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10 Simple Steps For Revising Your Draft

So, You’ve Finished Your Draft! Congratulations, but you still have work to do: revising it!! But where to start?? If you are feeling overwhelmed, then check out these 10 revision pointers for novels or screenplays. They can act as a handy checklist for revising your draft. Good luck … 1) Wait! First up, do NOTHING. That’s right … Just let that novel sit in a drawer or on your computer’s desktop. Do absolutely zilch with it, for a couple of days (minimum) or weeks (preferred) or months (maximum). Let your subconscious bubble away, revising any of your story’s problems as… Read More »10 Simple Steps For Revising Your Draft

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3 Absurd Screenwriting Myths To Forget Right Now

Writing Myths Myths are everywhere in screenwriting, but it’s real success that attracts you. First, you watch GET OUT. Then, you watch the Academy Awards 2018 to see GET OUT winning its Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. And you think: ” I’ll become the next big shot Hollywood screenwriter! After all, I write screenplays, don’t I?” Yes, you do. You know all the screenwriting techniques; you understand that a stellar script is the result of hard work; plus you’ve read all the books like Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! and you know a hero’s journey inside out. And yet, your Oscar… Read More »3 Absurd Screenwriting Myths To Forget Right Now

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How IT Demonstrates The Enlightening Power Of Subtext

WARNING: Spoilers In my occasional Movie Lessons For Writers series, I put a recent or classic movie under the microscope and draw attention to what writers can learn, for good or ill. Since IT has been lighting up screens all over the world – surpassing the hallowed £500m mark, no less! – then whether we loved or hated it (or loved TO hate it), we can agree this remake has *something* to impart. What’s Working Obviously, plenty is. Rightly or wrongly, movies this popular will always have their detractors, but overall we can discern that the filmmakers definitely got something… Read More »How IT Demonstrates The Enlightening Power Of Subtext

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1 Wrong Belief That Is Destroying Your Scene Description

Did you know? The one craft element Bang2writers struggle with – probably more than anything else, in fact – is (wait for it) … … Scene description.  WTAF! I hear you say. Surely character and structure are more problematic?? Well yes, I’ll give you that – especially when we’re talking HOLISTICALLY. But when we’re talking about looking at elements IN ISOLATION – as in literally looking at the page in front of us, in order to try and improve our actual screenwriting craft generally – then it’s scene description all the way that causes the biggest headaches for writers of ANY… Read More »1 Wrong Belief That Is Destroying Your Scene Description

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How To Write A Screenplay Bomb: Transformers The Last Knight

Look, I’m pretty easily pleased … As long as there’s some explosions, some robots kicking the shit out of one another, some running, some comedy, a bloke with his shirt off and a budget Angelina Jolie slinking about the joint, then it’s usually a thumbs up from me. But then I watched Transformers: The Last Knight at the weekend. It actually had ALL of the above – okay Marky Mark didn’t get his shirt all the way off (boo!) – but near enough. (Please note: before you judge me, I had some Tesco Odeon vouchers that needed using up. Okay??). And… Read More »How To Write A Screenplay Bomb: Transformers The Last Knight

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Top 5 Screenwriting Mistakes Writers Make

Screenwriting shouldn’t be that hard. You have a story, and you turn it into a script. You just have to follow a precise format that’s easy to read. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complex than that! The script has to paint a picture for the reader. If you want to get it on the desks of producers, directors, actors, and all other important people in the process of making a movie, you have to make things right. Everything starts by critiquing your own work. No matter how good you are, you’ll still notice mistakes when you’re careful enough!  We’ll list… Read More »Top 5 Screenwriting Mistakes Writers Make

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10 More Writer Fails (And How To Avoid Them)

Two of the most searched Google terms on this blog are, ‘writer mistakes’ and ‘writer fails’, so I thought I would take a look at you actual WRITERS and what you might doing to kill your screenplay dead. Ready?? Brace yourselves you lot … ‘cos here’s how you’re MURDERING your chances! 1) By … Waiting for inspiration Novelist W. Somerset Maugham said (though some attribute it to Peter De Vries and other writers) “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” I love this quote (whomever said it) because it gets straight to… Read More »10 More Writer Fails (And How To Avoid Them)

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How To Write Tight And Visual Scene Description

Get Visual Every screenplay needs to be VISUAL. Basic advice yes, but you’d be surprised how many scripts lack that visual quality!As a script reader, I’ve noted on this blog many times that both ACTIONS and VISUALS are lacking from about 90% of spec screenplays. Check out this GREAT case study from novelist Victoria today on making the leap from prose to screenwriting … ACTUALLY  her words of wisdom are useful to ANY screenwriter IMHO! Be sure to bookmark this page. Enjoy! So. You’re a novelist and want to expand your skill set to include screenwriting. Very cool. Should be just… Read More »How To Write Tight And Visual Scene Description

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Spotlight On Sitcom Structure: 6 Tips For Writers

So, I’m assuming your concept for your spec sitcom ROCKS. But are you structuring it right?? I see a lot of spec sitcoms doing the rounds, but very few pass muster. This is usually because they bear very little resemblance to the sitcoms we see on TV. Usually, they’re what I call ‘COMsits’ – in other words, they’re strings of gags, one after another … All COMEDY and no SITUATION. But it’s called a SITcom. DOH! So, I thought I’d take a look at sitcom structure, with reference to the grandaddy of comedy, THE SIMPSONS. Like it or loathe it,… Read More »Spotlight On Sitcom Structure: 6 Tips For Writers

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5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure

Scary Structure Structure freaks so many writers out … It can be enough to strike fear into the heart of ANY spec screenwriter or unpublished novelist. But I actually think getting to grips with this is THE KEY to not only being a ‘good’ writer, but a SUCCESSFUL one! Whilst some structure methods like Blake Snyder’s ‘Save The Cat’ may seem formulaic, it’s important to note structure is NOT a formula. (Also, don’t forget Snyder never meant ‘Save The Cat’ to become the checklist it has, especially in some Hollywood circles). Structure = Beginning – Middle – End Stories are… Read More »5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure

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Top 5 Craft Mistakes Writers Make

Writing Craft versus Format Too often, spec screenwriters think “craft = format”. No. NoNoNoNoNoNo! Format involves the “look” of the page and is the VERY LEAST you should do, Bang2writers. What’s more, you can get on top of the latest expectations and preferences in format by script readers and their bosses very easily. Just check online lists like the one at The B2W Format 1 Stop Shop. So … Screenplay format is the ‘done thing’ (aka HOW you lay it out on the page) Craft is HOW you do it – ie. the actual storytelling. So, what are the top 5… Read More »Top 5 Craft Mistakes Writers Make

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Top 5 Screenplay Format Mistakes

How’s your screenplay format? Screenplay format gets a bad rap and is often conflated with writing craft. Whilst sometimes the two things DO cross over, this post will deal predominantly with **how** your script looks ON THE PAGE. Continuing in the Top 5 Mistakes series, I’ll be concentrating on screenplay format today. (I’m assuming your layout, spelling, punctuation and grammar are awesome already. If not, you can check here: 10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now.) Ready, then? Let’s go … 1) Overly long sluglines (aka ‘scene headers’) A slugline or scene header in a… Read More »Top 5 Screenplay Format Mistakes

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