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women of colour

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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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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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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Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

The Hero’s Journey I’ve been researching The Hero’s Journey for about a decade now on this blog. When I wrote my Thriller Screenplays book back in 2013, it was a plot template that was ALL the rage. In fact, just ten short years ago, screenwriters were told it was pretty much the ‘only’ plotting archetype worth writing … and that if their characters did not change, their writing was ‘bad’!  Fast-forward to 2023 and these expectations have changed considerably. Audiences have started to tire of The Hero’s Journey and its ubiquity. Novels, indie film and even major blockbusters have started… Read More »Just For Boys? Why The Hero’s Journey Is NOT Just For Male Characters

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Top 10 ‘Unlikeable’ Female Characters In Movies & TV

All About ‘Unlikeable’ Female Characters ‘Why are so many female characters unlikeable these days?’ That was a thread I had the misfortune to read recently, but it’s not the only one. Commentary on supposedly ‘unlikeable’ female characters never goes away, it seems. Men – and sadly, some women too – all chime in regularly about this topic online, saying shit like … … It’s ‘misogyny’ to write female characters with bad motivations or other bad behaviour (sigh) … Female characters have a RESPONSIBILITY to be role models to young girls (erm no, ENTERTAINMENT first!)  … Writers are showing their inexperience… Read More »Top 10 ‘Unlikeable’ Female Characters In Movies & TV

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Top 10 Fearless Female Archers In Movies And TV

Female Archers in Fiction You don’t have to look far to find female archers in fiction. Though male archers obviously do exist too, this is often part of their specific characterisation (Arrow and Hawkeye are the most obvious here). In contrast, female archers in fiction frequently use the bow and arrow as their weapon of choice as a warrior: nothing more, nothing less. In fact, female archer warriors use the bow and arrow so often, it’s become a trope of its own. Tropes are those recurrent ideas or motifs we see in novels, movies or TV. Whilst many internet commentators believe… Read More »Top 10 Fearless Female Archers In Movies And TV

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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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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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Movies Have Always Been ‘Woke’. You Just Didn’t Notice

Another week, another message So, apparently B2W is too ‘woke’ so somebody’s unfollowing … blahblahblah. Seriously, this ain’t an airport, no need to announce your departure! I do have one query though: WHO THE HELL HAS THIS PERSON BEEN FOLLOWING BEFORE NOW??  This site and its accompanying social media has always placed the ‘woke’ at its heart, FFS. If this was apparently a problem, you gotta wondered why they followed in the first place. But anyway, no skin off B2W’s nose. ‘Wokism’: A Short History Hell, B2W is so ‘woke’ I actually don’t even use the word (except when critiquing… Read More »Movies Have Always Been ‘Woke’. You Just Didn’t Notice

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