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strong female roles

5 Steps To Better Sex Scenes, The Bridgerton Way

Intimate Scenes, The Bridgerton Way Anyone who’s seen Bridgerton – and who hasn’t? – can surely not have missed the intimate sex scenes the show is famous for. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at an exclusive screening of Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 with Shonda Rhimes (Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer) and Jess Brownell (Showrunner). The Bridgerton team and Jessie gave us all a step-by-step guide to portraying intimate moments on screen. The step-by-step process Step 1: Talk to the actor! (OR for writers – think about the character and the specific intimacy that’s required for the… Read More »5 Steps To Better Sex Scenes, The Bridgerton Way

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5 Reasons Writers SHOULD Include Sex Scenes In Their Writing

Hey Writers: Include  Sex Scenes In Your Writing! Yeah I said what I said: I have argued for a LONG time that writers should include sex scenes in our writing. In the past twenty years I’ve seen sex scenes in the spec screenplay and unpublished novel pile DECREASE. But it’s not anti-feminist to include sex scenes in your novel or screenplay … plus modern storytelling is NOT porn, as Matt (below) points out. It’s a worrying trend that people KEEP making this accusation of stories on social media. Far from being progressive (as many insist), complaining that ‘all’ expressions of… Read More »5 Reasons Writers SHOULD Include Sex Scenes In Their Writing

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NEW GIRL Case Study: How To Learn To Plot by Watching Sitcoms

All About New Girl New Girl was a sitcom that ran between 2011-2018. The show followed the fates of an offbeat young woman Jess (Zooey Deschanel), a teacher who is trying to get over her breakup with her boyfriend after he cheats on her. If you’re in the UK, you can find it on DisneyPlus in its entirety. Jess moves in with three young men: Nick, a Chicago-born university dropout who now works in a bar; Schmidt, an advertising executive who believes he is God’s gift to women; and Winston, a former pro basketball player who is trying to find… Read More »NEW GIRL Case Study: How To Learn To Plot by Watching Sitcoms

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Top 10 Scream Queens from Movies and TV: Which Is Your Favourite?

What are Scream Queens? Typically, Scream Queens are the ultimate female character, especially in the horror or thriller genres. They are renowned for their iconic and memorable roles as the main protagonists, survivors and/or victims, or for their brave actions in the movie. Very often, they become the ‘Final Girl’ too. It’s time for another Top 10 list of fantastic female performances … So let’s break some of the most iconic Scream Queens in movie and TV history. Vote for your favourite Scream Queens in the comments — ready? Let’s go! 1) Cecilia, Immaculate Played By: Sydney Sweeny Immaculate is… Read More »Top 10 Scream Queens from Movies and TV: Which Is Your Favourite?

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Best of 3: Great Books To Help The Beginner Screenwriter Get Started

Want to Get Started With Screenwriting? This one is for all the beginner screenwriters out there! Screenwriting is a challenging process, especially if you’re new to it. Even if you’ve already outlined your screenplay, it can be difficult to translate your ideas into words. These hurdles can extend to writing specific types of screenplays, too, such as adaptation. For beginners, the best way to solve these challenges is to establish a firm knowledge of the basics. There’s no better way to do that than reading books written by experts who know what they’re doing AND how to explain it. Why… Read More »Best of 3: Great Books To Help The Beginner Screenwriter Get Started

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Barbie Doesn’t Have An Arc?? Puhlease! Stop Revealing Your Lack Of Craft

Barbie At The Oscars So Barbie got a single Oscar win in 2024. After weeks of speculation and outcry online, I think the most surprising thing – for me, anyway –  is WHICH song it got the gong for … ‘What Am I Made For?’ by Billie Eilish. (I don’t know about you, but I barely remember this song in the movie, whereas ‘I’m Just Ken’ is still a banger IMHO). Since being released in the summer of 2023, Barbie has inspired countless ‘think pieces’ online. Inevitably, there were lots of calls from right-wingers about Barbie‘s supposed treatment of male… Read More »Barbie Doesn’t Have An Arc?? Puhlease! Stop Revealing Your Lack Of Craft

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No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

Do Characters ‘Have’ To Change? In any conversation online about characterisation, it’s never long before somebody pops up proclaiming characters HAVE to change. They may even insist that a character who doesn’t change has ‘no arc’. Calling the department of WRONG! No, characters do NOT have to change. I can’t stress this enough. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable they DON’T change. Have I blown your mind? If I have, I’m not surprised. Writing gurus – especially in screenwriting circles – have been SO didactic about this topic in the last thirty or forty years. As a result, generations of writers… Read More »No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

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Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

All Hail The T-Rex From Jurassic Park Over Christmas I was noodling around Facebook when I came across this fun meme (right, below) depicting Mothra, the Xenomorph Queen and the T-Rex as ‘inspiring female characters’. Cue a million nerds like me all LIKING the pic (because, obviously). But when I looked at the thread underneath it was full of … ‘Oh hardy ha, this can’t be true, very funny’ etc etc. Except I’m DEADLY serious when I say the T-Rex is one of the best, most well-written monsters in creature feature history. YUP you read that right and NOPE I am… Read More »Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

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Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

All Hail The Goz Ryan Gosling is a name that needs no introduction. He’s become an icon of versatility and talent in the world of Hollywood. From his heart-melting performances in romantic dramas to his intense portrayals of complex and even violent characters, Gosling has proved time and again that he can effortlessly slip into any role with ease. When I’m working with screenwriters – and sometimes authors who want to adapt their books – it frequently becomes clear they think actors are meat puppets. But this is not even close: actors bring our words to life and have interpretations… Read More »Actors Are Not Meat Puppets: 5 Versatile Roles Played by Ryan Gosling

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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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Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

Family Drama If you feel you’re seeing the word ‘scapegoat’ all over social media right now, you’re not wrong. In the past couple of years, psychological terms such as ‘gaslight’, ‘narcissist’, ‘toxic families’, ‘family estrangement’, ‘no contact’ – and now, ‘scapegoat’ – are real talking points. You may have seen these terms ion Facebook memes, talked about them yourself on Twitter, or watched therapists’ TikTok videos.  Intergenerational differences on psychology, family and parenting are VERY much part of society’s conversation in the 2020s. For those who have missed it, sociologists believe Gen Z and Millennials are the first generations to… Read More »Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

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How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

All About Character Motivation NEWSFLASH: great characterisation should lie at the heart of every narrative, whether that’s a novel or screenplay. These characters should drive the plot forward and engage audiences emotionally. What’s more, modern audiences and readers demand nuanced, layered characterisation as standard in the 2020s. One essential element that brings characters to life is their motivation – the driving force behind their actions and behaviours. I like to call this the ‘WHY’ of characterisation. Put simply, character motivation can be summed up as “A character wants or needs something for some reason, but will have to strive to… Read More »How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

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