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Are You A Binge Writer, Or Do You Write Every Day?

Out in the blogosphere, there’s often a lot of discussion around the idea of writers being ‘plotters’ or ‘pantsers’ (for the uninitiated, the former is a writer who plots everything out, knowing the ending in advance; whereas the latter will just begin and see where the story takes them, the idea being they ‘fly by the seat of their pants’, hence the ‘pantser’ epitaph). As any veteran Bang2writer knows, B2W advocates being a plotter, especially if you’re a screenwriter. Structure is key in screenwriting, so starting without an end point in mind can land you in what I call The… Read More »Are You A Binge Writer, Or Do You Write Every Day?

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12 Quick Tips To Improve Your Writing Right Now

As a writer, you are often judged solely by what is on the page or the screen. This means you need to ensure you know exactly what you are doing! Here’s 12 quick tricks to take your writing to the next level and increase your confidence: 1)    Brush up on the basics The least you can do before you submit or publish is check for basic errors in spelling and grammar. Before you even begin an important writing task, read up on basic grammar rules and sentence structure, and never submit anything without running it through a spell-checker first. 2)   … Read More »12 Quick Tips To Improve Your Writing Right Now

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What Is The MacGuffin? (Plus How To Use It)

The statue from The Maltese Falcon. The grail from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. “Rosebud” from Citizen Kane. They all have one thing in common: they are MacGuffins — persons, places, or things which the characters are all seeking, but which have little plot value of their own. The MacGuffin is the ultimate “prize” of every quest movie ever made. It is the microfilm from spy movies, the trophy from sports movies, and the mission objective from war movies. The MacGuffin acts as a sort of temporary stand-in, creating an immediate plot point as the story gradually pivots from… Read More »What Is The MacGuffin? (Plus How To Use It)

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make (And How To Avoid Them)

Continuing with my Top 5 Mistakes series, Mary’s jumped in for me today to share her thoughts on what NOT to do *as a writer overall*. She’s telling it like it is, so you better listen, Bang2writers … Enjoy! We all want to be the pinnacle of perfection, but reality has to kick in sometime. As a writer, you’ve made mistakes before and you’re going to make them again. This doesn’t make you a bad writer: it merely makes you human. But learning from our mistakes is what prevents us from repeating them, and being aware of what to look… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make (And How To Avoid Them)

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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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7 Ways To Write A Plot Outline

Bang2writers often ask me the “right” way to write a story – whether that’s as a novel or a screenplay (or something else). As far as I’m concerned, **any** way is FINE — just as long as you finish! One thing that I DO advocate however – whatever medium you’re in – is writing an outline. (And yes, I DO follow my own advice … I’m writing an outline for the plot of my next novel RIGHT NOW in fact!). Sure, there ARE those lucky writers who find plotting novels and scripts easy to do, unconsciously and good luck to them… Read More »7 Ways To Write A Plot Outline

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INFOGRAPHIC: How To Write Screenplay Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

As any long term Bang2writer knows, I’m a big fan of planning. But yeah, I get why *you* might not be. Planning can be boring. You don’t want to do it. You want to DIVE INTO your draft. But, look. Even if you ARE one of those uber-lucky people who can plot instinctively, you’re still going to *have* to come up with the goods at some point in the process. Money moguls and agents rarely have time to read entire screenplays (yes, really!), which is where things like “scriptments” and “sizzlers” really come into their own. One of the most popular… Read More »INFOGRAPHIC: How To Write Screenplay Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

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Top 10 Killer Words That Make Readers Switch Off

When you’re reading all day, every day, for work AND for pleasure you tend to notice how *certain things* slip by (maybe?) unchallenged, even into produced and published works. So here’s B2W’s official top 10 of the words that MOST make me, “WTF??” when I see them, again and again and again … Enjoy! 1) Obviously This is a huge screenwriting no-no in scene description, but I see it pretty much every day, usually describing something we’re supposed to be seeing on screen that pertains to the plot in some way. I’ve noticed too this has started to slip into… Read More »Top 10 Killer Words That Make Readers Switch Off

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7 Things Agents, Producers & Filmmakers Can Tell From Your Pitch

With LondonSWF around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to put pitching under the microscope, both written and face-to-face. When it comes to pitching, whether via documents like one pagers or face to face (or both!), writers tend to freak out very easily. It’s not hard to see why. After all, what’s the “right” way to pitch?? NEWSFLASH: there is no “right” way, just multiple WRONG ways. So to avoid the latter, here’s what dodgy pitches can mean to the people whose attention you want … Written Pitches 1) You haven’t a clue what you’re doing This… Read More »7 Things Agents, Producers & Filmmakers Can Tell From Your Pitch

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How Does Exposition Work? AKA 9 Common Exposition Qs Answered

I’ve been talking a lot recently with Bang2writers about exposition and its place within their stories, whether novel or screenplay. As I’ve heard some common misconceptions, I thought it useful to put exposition under the microscope and really consider WHAT exposition is and HOW we can use it, framed as questions to answer. Enjoy! 1) Isn’t exposition a **bad** thing? No. Exposition in all stories – whether novels or screenplays (or something else) – is 100% necessary. Exposition is basically just the background information a reader or viewer needs in order to be able to understand the story. However, many… Read More »How Does Exposition Work? AKA 9 Common Exposition Qs Answered

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