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Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

‘I Don’t Want To Get It Wrong’ Is your writing suffering from ‘moral perfectionism’? The reason I ask is that I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the writers I work with worried about ‘getting it wrong’. What ‘wrong’ means can depend, but usually relates to the depiction of marginalised characters and communities. A writer will feel stressed and even frozen by fear at seeming like an ‘over-privileged asshole’. This may relate to … Male writers writing female leads White people writing BIPOC characters Straight writers writing LGBTQ characters Able-bodied writers writing disabled characters More affluent writers writing about poverty and/or… Read More »Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

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Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

So, Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense It’s the note every writer – new to professional – dreads: your draft doesn’t make sense. Eeek! When your draft doesn’t make sense, it can be very overwhelming. When we get the note our stories are hard to follow, it’s easy to sink into hopelessness and despair. Some of us may even take it as proof we’re ‘terrible writers’ too and spiral even more. Perhaps you’re confused, too? Maybe you don’t understand why your script editor, beta reader or peer reviewer finds your story so hard to follow. You may feel as if the… Read More »Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

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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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Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

What is Sexual Tension? Sexual tension is a key ingredient in many successful published novels and produced screenplays. Whilst sexual tension turns up most in romance stories, it can be part of ANY story in any genre. For example, I wrote sexual tension in my crime novel, The Other Twin. Sexual tension is that feeling of excitement and anticipation you get when something hot and heavy is happening between the characters, but they haven’t yet acted on their desires. Done well, sexual tension can be incredibly addictive for readers and viewers. It keeps them turning pages late into the night,… Read More »Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

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How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

All About TV Thrillers & Target Audiences I’ve been streaming a lot of TV thrillers shows from the early 00s to approximately 2012 at the moment. As veteran Bangers know, I love to track the changes to writing craft and what’s popular with TV audiences. Many people think I get ALL my information from talking with industry pros. That is true in part now, but it wasn’t before I made those contacts (duh!). This means I was doing this long before I knew anyone of note. Many new writers are surprised to hear the vast majority of my knowledge comes… Read More »How TV Thrillers Have Changed Since The 00s And What You Need To Know

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A Masterclass In Secondary Characters (Or Why Trent Crimm Matters In TED LASSO)

Trent Crimm in Ted Lasso Trent Crimm is one of my favourite queer characters of the last five years or so. He has an incredible arc for a secondary character! So imagine my surprise – and indignation – when I saw Twitter pontificating Trent ‘serves no real purpose’ in Ted Lasso! (Yes, yes the finale was superb … we all know this, everybody loved it, now: RANT INCOMING!). The fact that anyone – least of all wannabe screenwriters! LE GASP – think Trent is ‘pointless’ shows how little people understand the purpose of secondary characters in screenwriting. Sure, they *think*… Read More »A Masterclass In Secondary Characters (Or Why Trent Crimm Matters In TED LASSO)

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10 Superb Writing Reminders From Sally Wainwright

About Sally Wainwright So, the long-awaited third series of Happy Valley by Sally Wainwright on BBC1/iPlayer concluded last night. Wow! I thought it would be a great idea to check out what Sally has to say about writing … and I found some GOLD for you Bangers! But first up, all about Sally Wainwright! She is an English television writer, producer, and director from Yorkshire. Starting out first as a playwright, she also worked on the classic serial radio drama The Archers. She created her first original drama series At Home With The Braithwaites, which ran 2000-2003. Other TV series Sally… Read More »10 Superb Writing Reminders From Sally Wainwright

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Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

Mystery, Thriller or Horror? Mystery, Thriller and Horror novels and screenplays do BIG business as they have high ‘adaptability’. Readers and viewers love them … plus there’s a lot of convergence between them. This is because the Mystery, Horror and Thriller genres have lots of elements that cross over. However, lots of writers run into trouble because they’re not really sure what their story *is* at foundation level. Whilst many writers know mystery usually involves some kind of twist, they often don’t know how to get there. As a result, writers may make their mystery too easy to guess, or… Read More »Is Your Story A Mystery, Horror or Thriller? Here’s How To Tell

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5 Times It’s Okay To Write Stereotypes (Really!)

Writing Stereotypes So it’s accepted modern writing wisdom that writers should never, ever, ever, ever write stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplification, a short-hand if you will. It’s generally thought nowadays that only BAD writers use stereotypes. But what if I told you stereotypes are a writing TOOL like any other … it just depends how that tool is USED??? Really!! Writers can use stereotypes whenever they want … as long as it’s ON PURPOSE, not by accident. But what does ‘on purpose’ mean? Check out the below and pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Let’s go! 1) For… Read More »5 Times It’s Okay To Write Stereotypes (Really!)

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How To Write A Protagonist Who Is A Total Asshole

Asshole, NOT Antihero So, you want to write a protagonist for your screenplay or novel that is a total asshole. There’s nothing wrong with doing this … but first, let’s identify what actually makes up an asshole protagonist. I’d first say an asshole character is NOT an antihero. As we know, antiheroes are in demand in the 2020s, both for male and female protagonists. An antihero is defined in the dictionary as simply ‘lacking traditional heroic attributes’. What this means is left open to interpretation. That said, since The Hero’s Journey is still super-popular, we can assume those traditional attributes are… Read More »How To Write A Protagonist Who Is A Total Asshole

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10 Simple Steps For Revising Your Draft

So, You’ve Finished Your Draft! Congratulations, but you still have work to do: revising it!! But where to start?? If you are feeling overwhelmed, then check out these 10 revision pointers for novels or screenplays. They can act as a handy checklist for revising your draft. Good luck … 1) Wait! First up, do NOTHING. That’s right … Just let that novel sit in a drawer or on your computer’s desktop. Do absolutely zilch with it, for a couple of days (minimum) or weeks (preferred) or months (maximum). Let your subconscious bubble away, revising any of your story’s problems as… Read More »10 Simple Steps For Revising Your Draft

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Relationships

All about Relationships Relationships are the best, aren’t they? Not always – fortunately – otherwise they’d be dull to write about. Creating modern relationships for modern audiences does require staying fresh and relevant, however. Here’s what to avoid to make sure your fictional relationships don’t crash and burn (unless you want them to…). 1) Love is only for the Young  Falling in love can happen to anyone, at any time. We’ve seen the ‘two star-crossed lovers’ storyline play out for eons, so if you want a fresher way to approach this trope, you might have to look a little higher up the… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Relationships

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