What Script Readers Want Script readers often get a raw deal. Writers frequently assume script readers don’t really care about the scripts they read … but in my experience this is NOT true. Fact is, script readers WANT every script they open to be AWESOME. When I find a script that truly impresses me, I am always overjoyed. My script reading colleagues are the same, too. Honest guv! But what does ‘awesome’ mean? Well obviously that’s a ‘piece of string’-type question, but I’ve managed to boil it down to 8 craft-related elements I want from a great script. Ready? Let’s… Read More »8 Things Script Readers Want From Your Screenplay
London Screenwriters’ Festival is here again! It’s LondonSWF time here at Bang2Write and we thought, what better way to celebrate than be fully prepared for your writing, networkiung and pitching … Here’s where the Screenwriter’s Toolbox comes in handy! Here’s 20 links you should definitely check out, full of helpful hints and tips that will come in handy for LSF and beyond, so make sure you bookmark this page! Don’t forget you can find many more free writing links and downloads on The B2W Resources Page, plus you can subscribe to this site HERE and get a free 28 page… Read More »The Screenwriter’s Toolbox
Common Writing Errors When it comes to common writing errors, there are PLENTY doing the rounds in the spec pile. Rightly or wrongly, this is how ‘professional writing’ is perceived … Professional formatting + Professional layout + Professional grammar, spelling & punctuation = Professional writing. It’s not rocket science. Look, the odd mistake or typo will always slip through. NO reader, agent, producer or assistant worth their salt will ever care about that. What we’re talking about are the CONSISTENT CLANGERS that can get you marked down, or worse, thrown in the dreaded OUT tray! So here’s a list of those… Read More »10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now
See what I did there?? It’s the way I tell ’em 😉 So I’ve just been at London Screenwriters’ Festival, where I spent two hours doing a live script edit, looking at pages from writers’ screenplays and working through various craft elements and what they can do to make their work stand out in the spec pile. Suffice it to say: I spent A LOT of time talking about scene description with screenwriters at the event. Why? Well, it’s simple – there’s two things screenwriters generally do when it comes to scene description in their spec screenplays: i) They write… Read More »Set Design: does your story have enough ROOM?
FYI – SPOILERS! I’ve said only recently I don’t read enough reversals in spec screenplays, in ANY genre. I thought it time to offer up some examples of those I’ve watched that I felt were effective. Before we get going however, here is the definition of ‘reversals’ I am using for the purposes of this post … “A place in the plot where a character achieves the opposite of his aim, resulting in a change from good fortune to bad fortune.” You may also want to read THIS POST, which contains a definition of what screenplay reversals are. There’s also a great… Read More »Top 6 Reversals In Movies
Killer Scenes I’ve been working my way through a GIGANTIC pile of Bang2writers’ screenplays of late and noticed a common theme between most of them: their individual scenes needed work (as well as overarching story & characterisation). Since screenplays are the sum of ALL their parts, I thought I would compose a complete rundown of all the potential issues scenes can have individually, in orderto shed some light on the matter for interested parties. So, ready?? It’s a LOOOOOOONG list! Let’s go … 1) Starting too early The classic. Every time you write scenes – and I mean every single… Read More »How To Avoid Killer Errors In Your Screenplay’s Scenes
All about Exposition I’ve been talking a lot recently with Bang2writers about exposition and its place within their stories, whether novel or screenplay. As I’ve heard some common misconceptions, I thought it useful to put exposition under the microscope and really consider WHAT exposition is and HOW we can use it, framed as questions to answer. Enjoy! 1) Isn’t exposition a **bad** thing? No. Exposition in all stories – whether novels or screenplays (or something else) – is 100% necessary. Exposition is basically just the background information a reader or viewer needs in order to be able to understand the… Read More »How Does Exposition Work? AKA 9 Common Exposition Qs Answered
So, I’m in/famous for insisting there’s too much dialogue in *most* spec screenplays AND that scene description AND format can be a major issue in a huge proportion of them, too — yet many of my Bang2writers confess they’re not really sure what to do about the first two issues in making their screenplays’ stories “flow” better for the reader. So major kudos to plucky Bang2writer Kym Wimbus who has very kindly stepped in and provided me with a scene from his Thriller screenplay, MAINTAIN THE RAGE which I will duly script edit for you*, right on this blog, so writers can… Read More »What Script Editors Do AKA 5 Tips To Edit Your Own Screenplay
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”
What Is ‘Writer’s Voice’? Writer’s Voice. We hear LOTS about it, but hardly ever a) what it is or b) how to make the best of it in our screenplays. I think of Writer’s Voice as that *thing* that sets YOUR work apart from someone else’s, usually in very specific ways. Regardless of whether you personally like them, the Tarantinos*, Codys, Sorkins, RTDs, Whedons, Moffats, Blacks (*insert top screenwriter here) all have very distinctive voices. (The same goes for authors too, by the way). We know this from: The *types* of stories they tell The *way* they tell them (Cue… Read More »7 Ways Of Showcasing Your Writer’s Voice In Your Screenplay
All About Scene Description Scene description is arguably the most problematic, yet most important, element of your screenplay. You probably write more of it than anything else (that’s right … even if you subscribe to the notion “less is more”!). I’ve been writing a fair bit about scene description lately in notes for people lately. I thought I would write a dedicated post about the pesky things that can interrupt the “flow” of the story and/or make the page look messy. So, good scene description should: Push the story forward Reveal character Do a bit of both Well, durr, etc.… Read More »10 Ways To Conquer Your Scene Description
Killer Errors No one likes to think about spelling and punctuation errors in their writing. It’s the story that’s important. No-one’s gonna care about typos when it’s the content that counts. It’ll get corrected when it’s typeset. Yada yada yada. You can make excuses until you’re blue in the face, but the fact remains that literary professionals (including script readers) like to read well written English and if you’ve got pesky errors you will set off their grammar police sirens. Thing is, though, these mistakes are far easier to check for and to correct than you think. It just takes… Read More »5 Killer Errors That Will Sink Your Reputation … And Ways You Can Fix Them!