movie but I… Read More »Playing The Long Game: 12 Movies Writers Can Learn From
What Does Self-Sabotage Look Like? Self-sabotage is the enemy of writers everywhere. Whilst it might seem like the odds are against you getting anywhere in this industry, there’s actually an even bigger obstacle we need to overcome … OURSELVES! Self belief is so important as a writer. If we don’t believe in ourselves, we might as well not bother at all. I’m serious! So here’s what self-sabotage looks like, plus how to avoid it … Ready? Let’s go! 1) Not asking for help Lots of writers scorn stuff like blogging, social media, courses, groups, books or anything they believe is… Read More »7 Ways To Beat Self-Sabotage As A Writer