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Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays

No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

Do Characters ‘Have’ To Change? In any conversation online about characterisation, it’s never long before somebody pops up proclaiming characters HAVE to change. They may even insist that a character who doesn’t change has ‘no arc’. Calling the department of WRONG! No, characters do NOT have to change. I can’t stress this enough. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable they DON’T change. Have I blown your mind? If I have, I’m not surprised. Writing gurus – especially in screenwriting circles – have been SO didactic about this topic in the last thirty or forty years. As a result, generations of writers… Read More »No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

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Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

All Hail The T-Rex From Jurassic Park Over Christmas I was noodling around Facebook when I came across this fun meme (right, below) depicting Mothra, the Xenomorph Queen and the T-Rex as ‘inspiring female characters’. Cue a million nerds like me all LIKING the pic (because, obviously). But when I looked at the thread underneath it was full of … ‘Oh hardy ha, this can’t be true, very funny’ etc etc. Except I’m DEADLY serious when I say the T-Rex is one of the best, most well-written monsters in creature feature history. YUP you read that right and NOPE I am… Read More »Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

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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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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 7 Nice Guys In Comedy In TV and Movies

Nice Guys of Comedy Nice guys finish last?? Hardly! In a macho world, there’s just something about nice guys … and you can find plenty of genuinely nice guys in comedy right now! The ‘nice guy’ trope is most often part of the ‘EveryMan (aka ‘every person’)’ archetype, which is characterised by belonging, love and enjoyment. These characters love a good time, but they are just as eager to help out and support their friends or family. This is why comedy frequently has such characters, even in the age of the antihero right now. Here’s some of B2W’s favourites. Ready?… Read More »Top 7 Nice Guys In Comedy In TV and Movies

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It’s My Publication Day, So Here’s A Free Gift For You

Happy Publication Day To … Me! (Again) So it’s publication day and my second book launch in a month … Yup, this is a first, even for me!!! I wrote so much in lockdown that I created a bit of a bottleneck of projects going all the way to January 2024! Oops (sorrynotsorry). Anyway, this time around it’s publication day for B2W’s non-fiction book, WRITING & SELLING THRILLER SCREENPLAYS: FROM TV PILOT TO FEATURE FILM. That’s right, the book includes TV this time around! The first edition came out in 2013 and it’s fair to say a HELLUVA lot has… Read More »It’s My Publication Day, So Here’s A Free Gift For You

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How HOME ALONE Nails Set Up / Pay Off And How You Can Too

All About Home Alone (1990) The original Home Alone is a stone-cold classic. I was a child when it first came out and as the member of a gigantic, dysfunctional family myself I loved it right from the off. It launched Macaulay Culkin’s career as probably the biggest child star in the world back then. Though his career didn’t have the kind of longevity most of us expected, Kieran Culkin (Fuller McCallister) has proved his acting chops ever since. Combining cartoon-like Tom & Jerry style violence with a Christmas story about a kid fighting off burglars seems an unlikely pairing.… Read More »How HOME ALONE Nails Set Up / Pay Off And How You Can Too

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5 Ways PACIFIC RIM’s Raleigh Beckett Is An Unusual Hero

Raleigh Beckett from PACIFIC RIM Pacific Rim is a film full of surprises. A big silly monsters-vs-robots movie that’s actually about failure, grief, cooperation, and how much we need one another. An action movie with no real villains. And most of all, a movie with two co-leads who are emotional, vulnerable, and equal. Raleigh Beckett, one of those two leads, is perhaps the most unconventional male lead in a big studio action movie to date. Why? Check these reasons out for size … 1) He’s vulnerable …  and that’s a GOOD thing Piloting a monster-killing robot requires its two pilots… Read More »5 Ways PACIFIC RIM’s Raleigh Beckett Is An Unusual Hero

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