Help! What If My Story Is A ‘Hard Sell’? Every week I hear from Bang2writers who say their stories are a ‘hard sell’ and they don’t know what to do. That’s right … EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK! With this in mind, I broke down the process into steps to help. Ready? Let’s go … STEP 1: Get REAL First things first, what makes your story a ‘hard sell’? Do you know for certain … Or are you just guessing? I always find it very interesting (but not surprising) that lots of new writers pretend to themselves their story is a ‘hard… Read More »What Do I Do If My Book or Script Is A ‘Hard Sell’?
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?
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?
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 in 2022
All About Script Reading Script reading can be a VERY misunderstood job. Writers often have beliefs about script readers that don’t even vaguely match what REALLY happens ‘behind the scenes’! Some common wrong beliefs about script readers include … They enjoy tearing writers down It’s an easy job They don’t really care about the scripts They make megabucks They’re jealous of writers who do well None of the above is true in my experience. This is one of the reasons I launched this blog … I wanted to demystify the submissions process for writers. After all, the more writers understand what… Read More »Script Reading: 25 Experts Share Their Expectations Versus Realities
Looking for Representation? There’s something that’s #1 on most writers’ wishlist: representation. The search term ‘how to get an agent‘ brings hundreds, if not thousands of writers to this blog every single month. It’s not difficult to see why. Gaining representation FEELS like the ultimate validation for a writer. After all, your screenplay or novel MUST be *good* if someone is willing to stand up and try and sell it, right? It’s also arguably better to have representation than not … Even though B2W is the first to say not every writer needs an agent, having representation can mean certain… Read More »Hey Writers: Here’s Why You Haven’t Scored Representation Yet
Writers As Entrepreneurs Entrepeneurs are people who set up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Whilst many writers are also producers, publishers or business owners as well, I am not necessarily talking about financial risks in this post. Instead, I believe ALL writers should be entrepreneurs in terms of their investment in their writing. This may be financial but is more likely to be an investment of time and learning. So if you’re ready to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit as a writer, read on … Let’s go! 1) Entrepreneurs Know Their Market No… Read More »5 Reasons Writers Should Be Entrepreneurs
Feeling Awkward We’ve all been to a party where we don’t know anyone. We stand in the corner, feeling lost. Or where we are introduced to 27 people in 3 minutes and know we will never EVER remember who any of them are. It’s a horrible feeling, isn’t it … … So why would you do that to your own readers? Why??? The Birthday Party Analogy I have an analogy I use when thinking about how to start a script. I like to imagine that my audience/reader is someone I have invited to the birthday party of a friend of… Read More »The Birthday Party: A Genius Analogy To Help Writers Introduce Their Stories
On Feedback Trauma Are you suffering from feedback trauma? I don’t just mean hurting over bad reviews, but an experience so awful you feel like a ‘bad’ writer beyond redemption. These traumatic feedback experiences may include but aren’t limited to … Vitriolic feedback and script reports from paid-for readers and contests Screenwriting ‘gurus’ holding up your writing as an example of what NOT to do in classes and online Industry pros shutting you down / dismissing you in pitch meetings Industry pros telling you ‘no one cares’ about subjects dear to your heart in your writing Beta readers and peer… Read More »Are You Suffering From Feedback Trauma?
All About Character Appearance Character appearance is a hot topic when it comes writing craft. How much is ‘enough’ or ‘too much’??? Needless to say, individual writers’ mileage may vary on this question. This is one of those ‘piece of string’ questions, but for the purposes of this blog post I will try and narrow it down in discussing the common main points. When it comes to novels, some authors may spend a lot of time on character appearance. Others may do it more intuitively, or leave it almost entirely up to the reader’s imagination. Most novelists will find themselves… Read More »3 Top Tips On Describing Your Character’s Appearance
On Bad Reviews All writers suffer bad reviews. If you’ve got one or more from readers, viewers or places you’ve submitted (such as film festivals, agents, publishers, or elsewhere) you will know this heartache. You’re hurt, confused and probably can’t stop obsessing about them. Those bad reviews may be all you can think about, even at the expense of the good ones. This is NORMAL. Our stories are our babies. We’ve spent oodles of our time on them. We’ve probably made all kinds of sacrifices to get them written, submitted, published or produced. Supersadface. So how to deal with these… Read More »10 Top Tips About Bad Reviews
Flashback And Format First up, many thanks to Anna who asks ‘How do I write a flashback within a flashback?’ In the first instance, I have to ask Anna … are you sure you WANT to write a flashback within a flashback?? I must confess, flashbacks within flashbacks are one of my very few pet peeves as a script reader. I don’t understand them in a story sense. If something *is* UNreal in the story (like memory, dreams, or whatever) then how can something create something **further unreal** within it?? It makes my brain explode. The other one that irks… Read More »Focus On Format: How Do I Write A Flashback Within A Flashback?