Many thanks to Steve May, Course Director on the MA Screenwriting and Producing for Film and TV at Westminster University who reminded me to re-post some particularly important articles from the old blog! Long term Bang2write Readers will remember my post on short scriptwriting courses and its follow-up on Scriptwriting degrees: there were some very interesting, albeit mixed responses. With another academic year on its way out then and September sneaking up on us like the crafty so-and-so it is, I thought now was the time to revisit my posts, update them, add to them and see if we could… Read More »Scriptwriting Courses
So you’ve written a wicked spec script. It rocks. You are the wo/man. Everybody loves you. Hell, maybe you even have some critical acclaim on other “big” movies, perhaps an Oscar nomination or two. Maybe this spec’s even been bought! You’re well on your way to fame, fortune and becoming a household name… Right? Wrong. It would seem you can be the best spec writer in the world and still not get made. Several times over, even. Ouch. Read it and weep, my friends.
Two different people emailed me on Friday and asked me what a Deus Ex Machina was ‘cos apparently they’d both had feedback from course tutors saying they had one in their scripts and they were too embarrassed to say they hadn’t a fig what that tutor was talking about. Jinx or what! Now they are both under my power, *evil laugh*. However, because I am feeling charitable, before I make them dance down the street in their underwear, here is my article from the old blog* that I wrote last year. ——————————————————————————–I’ve said before that my lad is a chip… Read More »Deus Ex Machinas
Since there has been the second outing of the tri-annual scrap about grammar on Shooting People this week and since the lovely Lianne requested it, now seems an opportune time to revisit an article on grammar from the old blog. Enjoy.—————————————————————————— The two things I correct most in people’s drafts are grammar and spelling. That’s the nature of script reading as far as I’m concerned and I’m happy to do it (maybe I’m an anal retentive). However, in the past on various writing initiatives in particular (my private clients usually do not do this, thank goodness) I have had to… Read More »Grammar Revisited
I see a lot of scripts that are what I call, King Lear Drafts. King Lear drafts are screenplays with essentially two main plots: for those of you who have not read King Lear (shame on you!), we follow the fates of – unsurprisingly – a King called Lear whom is arrogant and proud and casts his good daughter Cordelia out of his kingdom for speaking her mind, keeping his evil daughters Goneril and Regan who plot to bring about his downfall. Pretty stern stuff one might think, but oh no: Shakespeare is a little worried perhaps we might not… Read More »The Main Plot and The Sub Plot
If you’re wondering what I’m up to and I’m sure you are judging by the amount of emails I’ve had in the last week asking if I’m “still here” since I’ve “hardly written anything”, then I can assure you, my lovely bloggers that indeed I am. Just stressed. And ill, thanks to James Moran. No, we’re not having an affair, it’s his blasted Space Virus. Somehow he’s managed to transmit it over the radiowaves (or whatever the internet works on) and on to me. Cheers. Mate. The lovely Anya, whom I read for recently, emailed with a few questions about… Read More »Q & A: The Accidental Script Reader
Many thanks to Elly-Jane who asks this question: “You talk alot on your blog about coverage and feedback and taking on board what Readers, Producers, Execs, etc say: that they’re not out to “get” new writers and they want to help… But what if you get feedback like this? “(This script) has no subtext. Not one single character has anything interesting to say, they’re just going through the motions, so The Reader is treated to what amounts to a series of day-to-day conversations… yet not amounting to a real, holistic story.” I feel hurt and confused. This is so negative…… Read More »What Constitutes "Good" Feedback?
If you’re wanting a little career guidance or want to check you’re doing what you should be doing regarding this ol’ screenwriting lark, you could do a lot worse than read this article. It’s long (22 pages, and a pdf) but very engaging and worth saving on your desktop to dip into in coffee breaks. Remember, if you want your fave article or even one of your own on The Bang2write List of Wonder, then email me the link! We’re particularly low on ones about effective dialogue. Equally, if you’d like to see ones on a particular topic that you… Read More »A Marathon, Not A Sprint
In response then to SK’s questions in yesterday’s post regarding one’s voice and the notion of RE-PRESENTING one’s concerns, issues, etc. A quick reminder: I would be interested to see what you have to say about really developing a ‘voice’, that is, how to re/present your concerns in a work. For just knowing your concerns and your story can’t be enough to have a voice, can it? You have to not just know what your story is about, and it be something individual to you, but also to somehow get that individuality across to the reader. So how do you… Read More »Your Voice, Re/Presentation
As requested by the luscious Lianne, here are my thoughts about what constitutes a Writer’s “Voice”. Sometimes a writer will be praised for their craft by a Producer or Reader, yet they will assert that they wanted “more” from that script or selection of scripts; they will feel there’s that certain “something”, that je ne se quois, that vital ingredient “missing” somehow. Perhaps they will say that what’s there are the “bare bones” of a story, yet the feeling of the writer’s personality is missing. If this is the case then, there’s a good chance you need to develop your… Read More »Your Voice, Part 1