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What Do I Do If My Book or Script Is A ‘Hard Sell’?

Help! What If My Story Is A ‘Hard Sell’? Every week I hear from Bang2writers who say their stories are a ‘hard sell’ and they don’t know what to do. That’s right … EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK! With this in mind, I broke down the process into steps to help. Ready? Let’s go … STEP 1: Get REAL First things first, what makes your story a ‘hard sell’? Do you know for certain … Or are you just guessing? I always find it very interesting (but not surprising) that lots of new writers pretend to themselves their story is a ‘hard… Read More »What Do I Do If My Book or Script Is A ‘Hard Sell’?

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With Script Editors

All About Script Editors  A colleague of mine told me that their friend thinks all script editors do is fix commas … if only! With this in mind, I thought it would be good to shed some light on this very complicated, frustrating, but also wonderful and rewarding job! Here’s 5 BIG mistakes to avoid when working with script editors … ready? Let’s go! 1) Stay Silent I have seen a lot of writers (especially new ones) in rooms too reluctant to ‘put up their hand’ … and that’s understandable. We’re all scared our idea will sink, right? But a… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With Script Editors

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Hey Writers: Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy. Here’s How

Are you your own worst enemy? If you suspect you might be your own worst enemy as a writer, this one is for you. There’s so much self-sabotaging behaviour out there (especially online, but also IRL – in real life – too). I thought I would pull together some DOs/DONT’s on how to avoid being your own worst enemy. Do you spot any you are doing right now, or perhaps in the past? Let’s go … 1) Set concrete goals … I saw a mug once that read, ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’. Whilst cheesy, it’s true. If… Read More »Hey Writers: Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy. Here’s How

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5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

Watch & Read The Black Phone Now The Black Phone is a movie adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same title by Joe Hill. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the screenplay is written by Derrickson and his long-time collaborator C. Robert Cargill. I’m a HUGE fan of both Hill and this duo’s previous output including Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, so I was keen to watch the movie regardless. The logline for The Black Phone on imdb reads, “After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls… Read More »5 Top Tips From The Black Phone Writers Can Learn

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8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV

See on Apple TV So, See on AppleTV concluded last week. Written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Dirty Pretty Things, Locke), it’s been one of my favourite TV series of recent years. Though unpopular with the critics, the show has been a big hit with audiences. This means I  believe See has plenty to teach us as writers. Here’s eight powerful reminders from the show I picked out … Ready? Let’s go! 1) Old story, new telling Post-apocalyptic worlds set in the future are not new. In the past ten years, they’ve been exceptionally popular. We’ve seen such dystopian storyworlds in… Read More »8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV

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It’s Never ONLY About The Story In Screenwriting – And That’s A GOOD Thing

‘It should ONLY be about the story!’ I often talk to writers about the commercial aspects of screenwriting. As someone who has seen lots of deals happen, I know that money talks. The industry is NOT a patron of the arts. It follows the $$$ because it’s ‘show BUSINESS’ after all. This means … Remakes and reboots are here to stay Great TV shows get cancelled if they don’t get enough views in the first few weeks (yes, really!) Why badly-written movies may still earn stacks Or why indie productions can sink without a trace if they don’t have enough… Read More »It’s Never ONLY About The Story In Screenwriting – And That’s A GOOD Thing

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5 Top Tips For Converting Your Screenplay Into A Novel

Screenplays –> Novels So you’ve written a screenplay, then bust a gut to get it financed and produced … But two years later you’re still no further on. Don’t give up just yet! You’ve created characters and a story so why not use this as your template and convert your script to a novel? Here are five tips to help and inspire you converting yours. Ready? Let’s go …  1) Take Back Control  A film is a story told in pictures and a screenplay is really a set of short-hand instructions rather than a complete work of art. Film is… Read More »5 Top Tips For Converting Your Screenplay Into A Novel

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How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

If You Love Something, Let It Go  When should we let go of a draft? Well, like so many writing-related things, this can be a real ‘piece of string’ question. That said, there are some best practices to consider that will help you know when to let go. Ready? Let’s go …  1) Have THE GUTS To Finish!  To often, writers can’t let go of drafts. They will tinker with them endlessly, making submissions alongside these endless edits. This frequently leads to them trying to make multiple resubmissions. This is a bad idea, because industry pros want to see fresh… Read More »How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?

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10 Common Mistakes People Make Marketing Their Book You Should Avoid

Book Marketing is TOUGH I don’t care what anyone says: the hardest part of the process is book marketing! Knowing where to start is difficult, which is why knowing what NOT to do can really help. So when Jenny got in touch asking about writing a post on this topic, I bit her hand off! Here’s some gold dust tips for you Bangers … over to you, Jenny! All About Book Marketing You don’t need me to tell you that writing a book is hard work. The process of taking it from the initial idea into a fully-fledged novel you… Read More »10 Common Mistakes People Make Marketing Their Book You Should Avoid

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VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’

All About Kelly Marcel Kelly Marcel is a British screenwriter and producer. She co-wrote one of my favourite dramas Saving Mr Banks (eagle-eyed Bangers will remember it is a case study in my Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays book!). She also received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for it. In addition, Kelly is the screenwriter of Fifty Shades of Grey, Venom, Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, plus she created and was exec producer on TV series Terra Nova. A fabulously eclectic mix there! But how does a writer who started her working life in a video… Read More »VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’

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10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Female Characters

Don’t Underestimate Or Underwrite Fifty per cent of your potential audience is female, so it does NOT pay to underestimate your female characters. Women in audiences everywhere have made it clear in the past decade on social media … Underwrite female characters at your peril! Too often, female characters become stereotypical in unpublished novels and spec screenplays. A stereotype is a simplication. Whilst writers CAN use stereotypes on purpose for effect, too often writers use them by accident. This makes characters feel flat and two-dimensional. There are lots of lists of female stereotypes online, but I always think it’s more illuminating… Read More »10 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Female Characters

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10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

Important DON’Ts Storytelling is much harder than it looks, so I have composed a list of DON’Ts to think about when writing your story. If you find this post useful, please pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Ready? Let’s go … 1) DON’T: Start Too Early If you begin too early in your story, you end up with a ‘top-heavy’ draft. This is no good, because modern readers and viewers do NOT want to wait for your story to start. But how do we avoid starting too early? Well, think about beginning with some kind of EVENT… Read More »10 Important DON’Ts You Must Think About When Writing Your Story

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