How To Introduce A Character If you are thinking about how best to introduce a character, you are not alone. This is one of the questions I get most often from Bang2writers. Many thanks to writer @davidbishop who asks: How best to introduce characters … Should we list 3 attributes, a single sentence, or let their actions [and words] speak for themselves? First up, I’m going to be really annoying and saying there’s no best” way, just people’s opinions. That said, David’s suggestions are all great in theory. How they work out on the page however can be different! This… Read More »How To Introduce A Character In A Screenplay
Many thanks to Charlie Boddington who rounded up Aunty script reader NuttyNatter aka Katie B’s thoughts from Twitter on the BBC Writers’ Academy sample scripts this this year. Haven’t seen them? Check out the post here. Some of the more experienced amongst you will see the “usual” things bandied about – distinctive voice, strong dialogue, etc, plus the notion “structure can be taught”. Bang2writers often express UTTER DISBELIEF to me when various scripts they’ve read get attention on the basis they’re a shambles, but in real terms, there is that elusive “je ne se quois” sometimes that gets a writer… Read More »Creating 3D Female Characters
Is This You And Your Partner? Does your life partner stop you from writing? Lots of writers have this issue. B2Wer Jade-K emailed me this week with this lament … I love my boyfriend to bits but he drives me nuts… He doesn’t get that I need to write my novel! He says we should watch spend time together after work and when the kids go to bed and gets proper narked if I want to write. I see from your blog you have kids, how do you manage it? Jade-K is not the first person to email me about… Read More »Help – My Partner Won’t Let Me Write! What Do I Do??
In lots of scripts, characters all sound and act the same. I don’t mean they’re LITERALLY the same – most writers will go to some lengths to include *differentish* characters, especially in terms of dialogue – but strip away those idioms, different genders, colours, races, the way they dress or whatever and WHAMMO – the same characters I [and countless other readers] have seen before. I always think this is odd, because as writers we are confronted by the differences in people every single day: whether those people are in our own family, our neighbours, the parents at the school… Read More »Characterisation: The Expected Vs "The Recognisable & Surprising"
Happy International Women’s Day, everyone. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to have a go at composing a list of our fave female movie characters of all time – but don’t let me tell you who they are, you tell me. Actually: let’s just take it as red Ripley and Sarah Connor will be on there (le sigh). So, APART FROM THEM, who are the BEST, most BELIEVABLE, INTERESTING, EMPATHETIC (or whatever!) female movie characters to grace our beloved silver screen? Why are they so great? Leave your nominations here in the comments section or on Bang2writers and… Read More »Happy International Women’s Day: Girls On Film
Some of you may have seen the link I posted on Facebook and on the Bang2writers wall yesterday regarding women directors and how women “more likely to be members of the clergy, than direct a Hollywood movie”? Well, Bang2writer and DoP David Beaumont certainly did… and here’s his response. Enjoy! ————————————— OK, so I’m being pedantic, but strictly speaking this isn’t true! Well, no, it IS true but it’s irrelevant — since a MAN is also more likely to serve as a member of the clergy than direct a Hollywood movie. That’s simply because there are more churches in the… Read More »Guest Post: Response to LA Times’ Women Directing Article by David Beaumont
I’ve written on this blog before about back story and how it shouldn’t take over from “present events”: too often a spec script puts too much thought into back story, so the story we’re *supposed* to be watching lacks “forward thrust” (oooer). Bang2writers often believe they must put MORE back story in, at the expense of “present day” plotting, especially when it comes to secondary characters in feature-length scripts – and let’s face it, we’ve all done it and probably will again. But it’s important we realise this means we will be set off at wild tangents as we struggle… Read More »Don’t Let Your Secondary Characters Take Over
This post is for StrawLaneScott, who asked on Twitter for advice on writing when you have kids in the house to look after at the same time. I was a parent long before I was a writer or script editor; having a child in your teens before you have even gone to university, never mind started your career, means you have to be able to time manage. Yet there appears to be this feeling one has a baby, then you wait for it to get old enough to go to nursery or school, THEN you get started on whatever it… Read More »Writing & Kids, Pt 1: Getting The Spec Done
Amy Walker joined me on a panel about parenthood and flexible working at London Screenwriters Festival, so I was only too happy to pass this message along from her – I think Media Parents is a fab idea and could really open up flexible working for everyone, not just parents. If you live in Bristol or the surrounding areas, please give Media Parents your support! ————————-Media Parents is a jobs and social networking website for parents and others who want to work flexibly in TV. 5000 women and 750 men left TV over the last 3 years – Media Parents… Read More »Media Parents Meeting In Bristol
Many thanks to super Bang2writer Carla Grauls for providing us with some notes on the Vamps, Vixens & Feminists event at the Sphinx Theatre last thursday (Oct 28). About Carla: Carla Grauls is a writer of screen, theatre, fiction and non-fiction. She is working on writing more feminist sci fi. Note: For additional notes on this event. check out the lovely Carmel Shortall’s blog, here. Enjoy!————————————Beatrix Campbell kicked off proceedings with an inspiring talk about how the paradigms have shifted. Women and men have started questioning people’s behaviour, and call them to account – like bankers, a working class woman… Read More »Guest Post: Vamps, Vixens & Feminists 2010 – Notes by Carla Grauls
There’s a great blog over at Fair and Feminist right now, inviting young feminists to stand up and be counted (note: “young” is open to interpretation, check out the bottom of the post). I too am frustrated by some of my peers – especially those intelligent and well-educated – who appear to feel the “work has been done” by our mothers and grandmothers; whilst I am obviously happy if they have been untouched by misogny or abuse (note: either by men OR other women), I think it’s important women work together wherever possible towards the common goal of equality. Simply… Read More »Sign Up For "Fair & Feminist’s" Blog Carnival NOW
Carrying on from yesterday, here’s the second part of Jeremy Allen’s run-down.—————————————————-How does the role of commissioner add to the creative process? Put simply, ‘commissioners are able to provide distance…they are able to stand back and ask questions’. This is because they see the script’s progress at intermittent stages. Ben describes these intermittent stages as ‘milestones’, which roughly break down into ‘commission, pre-production and edit’. A common flaw Ben sees in the journey of the script is that it can lose its original vision: what the writer wanted to say in the first place, or even what it was about… Read More »GUEST POST: Ben Stephenson Q & A by Jeremy Allen (Part 2)