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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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Barbie Doesn’t Have An Arc?? Puhlease! Stop Revealing Your Lack Of Craft

Barbie At The Oscars So Barbie got a single Oscar win in 2024. After weeks of speculation and outcry online, I think the most surprising thing – for me, anyway –  is WHICH song it got the gong for … ‘What Am I Made For?’ by Billie Eilish. (I don’t know about you, but I barely remember this song in the movie, whereas ‘I’m Just Ken’ is still a banger IMHO). Since being released in the summer of 2023, Barbie has inspired countless ‘think pieces’ online. Inevitably, there were lots of calls from right-wingers about Barbie‘s supposed treatment of male… Read More »Barbie Doesn’t Have An Arc?? Puhlease! Stop Revealing Your Lack Of Craft

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How We Created & Marketed A Short Film With Zero Dialogue

How To Make A Film With NO Dialogue In May 2021, I was pitched a 5 page ‘dark comedy with zero dialogue that lights the way to the end of abuse against women’. Making a short film is almost always a challenge, but this was even more difficult. How could we convey a woman trapped in an abusive relationship without a single word being spoken by her or her controlling husband? 1) Purpose-Led (At All Times) Initially, I worried zero dialogue was just a technique added in for a unique twist. It would have been easy for a script with… Read More »How We Created & Marketed A Short Film With Zero Dialogue

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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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Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

Should writers write characters UNlike themselves? In the 2020s, writers frequently want to write characters UNlike themselves. I do, too! Looking at my books, I have written characters who are not like me. My characters may be (in no particular order): male; older or younger than me; gay; American; black; Romany; British Chinese; transgender; Australian; upper class; homeless and many more besides. The debate on social media often focuses on the notion certain writers are being told NOT to write characters UNlike themselves. It’s no accident the average writer lamenting this ‘fact’ is usually part of a dominant group, either.… Read More »Writing Characters UNlike Ourselves: 1 Simple Tip That Makes All The Difference

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Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

Family Drama If you feel you’re seeing the word ‘scapegoat’ all over social media right now, you’re not wrong. In the past couple of years, psychological terms such as ‘gaslight’, ‘narcissist’, ‘toxic families’, ‘family estrangement’, ‘no contact’ – and now, ‘scapegoat’ – are real talking points. You may have seen these terms ion Facebook memes, talked about them yourself on Twitter, or watched therapists’ TikTok videos.  Intergenerational differences on psychology, family and parenting are VERY much part of society’s conversation in the 2020s. For those who have missed it, sociologists believe Gen Z and Millennials are the first generations to… Read More »Why Writing A ‘Scapegoat’ Character Can Bring Your Writing Bang Up-To-Date

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How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

All About Character Motivation NEWSFLASH: great characterisation should lie at the heart of every narrative, whether that’s a novel or screenplay. These characters should drive the plot forward and engage audiences emotionally. What’s more, modern audiences and readers demand nuanced, layered characterisation as standard in the 2020s. One essential element that brings characters to life is their motivation – the driving force behind their actions and behaviours. I like to call this the ‘WHY’ of characterisation. Put simply, character motivation can be summed up as “A character wants or needs something for some reason, but will have to strive to… Read More »How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

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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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3 Unusual Female Character Tropes Audiences Can’t Get Enough Of Right Now

Female Character Tropes Good news: female character tropes are finally becoming more varied as standard! Not so long ago, female characters were sidelined or defined by the men in their lives … but these days, we’re much more likely to see holistic and layered female characters in movies, TV or novels. However, when B2W talks about tropes, many writers say: ‘Aren’t tropes a bad thing??’ It’s not difficult to see why writers might think this. Many online commentators – including actual critics! – often conflate tropes with clichés. Whilst tropes can indeed become clichés when they’re overused, tropes are actually… Read More »3 Unusual Female Character Tropes Audiences Can’t Get Enough Of Right Now

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3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

Effective Character Development Effective characterisation starts with good character development. Some writers insist that characters come to them ‘fully formed’ but I call BS. Good character development is not dictation. We are CREATING characters and honing our craft! There are a few key things to keep in mind when developing your characters: 1) Make them relatable Your audience needs to be able to connect with your characters on some level. If they can’t relate to them, they won’t be invested in their story. By the way: note how the above DOESN’T say make your characters ‘likeable’. This is a red herring.… Read More »3 Quick Tips On Effective Character Development (Plus 4 Key Questions)

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Top 10 Myths about Sensitivity Readers (And Why They’re Wrong)

About Sensitivity Readers Sensitivity readers are never far from the news these days. There’s been countless articles and threads online decrying them, citing ‘cancel culture’ and ‘offended snowflakes’ supposedly ‘ruining’ writing in the 2020s. A sensitivity reader is someone who reads a literary work, looking for perceived offensive content, accidental stereotypes and bias. They then create a report for a writer, publisher or another industry pro with suggested changes. No more, no less. FYI, I actually don’t like the term ‘sensitivity reader’. I feel it plays into (some) writers’ belief the job is ‘pandering’ to various communities or cultures. These… Read More »Top 10 Myths about Sensitivity Readers (And Why They’re Wrong)

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