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30 Years of Priscilla: What Can Writers Learn From This LGBTQ Classic?

All About The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert I remember the first time I saw Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I was a closeted bisexual teen in deep denial and I saw it in the middle of the night on TV. (If I recall correctly, it was on BBC2). To say it blew me away is an understatement. I lived in Devon, in the middle of nowhere, with no sniff of even so much as a Pride parade. (The closest I got back then were the ubiquitous rainbows on cans of Lynx body spray). A few years before… Read More »30 Years of Priscilla: What Can Writers Learn From This LGBTQ Classic?

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Don’t Do It: 13 Warnings From The People Who Read Your Screenplay

#1 Warnings From Real-Life Script Readers   There’s lots of warnings on this site, because I spend a lot of time demystifying the spec pile. It’s why one of my most popular articles series is the Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make. I think Bang2writers like writing warnings so much is because as everyone knows, there’s no ‘right’ way to write a story … but reading scripts, day after day, has taught me there are multiple WRONG ways. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Check out these warnings from other script readers that aren’t me. Be sure to click… Read More »Don’t Do It: 13 Warnings From The People Who Read Your Screenplay

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Page 1 Of Their Screenplays

The Page 1 Test Page 1 is THE most important page in your entire screenplay. You have to start as you mean to go on. Most spec screenwriters know they have up to 10 pages to impress the script reader … but few realise it’s page 1 that really needs to rock FIRST. So, to make sure your first page doesn’t sink your chances, read on. Let’s go! 1) Starting with something DULL on page 1 Dull is in the eye of the beholder of course … but there’s plenty of pitfalls we can commit with the very first sentence… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make On Page 1 Of Their Screenplays

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Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

Plotting Like a Pro One of the most searched-for terms on this blog is ‘help with plotting’. Plot – aka structure if you’re a screenwriter – can be a tricky beast. Despite it being fashionable to claim plotting is ‘easy’ to fix, this is utter BILGE … which is why it’s a good idea to try and ensure you don’t tie yourself up in knots at foundation level! So, whether you’re a novelist looking for help plotting your book, or a screenwriter who needs guidance on structuring your script, these quick tips should help. Ready? Let’s go … 1) It’s… Read More »Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

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Are You Schrödinger’s Writer? Here’s How To Break Out Of This Destructive Mindset

Schrödinger’s Cat Versus Writers Schrödinger’s Cat is a thought experiment devised by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, which he designed to illustrate a paradox of quantum superposition. In this famous paradox, a hypothetical cat may be considered both alive and dead simultaneously because its fate is linked to a random event that may (or may not) occur. Over time, Schrodinger’s cat has been linked to any number of hypothetical situations – erroneously or not – in which something may or may not happen, concurrently or not. I found myself talking about ‘Schrodinger’s writer’ recently with a number of Bang2writers. During these… Read More »Are You Schrödinger’s Writer? Here’s How To Break Out Of This Destructive Mindset

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Top 10 Scream Queens from Movies and TV: Which Is Your Favourite?

What are Scream Queens? Typically, Scream Queens are the ultimate female character, especially in the horror or thriller genres. They are renowned for their iconic and memorable roles as the main protagonists, survivors and/or victims, or for their brave actions in the movie. Very often, they become the ‘Final Girl’ too. It’s time for another Top 10 list of fantastic female performances … So let’s break some of the most iconic Scream Queens in movie and TV history. Vote for your favourite Scream Queens in the comments — ready? Let’s go! 1) Cecilia, Immaculate Played By: Sydney Sweeny Immaculate is… Read More »Top 10 Scream Queens from Movies and TV: Which Is Your Favourite?

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Why Obsessing Over Theme Will Make You Ruin Your Story

“I’ve got something to say” Your script or novel’s theme IS important, but you don’t want to ruin your story by obsessing over it. This is because theme refers to the meaning behind the story, not the story itself. This means you need to concentrate on craft first, THEN theme. Look, writer’s voice is important. We’ve all seen various pro writers, prodcos, agents and publishers going on about this. It would seem like putting theme under the spotlight then is a similar no-brainer. Except everybody’s forgotten these important things: Theme is all about individuals making meaning from a story This… Read More »Why Obsessing Over Theme Will Make You Ruin Your Story

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

On Character Introductions Character introductions are super-important in good writing, whether it’s a novel or screenplay. A well-crafted character introduction provides context and relevance, which means the audience can connect with the characters on a deeper level. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, character introductions are often where writers stumble, which in turn affects the rest of the story. For the five biggest mistakes writers make with character introductions, check out the following … ready? Let’s go! 1) Laundry List Intros This is probably one of my ultimate pet peeve character introductions in both scripts and unpublished novels because it’s SO… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

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12 Working Writers In Movies And TV Share Their Top Advice

Screenwriters Advice by Andrew Zinnes and Genevieve Jollife One of the most Googled terms leading to this blog is the search term ‘advice for screenwriters’.  This means I was delighted to chat with Andrew Zinnes all about his and Genevieve Jollife’s new book, literally called Screenwriters Advice! It’s a great book, packed with insights, tidbits and actionable advice from screenwriters for both movies and TV, in the UK and USA. It’s super-readable too. But don’t take my word for it, here’s some great tips from the book, courtesy of the best and brightest screenwriting talent. Also, don’t miss out on… Read More »12 Working Writers In Movies And TV Share Their Top Advice

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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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No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

Do Characters ‘Have’ To Change? In any conversation online about characterisation, it’s never long before somebody pops up proclaiming characters HAVE to change. They may even insist that a character who doesn’t change has ‘no arc’. Calling the department of WRONG! No, characters do NOT have to change. I can’t stress this enough. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable they DON’T change. Have I blown your mind? If I have, I’m not surprised. Writing gurus – especially in screenwriting circles – have been SO didactic about this topic in the last thirty or forty years. As a result, generations of writers… Read More »No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

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Top 10 Writers’ Resolutions for 2024 Writing Success

Your Writing Resolutions For The New Year So 2024 is around the corner … did you achieve everything you envisaged in 2023? I hate this question. There’s never any ‘right’ answer. If you didn’t, then it makes you feel bad. If you did, it invariably never feels ENOUGH. This is why I choose the following 10 resolutions, year on year. The resolutions are achievable and don’t require lots of equipment, money or time. I can do them, bit by bit and add to my writing craft and career as I do so. Low stakes cumulative build-up — what’s not to… Read More »Top 10 Writers’ Resolutions for 2024 Writing Success

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