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screenplay tips series

The Screenwriter’s Toolbox

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

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8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Horror Screenplay DEAD

Horror is a high concept genre that can lend itself easily to low budget filmmaking (both feature and short film), so it’s no wonder I get so many of them across my desk via B2W and my industry clients. What’s more, audiences’ gore tolerance is on the UP, so television can be considerably more scary and violent than it used to be as well. Yet just there ARE some classic clangers scribes can fall into when attempting the horror genre, so check this out for size because they will kill your Horror screenplay DEAD: 1) Just write a string of… Read More »8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Horror Screenplay DEAD

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Summer Break 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to threats of divorce by my Husband and my subsequent agreement to go into rehab regarding my internet addiction, The Write Here, Write Now blog is on its very first summer break. OMFG!! How will you manage?!! IT WILL BE OKAY: Script Reading. Please note I’m still available for script reads during this time: get in touch via Bang2writeATaolDOTcom: all the details including links to a price list, here. Peer Review. If you’re looking for peer review, please look through The Feedback Exchange and add your own name too. Please DO NOT spam everyone on the list. Social… Read More »Summer Break 2010

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Screenplay Tips # 12: Submissions, Rejections & Relationships

In the last of this series on screenplay tips, here are my thoughts on sending stuff out, dealing with rejection and making things happen: DO: Plan ahead. With such a wealth of information at your fingertips, there is no excuse to NOT know what is going on in the writing world, especially things like The Red Planet Prize or The BBC Writers’ Academy. Knowing how your “writing year” works against your “real life year” helps you make decisions on what you CAN and CANNOT do, realistically. DON’T: Panic or tell yourself it can’t be done. I’m a big believer in… Read More »Screenplay Tips # 12: Submissions, Rejections & Relationships

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Screenplay Tips # 11: Voiceover

Once upon a time, if a reader were to look in the spec pile, s/he’d find scripts BURSTING with voiceovers. Most of these voiceovers would, indeed, be rubbish. But then a huge proportion of the spec pile was rubbish, so really it was no big deal. Then voiceovers started disappearing from spec scripts. I’m not sure exactly when this started. perhaps three or four years ago. I think I’ve perhaps seen five scripts this year with VO. Last year, I saw maybe ten, max. Of course we all know why – his initials are R M – but I think… Read More »Screenplay Tips # 11: Voiceover

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4 Big Non Linearity Mistakes In Screenplays

Non Linearity is big news I’d venture for every ten spec screenplays I read, at least three will feature non linearity. Renowned non linear movies include Pulp Fiction, Memento, Twelve Monkeys, The Bourne Supremacy, Slumdog Millionaire, Groundhog Day and Premonition. Non-linearity sometimes finds its way into TV spec screenplays too  – particularly of the supernatural genre – usually in the form of flashback. (For the purposes of this post, note that when I say “non linearity”, I mean the “beginning, middle, end” will not necessarily be in *that* order). I love non linearity. Done well, it can really add a new… Read More »4 Big Non Linearity Mistakes In Screenplays

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Screenplay Tips # 9: Advanced Characterisation

So, in the post about Character and Plot, I posted about the importance of having a protagonist with a definable goal and an antagonist with a need to get in the way of that goal. As mentioned in the post, those are the VERY basics – but all too often missing in the spec pile. If a reader hasn’t a clue who to root for, their interest isn’t going to be hooked; if their interest isn’t hooked — well, you know what happens. Applying the very basics then helps a writer understand where they could be potentially going wrong, especially… Read More »Screenplay Tips # 9: Advanced Characterisation

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Screenplay Tips # 8: Character & Plot

We all know *that* saying: characters are what they DO, not what they SAY. But what does it mean? Characters all need to have a REASON to physically be in your script. It’s no good writing someone in who is witty, vibrant or whatever, yet has no purpose. No matter how great a character is *is*, if they have no motivation or role function, they’re going to stick out like a sore thumb – and not for a good reason. As unfashionable as it is to say this, plot CAN exist without good characters, as long as they all have… Read More »Screenplay Tips # 8: Character & Plot

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Screenplay Tips # 7: Rewriting & Feedback

So a writer hires me to do some notes on their screenplay. I send their notes off and about thirty seconds later I get one of the following messages: OMG! These notes are AMAZING, I’m going to put ALL OF THEM in the new draft!! You’re AWESOME, I LOVE YOU, can you read the new version for me next week, gonna spend ALL WEEKEND rewriting it!!!!!!! Or: Really, really upset. I thought this new draft was the one I could send off/film but now I realise I have to REWRITE EVERYTHING, my brain is EXPLODING, maybe I shouldn’t even BE… Read More »Screenplay Tips # 7: Rewriting & Feedback

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Screenplay Tips # 6: Picking Titles

Titles are a reader’s and audience’s first port of call. Your title needs to be catchy and it needs to say *something* about the film and/or character at the heart of it. Pick a crap title and you put people off. Sorry to be blunt – actually I’m not sorry at all, it’s true. We all make assumptions based on title! So here’s my run-down of what makes a good title… Enjoy. 1)What is it? Yes might seem obvious, but there’s a lot of genre scripts that sound like dramas and vice versa in that spec pile! i) **General** rule… Read More »Screenplay Tips # 6: Picking Titles

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