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Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays

4 Top Lessons On Writing Children

As I mention in my book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, I frequently see child and teen characters in specscreenplays that ‘feel’ like ‘movie kids’ rather than rounded, three dimensional characters. So I was delighted to read the excellent WATERBABIES by Writer/Director Andy Simpson, which doesn’t make this basic mistake! When Andy suggested writing a guest post on this subject for B2W,  I jumped at the chance … His script tips are contrasted with his directing experience, so Bang2writers get the ‘full picture’ of going BEYOND the page, too. Invaluable!! Over to you, Andy … Are there children in your script?… Read More »4 Top Lessons On Writing Children

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5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure

Scary Structure Structure freaks so many writers out … It can be enough to strike fear into the heart of ANY spec screenwriter or unpublished novelist. But I actually think getting to grips with this is THE KEY to not only being a ‘good’ writer, but a SUCCESSFUL one! Whilst some structure methods like Blake Snyder’s ‘Save The Cat’ may seem formulaic, it’s important to note structure is NOT a formula. (Also, don’t forget Snyder never meant ‘Save The Cat’ to become the checklist it has, especially in some Hollywood circles). Structure = Beginning – Middle – End Stories are… Read More »5 Visual Representations of Storytelling Structure

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3 Key Elements Of A Compelling Character

As all longterm Bang2writers know, B2W is known for its commentary on effective and diverse characterisation, so many thanks to Tim Long from ScreenplayStory today, with some VERY enlightening thoughts — enjoy! 1) Empathy As people we connect with other people through empathy. Empathy is our innate ability to sense other people’s emotions, as well as to imagine what someone else might be feeling. It’s our capacity to identify with the feelings and concerns other people have. In short, empathy moves us to share in another’s struggle, to really see the world through their eyes. Here’s the thing, recognising emotion… Read More »3 Key Elements Of A Compelling Character

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Top 5 Genre Mistakes Writers Make

Carrying on my Top 5 mistakes series, it always surprises me how some spec screenwriters will start blindly writing a genre, without researching it robustly. Look, I know it’s tempting to just dive in, but believe me when I say it SHOWS if you haven’t done your homework!! So, be warned and stay away from: 1) Depressing Dramas OK, first off I’m breaking my own rule by putting something on a drama in a genre post … but when so many spec screenwriters don’t understand the difference between drama and genre anyway, chances are you may be here looking for… Read More »Top 5 Genre Mistakes Writers Make

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3 Steps To Reader Proof Your Screenplay

Reader-Proof Your Screenplay I always recommend Bang2writers reader-proof their scripts. Whilst there are no rules in this screenwriting malarkey, but there are best practices. It should be noted I am talking principally about writing CRAFT here. (There are also lots of format niggly pet peeves that really wind script readers up, which is why I list them all HERE). But what do I mean when I say writers need to reader-proof their script? More, next. STEP 1) Wanted: Good Stories, Well Told First things first. If we want to beat the gatekeepers, it’s very simple. We have to give the… Read More »3 Steps To Reader Proof Your Screenplay

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Another FREE Ebook – B2W Script Edits BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

How To Get Your New Ebook So, it’s been a little over two weeks since BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE hit cinemas – and it’s fair to say it’s had the internet and social media in meltdown. Critically panned, overall the “word on the web” is not good (even though 70% of movie-goers reported they liked it, intriguingly). As any Bang2writer knows, one of my favourite things is jamming a stick in virtual hornet nests, so I decided to wade RIGHT INTO the debate, creating a new eBook, B2W SCRIPT EDITS BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. In it, I break down… Read More »Another FREE Ebook – B2W Script Edits BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

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Infographic: Diversity In Hollywood By The Numbers

In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite and The 88th Academy Awards round the corner, now seems a GREAT time to be talking about improving diversity in Hollywood! As any regular Bang2writer knows, B2W is always up for diversity, especially when it comes to female characters, but also marginalised voices in ALL spheres, including (but not limited to), BAME, disabled, and LGBT people – in front AND behind the camera. So many thanks to DuSable Productions who have been in contact with this VERY eye-opening infographic, below! As I mention in my book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, we hear ALOT about… Read More »Infographic: Diversity In Hollywood By The Numbers

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9 Famous Lift Scenes In Movies And TV

Believe it or not, I find myself talking to Bang2writers about lifts (aka elevators) a LOT! So when this infographic on famous lifts from film and TV came through from TK Encasa, I was happy to host it. But WHY do I end up talking about lifts a lot, you ask? Well, the contained low budget screenplay means I get a fair amount of short films set in lifts, occasionally some features too (especially Horror, probably thanks to likes of M. Night Shymalan’s DEVIL). In addition, I frequently have to explain to writers that shooting in lifts on location is… Read More »9 Famous Lift Scenes In Movies And TV

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Structure Spotlight: 3 Things To Remember For Act 3

All About Act 3 So today we’re talking about Act 3, courtesy of  Bang2writer Craig Howells, who left this question in the B2W Facebook group: I’m really interested in the anatomy of Act 3. What are the Dos & Don’ts? I know you need to pay off, and I’ve got my own ideas (which I’m still working on) but I’d love to know your take on it. I’m not a structure purist. As far as I’m concerned, all stories *just* need a beginning, middle and end (and not necessarily in that order, either!). On this basis then, The Three Acts makes… Read More »Structure Spotlight: 3 Things To Remember For Act 3

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10 Quick Tips About Writing Thriller Screenplays

1) Thriller Screenplays THRILL … We all know this about thriller screenplays … So how come MOST thrillers in the spec pile *feel* like dramas with a bit of running about in?? Because they LACK TENSION! So keep tension in mind, ‘cos you’re gonna need it! MORE: 8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Thriller Screenplay DEAD 2) … And they thrill from PAGE ONE! So it used to be that scribes got ten pages to pique a reader’s interest … Not any more! You gotta hit the ground running and kick it off from page one – or bust! Sad maybe,… Read More »10 Quick Tips About Writing Thriller Screenplays

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10 Tips For The Perfect Ten (Pages)

1) It’s not ten pages you get to impress, it’s ONE Look, I know everyone says the first ten pages is the most important of your screenplay, but this is DIRTY LIE. Fact is, there are so many submissions now that readers are making judgements on PAGE ONE. So your first page has to ROCK, or your screenplay will be returned unread. FACT! 2) It’s gotta LOOK right … OK, OK … so if readers are making judgements on page one now (and they are!), then what’s the first thing they check? Well, that’s easy: PRESENTATION, which is two-fold. First… Read More »10 Tips For The Perfect Ten (Pages)

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7 Things Agents, Producers & Filmmakers Can Tell From Your Pitch

Newsflash! There is no “right” way to pitch, just multiple WRONG ways … true story! When it comes to pitching, whether via documents like one pagers or face to face (or both!), writers tend to freak out very easily. It’s not hard to see why. After all, what makes a ‘good’ pitch?? Well, a good pitch is that irritating thing – you know it when you hear it! That said, there ARE some good guidelines to adhere to in the actual pitching situation. Here’s B2W’s take on what makes a BAD and GOOD pitch … Ready? Let’s go … Written Pitches… Read More »7 Things Agents, Producers & Filmmakers Can Tell From Your Pitch

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