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Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays

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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5 Important Reasons Your Writing NEEDS Tropes

Writers Need Tropes In the age of the internet, tropes get a bad rap. Tropes are often conflated with the word ‘cliché’. Whilst overused tropes can BECOME clichéd, all writing needs tropes. A common example of trope is ‘the ticking clock.’ Thrillers may use this trope in the form of a deadline, the arrival of reinforcements, or something else the characters have to fight for. The timer puts extra pressure on the protagonists and ramps up the suspense in the story. (To see more examples of every trope ever written, you can check out the comprehensive site, TV Tropes). So,… Read More »5 Important Reasons Your Writing NEEDS Tropes

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How To Use ‘Bad Words’ In Your Writing

Please note: bad words aka slurs, swears & other nasties appear in this article.  Bad Words As writers and as people, we all have ideas on what constitutes ‘bad words’. Hardly week goes without someone contacting me and saying that whilst they enjoy B2W’s writing advice, they’d like to ask me to stop swearing. Yes, you heard that right. A platform literally built on sweary writing advice should apparently be less sweary. Erm, okay. BACDEFUCUP! This blog and its accompanying social media accounts uses swears; it always has and it always will. If a small minority of would-be Bang2writers don’t… Read More »How To Use ‘Bad Words’ In Your Writing

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How To Plot Like A Goddess

All About Plot Archetypes Most writers understand characters have archetypes, but don’t always realise plot does too. Just like characters can be divided into various types, stories have particular ‘templates’. Far from being formulas or tick-the-box exercises, these templates create a foundation on which stories grow from. This is evidenced from what archetype means, as defined in the dictionary and via its etymology: What’s more, plot and character are inextricably linked. Whilst most writers understand characters need to have a goal (the WHY), they often falter on plot … The HOW, if you like. This is where understanding how plot… Read More »How To Plot Like A Goddess

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What Even Feminists Get Wrong About Crime Fiction

The Staunch Prize Vs Crime Fiction Do you love crime fiction? Me too. You may have seen towards the end of last week that The Staunch book prize was launched. This prize will be awarded to “a novel in the thriller genre in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered”. As the prize’s founder Bridget Lawless (an ironic name, if I ever heard one!), screenwriter and founder of the prize, asserts … “I’m certainly not alone in getting increasingly fed up and disgusted with fictional depictions of violence happening to women in books, films and television. It echoes,… Read More »What Even Feminists Get Wrong About Crime Fiction

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8 Things I Learned From Editor And Author Phoebe Morgan

We haven’t had an ‘X Things I Learned …’ post for a while, so in response to requests for more on publishing insider info, I reached out to Phoebe Morgan, a commissioning editor at Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins. Phoebe is also the author of The Doll House, which became a #1 iBooks bestseller and spent a whopping 8 weeks in the Kindle top 100. So I think it’s fair to say she knows her stuff, being on both sides of the table! I had a chat with Phoebe over Skype recently, who imparted some really great nuggets of wisdom… Read More »8 Things I Learned From Editor And Author Phoebe Morgan

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7 Things I Learned Writing, Making And SELLING A Thriller

So, I did a blind-read on THE STOLEN waaaaay back in 2010 via an investment initiative — and I gave it a RECOMMEND. I wondered what had happened to it off and on over the last seven years … So imagine my surprise when the filmmaker Emily popped up in my inbox recently! It must be fate! I’m DELIGHTED to hear how THE STOLEN has made it to screen and I’ll definitely be getting my tickets. Make sure you support indie filmmaking, female filmmakers AND female leads by throwing your weight behind it. CHECK HERE or click the below for cinemas… Read More »7 Things I Learned Writing, Making And SELLING A Thriller

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Top 5 Memorable Western Women In Movies

Western films have seen periodic resurgences but nowadays they tend to be relegated to the cable channel movie of the week, direct to DVD, or video on demand. The Western has always been a boys’ club and the great bastion of the Madonna/Whore trope; the woman as either a representation of sexless social virtue or a baseless woman driven by it.  The genre is famous for men who are vagabonds, drifters and gunslingers while the women exist in a state of near invisibility. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t memorable female characters in Western films but the ones you remember… Read More »Top 5 Memorable Western Women In Movies

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How To Write A Screenplay Bomb: Transformers The Last Knight

Look, I’m pretty easily pleased … As long as there’s some explosions, some robots kicking the shit out of one another, some running, some comedy, a bloke with his shirt off and a budget Angelina Jolie slinking about the joint, then it’s usually a thumbs up from me. But then I watched Transformers: The Last Knight at the weekend. It actually had ALL of the above – okay Marky Mark didn’t get his shirt all the way off (boo!) – but near enough. (Please note: before you judge me, I had some Tesco Odeon vouchers that needed using up. Okay??). And… Read More »How To Write A Screenplay Bomb: Transformers The Last Knight

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