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20 Game-Changing Love Interests And Why They’re So Important

Love is a powerful motivator Most of us want to be loved, so I’ve found it a trifle bizarre just how much the love interest role function gets the boot in modern critique. Obviously no one wants cardboard cut out characters, but far from love interest characters automatically being two dimensional, we can often see they’re more nuanced than given credit for, or melded with other interesting role functions. Many thanks to my glam assistant Olivia aka @LivSFB for this GREAT round up and reminder that love interest characters CAN be great, as well as informing plot! Enjoy … It… Read More »20 Game-Changing Love Interests And Why They’re So Important

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5 Male Secondary Characters Who Teach The Protagonist

Characters Who Teach The Protagonist A good secondary (aka supporting) character HELPS or HINDERS their protagonist, so a lot of them teach to do this. The lesson may be good or terrible, but when they teach, it helps push the story forward. Writers frequently think the Mentor Role Function *just* means the literal version of this character, such as Morpheus  in THE MATRIX (1999). But the reality is, a Mentor character can be ANYTHING!! That means mentor characters (of ANY gender) must teach the protagonist some kind of lesson, literal or metaphorical (or both!). That’s IT. That’s their ultimate purpose… Read More »5 Male Secondary Characters Who Teach The Protagonist

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5 Key Questions To Help Edit Your Own Writing

As writers, it’s really hard not to get too close to your work. And it should be! If you’re not getting too close to it then there’s no blood going to it, either. But there are some things that we find it incredibly hard to spot in our own writing because in our heads all the work is done already. Sharing your work is absolutely essential. My writing group, Kites and Violence, has been running for nearly four years now and these are some of the notes that get given out time and time again (including to me!): 1) Are… Read More »5 Key Questions To Help Edit Your Own Writing

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8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Drama Screenplay DEAD

Drama can be ANYTHING. Literally, anything. So why am I reading the same stuff??? Whether short film, TV pilot or feature, here’s how to KILL your drama screenplay’s chances in the spec pile: 1) Write about the same-old, same-old These are the facts. Everyone writes dramas about: i) depression/suicide ii) addiction iii) domestic violence iv) terminal cancer v) poverty Sometimes ALL of these in one piece! True story. Now, you CAN write about these things, but you gotta have some authenticity and emotional truth, otherwise DON’T BOTHER (see number 2). Also, make sure it’s not written the same way as… Read More »8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Drama Screenplay DEAD

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The Habits Of Successful Writers

Do you have any writing habits? Do you drink coffee or tea while writing your next story? Have you ever thought how this habit can influence your writing, or whether it influences your writing at all? Let’s take some famous writers, such as Jack London, Mark Twain, or Jane Austen for example: it’s not difficult to suppose all of them had writing habits and some of those habits were hard to call ordinary! Did you know that Victor Hugo wrote naked …  Or that Honore de Balzac drank 50+ cups of coffee daily and chewed coffee beans to concentrate on… Read More »The Habits Of Successful Writers

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4 Reasons To Love JUNO

On the day book 2 of The Decision Series, JASMINE’S STORY hits the virtual shelves, many thanks to @LizziesDecision ally and photographer/filmmaker Jendella Benson for this week’s excellent guest post about Diablo Cody’s Oscar-winning dramedy JUNO! Jendella has been taking pictures of young mums and their kids for her visual project on the subject, which included me and the Male Spawn. I was honoured to be part of the project and Jendella’s currently crowdfunding so she can set up her own exhibition and workshops on the theme of Young Motherhood. This is of course very dear to my heart, so please do… Read More »4 Reasons To Love JUNO

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5 Reasons J.J Abrams’ STAR WARS Doesn’t “Owe” Anyone Gender Diversity

[CHRISTMAS 2015 EDIT: Okay, so this post is even more hilarious in retrospect now we know Rey is not the “token female”, but the PROTAGONIST in an otherwise male-centric franchise! But hey, apparently that’s STILL not good enough because now Rey is “too good” – yes, this is actually a thing! OMG … Well, at least you’re consistent Twitter in that you’re NEVER fecking happy. This is why we can’t have nice things or GOOD FEMALE CHARACTERS you nunchucks. CLICK HERE for a free ebook on how NOT to write female characters and if you’re one of the whiners?? DOOF! Punch… Read More »5 Reasons J.J Abrams’ STAR WARS Doesn’t “Owe” Anyone Gender Diversity

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6 Ways To Make Hollywood Fall In Love With Your Pitch

Pitching is just like being the nervous suitor asking for a date. Is she or he going to like you? Do you have an exciting or intriguing personality? Do you have passion? This is where initial appearances do matter. Here are 6 ways to make sure you go home with them at the end of the evening. 1. Google, Facebook and IMDB them. i.e. Do your research. How promiscuous are they? How many projects have they done and what genres do they like? Pitching horror to someone who does comedy is a sure way to go home alone. 2. Don’t… Read More »6 Ways To Make Hollywood Fall In Love With Your Pitch

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7 Ways To Name Your Characters

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”  Names. They’re important. They’re not important. It depends. For me, names are important. I spent a long time choosing my children’s. I had various reasons for this and the names I chose (and I did choose them all; my Husband had power of veto, but we came to the agreement I carried the babies, so I named them. And no, don’t feel sorry for him – he suggested this!). Ultimately, I wanted a name for each of the children with a meaning… Read More »7 Ways To Name Your Characters

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9 Ways To Celebrate The Progress Of Female Characters, Writers & Makers

Great news, Bang2writers: I think we can safely say 2013 was a good year for female characters. Why? Well check this out:  And this: Aaaaaaand this:  [If you want to read more, click on the pics.] The three movies above were not the only big budget fare this year to feature unusual female characters; THE WOLVERINE featured not just one, but TWO Women of Colour in prominent roles; PACIFIC RIM also featured a WoC in a prominent role: Mako Mori, who was widely praised for her representation by feminist commentators. In addition, there has been a veritable EXPLOSION of commentary about… Read More »9 Ways To Celebrate The Progress Of Female Characters, Writers & Makers

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7 Reasons You Should Write A Sports Movie

Want to Write a Sports Movie? I hate sports. I mean, REALLY hate them. What’s the point: run up a track? Unless you’re being chased by a monster, do me a favour. Kick or throw a ball? No chance. I was the kid who had “period pain” four weeks of every month rather than do PE at school. True story. (Of course, the joke’s on me now ‘cos Mr C is OBSESSED with sports … not a week goes by without some tournament, however obscure, on the telly. THANKS COSMIC JOKER). So it may surprise you then to note I… Read More »7 Reasons You Should Write A Sports Movie

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5 Ways To Beat Exposition

Let’s look at five ways you can sucker punch static exposition by using your information more effectively. Or: 5 WAYS TO REARRANGE INFORMATION TO MAKE THINGS HARDER FOR YOUR CHARACTERS AND MORE INTERESTING FOR US. 1) CONSIDER FOR WHOM IT IS HARD? WHO IS IMPACTED THE MOST? If information is essential to a story, then it must impact someone. Figure out who that is and see if it can filter through that character. I always bring up the example of a crime scene where two cops are dispassionately discussing the murder. Snoresville, right?  But who is it hard for? What… Read More »5 Ways To Beat Exposition

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