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Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

Plotting Like a Pro One of the most searched-for terms on this blog is ‘help with plotting’. Plot – aka structure if you’re a screenwriter – can be a tricky beast. Despite it being fashionable to claim plotting is ‘easy’ to fix, this is utter BILGE … which is why it’s a good idea to try and ensure you don’t tie yourself up in knots at foundation level! So, whether you’re a novelist looking for help plotting your book, or a screenwriter who needs guidance on structuring your script, these quick tips should help. Ready? Let’s go … 1) It’s… Read More »Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

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Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

Candyman: The Short Story Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman … Clive Barker’s 1985 short story The Forbidden is a haunting exploration of poverty and disenfranchisement. It was first published in 1985 as part of his ground-breaking horror anthology, Books of Blood. Set in the desperate sinkhole estate of Spector Street, Liverpool, England, the story takes place in October with several references to Bonfire Night being the following week. This means we can be fairly sure the events of the story take place around Halloween. The Forbidden follows Helen, a graduate student. Originally researching graffiti as part of her thesis, she… Read More »Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

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3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

Effective Character Development Effective characterisation starts with good character development. Some writers insist that characters come to them ‘fully formed’ but I call BS. Good character development is not dictation. We are CREATING characters and honing our craft! There are a few key things to keep in mind when developing your characters: 1) Make them relatable Your audience needs to be able to connect with your characters on some level. If they can’t relate to them, they won’t be invested in their story. By the way: note how the above DOESN’T say make your characters ‘likeable’. This is a red herring.… Read More »3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

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5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

Watch & Read The Black Phone Now The Black Phone is a movie adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same title by Joe Hill. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the screenplay is written by Derrickson and his long-time collaborator C. Robert Cargill. I’m a HUGE fan of both Hill and this duo’s previous output including Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, so I was keen to watch the movie regardless. The logline for The Black Phone on imdb reads, “After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls… Read More »5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

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Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter This Year

How To Break In As A Screenwriter If you want to break in as a screenwriter, you’re not alone. ‘How to break in’ is probably one of the top Google searches that leads to this blog, in fact. Whilst it’s true B2W believes we need to build our careers over a sustained period (rather than the break in being just ONE act), we all have to start somewhere. I was joined in a B2W livestream recently by comedy writer Amanda Graham (@AGComedy). Amanda specialises in rebellious, irreverent, female leads going against nonsensical power structures. She has various projects in development (including with… Read More »Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter This Year

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5 Telltale Signs You’re a Writer at Heart

Telltale Signs There are telltale signs you are a writer at heart. If putting pen to paper to churn out books, screenplays or articles feels like something you’ve always been destined to do, you could be right! Check out our compiled list of telltale signs that could indicate the art of writing flows in your blood. Ready? Let’s go … 1) You Just Have to Write Down Ideas Way before I started writing full time, I always found myself coming up with new ideas for stories and articles. It was happening so regularly I found myself always carrying a notebook… Read More »5 Telltale Signs You’re a Writer at Heart

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Top 5 Basic Story Mistakes Even Pro Writers Make

Too Basic? I always find it interesting when writers talk about books, courses, articles etc being ‘too basic’ for them. In my experience, NO ONE is above revisiting the basic principles of storytelling … Not least because there are SO MANY spec screenplays and unpublished novels in the submissions pile that make zero sense! By the way, YES, I include myself on this. If we don’t keep the basics in mind at all times, we can go off-piste very quickly. I am always looking for refreshers on stuff like concept, character and structure … I might learn something new or… Read More »Top 5 Basic Story Mistakes Even Pro Writers Make

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5 Expert Writers Share Their Awesome Short Story Tips

All About The Short Story There is magic in a great short story.  Short stories can capture your imaginary like nothing else, and in as short a time as your morning coffee break.  How do you write a great short story that moves someone in just a few pages?   We’ve gathered 5 world-famous authors on just that!  Here’s 5 authors on the craft of writing short stories. Enjoy!  1) Stephen King on Writing Short Stories ‘And the real short stories, that really good writers are able to do, are like an art of miniaturisation.’ ~ Stephen King Stephen King wrote his… Read More »5 Expert Writers Share Their Awesome Short Story Tips

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6 Tips On How to Write Compelling Dialogue

How to Write Compelling Dialogue Writing compelling dialogue seems to be one of the hardest nuts to crack in the writing world. Many writers struggle with how to make the conversations not only feel real, but also propel the story forward. The good news is, you can learn how to write compelling dialogue in the following steps … 1) Determine the mood of your story What would you like your readers to feel overall when they read your novel or watch your screenplay? This plays an important part in how you write your dialogue. Is it a funny, heartwarming story?… Read More »6 Tips On How to Write Compelling Dialogue

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Mental Health

All About Mental Health in Writing Good mental health is key in writing … not just for us as creatives, either! As writers we also need to represent mental health in authentic and meaningful ways in our writing too, as I described in my previous article on How To Challenge Stigma In Your Writing. So I’m delighted to welcome junior psychiatrist and author Rosie Claverton with some big NO-NOs and pitfalls to avoid in your scripts and novels. Over to you, Rosie … Mental Health Representations As we talk more about mental health, depictions of people with mental health problems… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Mental Health

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How To Challenge Stigma In Your Writing

Stigma Subjects Stigma is defined in the dictionary as ‘a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation’. Sadly, there are many subjects and things that have a stigma attached, even in today’s more enlightened times.  Two such stigma subjects include suicide and rape, especially when it happens to young men. Did you know: That 84 men under the age of forty five in the UK take their lives per week? (Stats HERE). 75,000 men in the UK per year – yes, 75K! – were estimated to be sexual assault survivors, with 9K victims raped (or… Read More »How To Challenge Stigma In Your Writing

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10 Writing Lessons From Carrie in Sex And The City

You may have seen some of the TV episodes. What you may not know is, originally, Sex and the City was a book. Rather, it was an anthology from a column that author Candace Bushnell wrote for The New York Observer between 1994-96. Whether you have read the anthology or viewed it on TV, there are some 10 writing tips that you can take from Carrie (and Candace!): 1) Stay Close to Home Unless you are a James Michener with a large research staff, stick “close to home.” Bushnell’s character Carrie writes a column for the fictional newspaper and lives… Read More »10 Writing Lessons From Carrie in Sex And The City

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