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5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure

Scary Structure Structure freaks so many writers out … It can be enough to strike fear into the heart of ANY spec screenwriter or unpublished novelist. But I actually think getting to grips with this is THE KEY to not only being a ‘good’ writer, but a SUCCESSFUL one! Whilst some structure methods like Blake Snyder’s ‘Save The Cat’ may seem formulaic, it’s important to note structure is NOT a formula. (Also, don’t forget Snyder never meant ‘Save The Cat’ to become the checklist it has, especially in some Hollywood circles). Structure = Beginning – Middle – End Stories are… Read More »5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure

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Top 10 Words Or Phrases Storytellers Gave Us

Inventing Words Shakespeare was The Don when it came to inventing words and phrases, so we tend to think writers and filmmakers contribute to language a lot more than they do. It’s actually rather unusual for a writer or filmmaker’s words to get assimilated wholesale by popular culture, but here’s my top 10. Enjoy! 1) You do not talk about … An easy one to start. FIGHT CLUB (1999) is an iconic book and film, so whenever anyone says the phrase, “You do not talk about [whatever]” they’re usually invoking this particular scene from the movie. Over the last two… Read More »Top 10 Words Or Phrases Storytellers Gave Us

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5 Ways Of Bringing Real Life Into Storytelling

For our latest venture at Broken Leg Theatre, the company I co-direct with Anna Jefferson, we spoke to a huge variety of women all over the UK. From a group of midwives in London, to a group of elderly women in Leeds (the oldest of whom was 102!), their real-life stories and experiences formed the inspiration for our new play, Three Generations of Women, which tours next month. These discussions, and our interactive online platform, provided us with some confessional and deeply personal stories. The response was overwhelming, flattering, and very humbling. At the end of the research process, Anna… Read More »5 Ways Of Bringing Real Life Into Storytelling

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Top 10 Quotes On First Drafts

Spanish speaker? Many thanks to Sergio from Bloguionistas for translating this post into Spanish! READ IT HERE. If like me you’re struggling with an unwieldy first draft of your novel or screenplay right now, I thought you might appreciate some of these quotes from famous people on the process. Some of the quotes are uber-famous (especially number 1), plus I don’t agree with all of them (number 8 can go jump in particular, I’d say it’s TORTURE atm!) but it’s definitely a useful exercise to remember ALL writers go through this. So keep on keeping on, Bang2writers! Need MORE inspiration?… Read More »Top 10 Quotes On First Drafts

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Writing Women: 5 Lessons From Shakespeare

I’ve said it, countless times now: I’ve seen NO correlation between gender of writer and how “well” s/he writes female characters. In my experience, a male writer is just as likely as a female writer to write a GREAT, complex, flawed character who just so happens to be a woman. ‘Cos that’s what we’re aiming for, right? RIGHT. “Shakespeare’s a dead white guy, but he knows his shit!” YES, Shakespeare is well old and NO, he’s not PC because he was writing a trillion years ago, but he STILL managed to pull of complex female characters who were a helluva lot… Read More »Writing Women: 5 Lessons From Shakespeare

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5 Reasons Why Theatre Is A Writer’s Best Friend

If you’re feeling frustrated about rejections or getting a “way in” to the industry, then today’s short but VERY sweet post from Carla offers some GREAT food for thought on getting a foot in the door via writing for theatre … Also, make sure you check out the new playwriting award from Theatre503. Enjoy! Theatre is a great way to get your work out there and there are some fantastic opportunities for emerging writers. Over the past two years I have been developing a play with Theatre503, a new writing theatre in south London and found the experience invaluable. Here… Read More »5 Reasons Why Theatre Is A Writer’s Best Friend

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Women & Writing # 6: Gill Kirk, Playwright

1) If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be and why? Buzzy, curious and noisy. I was one of those manic, loud, nosy kids who grew up into an adult with some more sophisticated adjectives. I love the world and people. There’s so much and you know you’ll never get your head around it in the time we have. I’m pathologically unable to keep that to myself. 2) What’s your background? I was always writing as a kid – especially drama and comedy.  But when I went to uni, I slipped on the very strange world… Read More »Women & Writing # 6: Gill Kirk, Playwright

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5 Ways To Use Feedback Effectively

So, you’ve got some feedback on your screenplay, novel, treatment or pitch. Maybe it’s great … Yay! Or maybe it’s bad. Boo. Or maybe it’s both? OMFG. Whatever: you need to rewrite. You know this. But what next? This is often where writers come unstuck … ‘Cos they don’t know what to do even with GOOD notes. Sometimes it’s because there seems like too much choice; other times it’s because problems with a draft seem insurmountable, or life gets in the way. Sometimes all of the above – or something else. Ack. CUE WRITER EXPLOSION. So here’s 5 ways to use… Read More »5 Ways To Use Feedback Effectively

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On Writing: The 3 Cs Versus The 3 Ps

Bang2writers ask me quite frequently for my “top tips” on  surviving the writing process and this industry. Before now I always felt that it depends on the person, what they’re doing, how they work and who with. But actually, having worked on a variety of projects now with various people over the last ten years, I think there are 6 things all writers of ALL formats need to know and live by, whether they’re screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, journalists, transmedia writers, the works. That’s right – just 6. But they mean SO much – literally everything. 1. THE WRITING You need the… Read More »On Writing: The 3 Cs Versus The 3 Ps

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Playwriting Opportunities

Thanks to Katie at Blake Friedmann for sending me these… For you theatre writers out there, there’s quite a treat in store! Lots of opportunities here for you. But hurry, some of the deadlines are 31st December 2010. Not a theatre writer… yet? On this blog before about theatre “Research Or Die: Writing Plays”. Get going!———————————-New Vision Theatre Free Playwriting Course Are you over 25 and living in the London Borough of Lewisham? Do you want to write your first play? New Vision Theatre will deliver an introduction to playwriting course for over 25’s within the London borough of Lewisham.… Read More »Playwriting Opportunities

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Guest Post: Hooked, The Musical by Max Kinnings

If someone had told me this time last year that I’d end up writing a musical, I’d have thought they were on drugs. Although I was involved with the marketing of various West End shows a few years ago as part of my thankfully now deceased career in the ad industry, I’m not a big fan of musicals as a genre. All that pointless bursting into song is really not my thing. But last November I bumped into an old face from my advertising days – Matthew James – in a pub in Soho and we got talking about what… Read More »Guest Post: Hooked, The Musical by Max Kinnings

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Special 600th Post: The Art of Consequence

Scribes often write to me and ask, based on my script reading, how I can recognise a “good” script. The answer? I’m not sure you can put it into words. If you have a relationship that works, think of that moment you knew you were going to spend the rest of your life with that person. You just know, right? Cheesy, but true. Sure they annoy the crap out of you by leaving the seat up or using your razor on their legs, but ultimately This Is It. That’s not to say it won’t go to Hell at some point… Read More »Special 600th Post: The Art of Consequence

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