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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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INFOGRAPHIC: How To Write Screenplay Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

As any long term Bang2writer knows, I’m a big fan of planning. But yeah, I get why *you* might not be. Planning can be boring. You don’t want to do it. You want to DIVE INTO your draft. But, look. Even if you ARE one of those uber-lucky people who can plot instinctively, you’re still going to *have* to come up with the goods at some point in the process. Money moguls and agents rarely have time to read entire screenplays (yes, really!), which is where things like “scriptments” and “sizzlers” really come into their own. One of the most popular… Read More »INFOGRAPHIC: How To Write Screenplay Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

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3 Steps To Reader Proof Your Screenplay

Reader-Proof Your Screenplay I always recommend Bang2writers reader-proof their scripts. Whilst there are no rules in this screenwriting malarkey, but there are best practices. It should be noted I am talking principally about writing CRAFT here. (There are also lots of format niggly pet peeves that really wind script readers up, which is why I list them all HERE). But what do I mean when I say writers need to reader-proof their script? More, next. STEP 1) Wanted: Good Stories, Well Told First things first. If we want to beat the gatekeepers, it’s very simple. We have to give the… Read More »3 Steps To Reader Proof Your Screenplay

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8 Things Script Readers Want From Your Screenplay

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

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Structure Spotlight: 3 Things To Remember For Act 3

All About Act 3 So today we’re talking about Act 3, courtesy of  Bang2writer Craig Howells, who left this question in the B2W Facebook group: I’m really interested in the anatomy of Act 3. What are the Dos & Don’ts? I know you need to pay off, and I’ve got my own ideas (which I’m still working on) but I’d love to know your take on it. I’m not a structure purist. As far as I’m concerned, all stories *just* need a beginning, middle and end (and not necessarily in that order, either!). On this basis then, The Three Acts makes… Read More »Structure Spotlight: 3 Things To Remember For Act 3

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8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Thriller Screenplay DEAD

So I was interviewed by the awesome Joanna Penn’s podcast this week. Make sure you check out her fantastic site The Creative Penn and follow her as @thecreativepenn on Twitter, because she does for authors what B2W does for screenwriters in demystifying the process of getting out there and doing it! The podcast will be out soon – I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, Joanna and I talked a little about genre and Thriller, plus Bang2writers frequently ask me for my “DON’Ts” on writing this difficult and challenging genre. So without further ado, here’s my top 8 tips on how… Read More »8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Thriller Screenplay DEAD

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5 Screenwriting Hard Truths (Or The Best Way To F*** Up Your Screenplay)

I’m proud to welcome my collabro JK Amalou back to B2W today to share with his thoughts on what REALLY sells your writing “off the page”, which is a great concept! Like I always say to Bang2writers and screenwriting students, I can read great writing whenever I want so how are you going to differentiate if you want to make a SALE? Even if you want to write samples, you STILL need to differentiate from the rest in the pile!! Read it and weep, spec screenwriters … and take the first step towards harnessing the power of concept by contacting JK today,… Read More »5 Screenwriting Hard Truths (Or The Best Way To F*** Up Your Screenplay)

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Set Design: does your story have enough ROOM?

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?

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Top 6 Reversals In Movies

FYI – SPOILERS! I’ve said only recently I don’t read enough reversals in spec screenplays, in ANY genre, so I thought it time to offer up some examples of those I’ve watched that I felt were effective. Obviously, if you Google “movie reversals” you’ll find various lists (on which many are duplicated), so I’ve put my thinking cap on to come up with some a little different from the norm. Before we get going however, you may want to read THIS POST, which contains a definition of what a screenplay reversal is, as well as a breakdown of the multiple… Read More »Top 6 Reversals In Movies

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