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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With Script Editors

All About Script Editors  A colleague of mine told me that their friend thinks all script editors do is fix commas … if only! With this in mind, I thought it would be good to shed some light on this very complicated, frustrating, but also wonderful and rewarding job! Here’s 5 BIG mistakes to avoid when working with script editors … ready? Let’s go! 1) Stay Silent I have seen a lot of writers (especially new ones) in rooms too reluctant to ‘put up their hand’ … and that’s understandable. We’re all scared our idea will sink, right? But a… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With Script Editors

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5 Reasons You Should Write Short Film Scripts

Why We Write Scripts Everyone who has written a script has dreamt of seeing their story on the big screen, having the accolades and the kudos of being a produced screenwriter … It’s why we write scripts. But how many screenplays actually get read by people who want to make films, let alone turned into produced films? It is a very small percentage. What can you do about it? Here are 5 ways to not only get your scripts read, but produced too. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Keep it short – REALLY short Try writing a two-page script. I… Read More »5 Reasons You Should Write Short Film Scripts

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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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It’s Never ONLY About The Story In Screenwriting – And That’s A GOOD Thing

‘It should ONLY be about the story!’ I often talk to writers about the commercial aspects of screenwriting. As someone who has seen lots of deals happen, I know that money talks. The industry is NOT a patron of the arts. It follows the $$$ because it’s ‘show BUSINESS’ after all. This means … Remakes and reboots are here to stay Great TV shows get cancelled if they don’t get enough views in the first few weeks (yes, really!) Why badly-written movies may still earn stacks Or why indie productions can sink without a trace if they don’t have enough… Read More »It’s Never ONLY About The Story In Screenwriting – And That’s A GOOD Thing

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How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

If You Love Something, Let It Go  When should we let go of a draft? Well, like so many writing-related things, this can be a real ‘piece of string’ question. That said, there are some best practices to consider that will help you know when to let go. Ready? Let’s go …  1) Have THE GUTS To Finish!  To often, writers can’t let go of drafts. They will tinker with them endlessly, making submissions alongside these endless edits. This frequently leads to them trying to make multiple resubmissions. This is a bad idea, because industry pros want to see fresh… Read More »How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

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Top 3 Tips to Write a Perfect Query Letter

All About The Query Letter (Or Email!) A great query letter or email can make all the difference to your writing career. It can mean hooking an industry pro with your writing … or having to shelve the screenplay or novel you have worked so hard on. Eek! But do not worry, we got your back. Let’s go! 1) Get Them Hooked Bad query letters often miss that extra ‘oomph’ that is supposed to intrigue agents in your writing. So how do you hook them? Mention if you have ever met the agent at a conference or a similar event.… Read More »Top 3 Tips to Write a Perfect Query Letter

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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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10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

Important DON’Ts Storytelling is much harder than it looks, so I have composed a list of DON’Ts to think about when writing your story. If you find this post useful, please pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Ready? Let’s go … 1) DON’T: Start Too Early If you begin too early in your story, you end up with a ‘top-heavy’ draft. This is no good, because modern readers and viewers do NOT want to wait for your story to start. But how do we avoid starting too early? Well, think about beginning with some kind of EVENT… Read More »10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Sex Scenes

So, you want to write sex scenes? There’s a surprising dearth of sex scenes in the spec pile … and when they do appear, they are often incorrect, weird or even sexist. Here’s 5 mistakes to avoid if you want to attempt one in your novel or screenplay. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Too Vague/Euphemistic If I have to read one more piece of writing that describes two characters in bed ‘lying back, spent’, I will GO POSTAL! This such a boring description and I see it SO often. Another one that makes me grimace is when writers focus on… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Sex Scenes

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Top 10 Tips To Get Your Writing Out There

So, you want to get your writing out there … I get emails and messages from Bangers on the regular about getting their writing out there. I thought I’d round up the most common questions about this topic so it’s all in one place for you. So if you’re feeling stumped but want to get your writing out there, make sure you check out the top 10 below for tips. Ready? Let’s go … 1) How do I know my draft is ‘ready’ to send out? This can depend, but never send out a first draft for starters. Then do… Read More »Top 10 Tips To Get Your Writing Out There

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Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

Mystery, Thriller or Horror? Mystery, Thriller and Horror novels and screenplays do BIG business as they have high ‘adaptability’. Readers and viewers love them … plus there’s a lot of convergence between them. This is because the Mystery, Horror and Thriller genres have lots of elements that cross over. However, lots of writers run into trouble because they’re not really sure what their story *is* at foundation level. Whilst many writers know mystery usually involves some kind of twist, they often don’t know how to get there. As a result, writers may make their mystery too easy to guess, or… Read More »Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

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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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