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Representation

30 Years of Priscilla: What Can Writers Learn From This LGBTQ Classic?

All About The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert I remember the first time I saw Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I was a closeted bisexual teen in deep denial and I saw it in the middle of the night on TV. (If I recall correctly, it was on BBC2). To say it blew me away is an understatement. I lived in Devon, in the middle of nowhere, with no sniff of even so much as a Pride parade. (The closest I got back then were the ubiquitous rainbows on cans of Lynx body spray). A few years before… Read More »30 Years of Priscilla: What Can Writers Learn From This LGBTQ Classic?

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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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Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

All Hail The T-Rex From Jurassic Park Over Christmas I was noodling around Facebook when I came across this fun meme (right, below) depicting Mothra, the Xenomorph Queen and the T-Rex as ‘inspiring female characters’. Cue a million nerds like me all LIKING the pic (because, obviously). But when I looked at the thread underneath it was full of … ‘Oh hardy ha, this can’t be true, very funny’ etc etc. Except I’m DEADLY serious when I say the T-Rex is one of the best, most well-written monsters in creature feature history. YUP you read that right and NOPE I am… Read More »Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

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Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

All Hail The Goz Ryan Gosling is a name that needs no introduction. He’s become an icon of versatility and talent in the world of Hollywood. From his heart-melting performances in romantic dramas to his intense portrayals of complex and even violent characters, Gosling has proved time and again that he can effortlessly slip into any role with ease. When I’m working with screenwriters – and sometimes authors who want to adapt their books – it frequently becomes clear they think actors are meat puppets. But this is not even close: actors bring our words to life and have interpretations… Read More »Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

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How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

All About TV Thrillers & Target Audiences I’ve been streaming a lot of TV thrillers shows from the early 00s to approximately 2012 at the moment. As veteran Bangers know, I love to track the changes to writing craft and what’s popular with TV audiences. Many people think I get ALL my information from talking with industry pros. That is true in part now, but it wasn’t before I made those contacts (duh!). This means I was doing this long before I knew anyone of note. Many new writers are surprised to hear the vast majority of my knowledge comes… Read More »How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

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3 Unusual Female Character Tropes Audiences Can’t Get Enough Of Right Now

Female Character Tropes Good news: female character tropes are finally becoming more varied as standard! Not so long ago, female characters were sidelined or defined by the men in their lives … but these days, we’re much more likely to see holistic and layered female characters in movies, TV or novels. However, when B2W talks about tropes, many writers say: ‘Aren’t tropes a bad thing??’ It’s not difficult to see why writers might think this. Many online commentators – including actual critics! – often conflate tropes with clichés. Whilst tropes can indeed become clichés when they’re overused, tropes are actually… Read More »3 Unusual Female Character Tropes Audiences Can’t Get Enough Of Right Now

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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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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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Go Woke, Go Broke? Yeah, Go Fuck Yourself (And More Adventures In Diverse Storytelling)

A Little Reminder You can say you ‘support diverse storytelling’ all you want, but if you ALSO say it’s ‘not bigotry’ to actively prefer white actors to BIPOC or LGBTQ ones?? Guess what: you DON’T support diverse storytelling!   C’mon, this is basic. Sigh.  Another week, yet another casting controversy … This time, it’s about Cleopatra being cast as a black actor in the upcoming Netflix drama in May. If you’re yet to catch up, here are just some of the various takes: VARIETY: ‘Queen Cleopatra Director Slams Criticism of Casting Black Cleopatra THE SPECTATOR: Why is Netflix Pretending That Cleopatra… Read More »Go Woke, Go Broke? Yeah, Go Fuck Yourself (And More Adventures In Diverse Storytelling)

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8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV

See on Apple TV So, See on AppleTV concluded last week. Written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Dirty Pretty Things, Locke), it’s been one of my favourite TV series of recent years. Though unpopular with the critics, the show has been a big hit with audiences. This means I  believe See has plenty to teach us as writers. Here’s eight powerful reminders from the show I picked out … Ready? Let’s go! 1) Old story, new telling Post-apocalyptic worlds set in the future are not new. In the past ten years, they’ve been exceptionally popular. We’ve seen such dystopian storyworlds in… Read More »8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV

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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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Writers Ask: What Does ‘Authenticity’ Really Mean, Anyway?

Accuracy Vs. Authenticity Last weekend I taught B2W’s Breaking Into Script Reading workshop where I talked about accuracy versus authenticity. I said that audience preferences have changed in the past ten years quite considerably. Whereas not long ago creatives had to be accurate or risk being considered a ‘bad’ writer, this is now the case when it comes to authenticity. This lead to a discussion of authenticity and HOW writers can ensure their writing feels real. I thought this might be useful for all the Bangers, so here goes. First things first, let’s define the actual word ‘authenticity’. Here it… Read More »Writers Ask: What Does ‘Authenticity’ Really Mean, Anyway?

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