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Women & Writing

5 Steps To Better Sex Scenes, The Bridgerton Way

Intimate Scenes, The Bridgerton Way Anyone who’s seen Bridgerton – and who hasn’t? – can surely not have missed the intimate sex scenes the show is famous for. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at an exclusive screening of Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 with Shonda Rhimes (Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer) and Jess Brownell (Showrunner). The Bridgerton team and Jessie gave us all a step-by-step guide to portraying intimate moments on screen. The step-by-step process Step 1: Talk to the actor! (OR for writers – think about the character and the specific intimacy that’s required for the… Read More »5 Steps To Better Sex Scenes, The Bridgerton Way

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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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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 Authors Who Pivoted To A Screenwriting Career

Pivoting From Novel Writing To A Screenwriting Career If you want to pivot from novel writing to a screenwriting career, you’re not alone. Of course, you may just want to be a screenwriter full stop (and that’s okay too! Or maybe you want to write a novel of your script??). LOTS of novelists have tried their hand at a screenwriting career. Some have had more success than others! Here’s just 10 of them. Let’s go … 1) Roald Dahl Frequently left off lists like these, Roald Dahl boasts an impressive screenwriting career. As well as adapting his own classic book… Read More »Top 10 Authors Who Pivoted To A Screenwriting Career

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Top 5 Reasons Producers Don’t Like Your Pitches

Your Next Step: Finding Producers You’ve got the script. You’re ready to get it made. Finding producers is your next step. But nobody seems to want to work on it with you. In fact, a lot of producers aren’t even replying to you!  So let’s see where you might be going wrong … Ready? Let’s go!  5) You didn’t make it personal Quite simply, you’re contacting a producer with no personal connection or interest in what you’re pitching. A producer will likely spend 6 months – 3 years devoted to a short film, and much longer for anything else. They’re… Read More »Top 5 Reasons Producers Don’t Like Your Pitches

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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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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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Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter This Year

How To Break In As A Screenwriter If you want to break in as a screenwriter, you’re not alone. ‘How to break in’ is probably one of the top Google searches that leads to this blog, in fact. Whilst it’s true B2W believes we need to build our careers over a sustained period (rather than the break in being just ONE act), we all have to start somewhere. I was joined in a B2W livestream recently by comedy writer Amanda Graham (@AGComedy). Amanda specialises in rebellious, irreverent, female leads going against nonsensical power structures. She has various projects in development (including with… Read More »Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter This Year

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Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

About Javier Grillo-Marxuach Javier Grillo-Marxuach is a screenwriter and producer. He has the kind of resumé most Bang2writers would kill for, including iconic shows like Charmed and Lost. He’s continued with fantastic modern TV such as The Witcher, The 100 and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance as well. Wow! I was delighted to Zoom with Javier recently. I love high concept, dystopian and post-apocalyptic story worlds. He’s literally worked on some of my favourite shows that have influenced my own writing! Javier also wrote the AMAZING 11 Laws of show running, an online essay/memo which really requires its own post.… Read More »Javier Grillo-Marxuach: ‘Lost Was NOT Purgatory’ (And Other Tales)

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