I do a lot of courses and talks, plus I get lots of emails, tweets and messages from writers … A popular question is, “Where do you get your ideas from?” 

My answer: EVERYWHERE! But my life is busy, so I keep a journal to record various fleeting thoughts, observations and important elements of my day. That’s why I thought this post from Tess is great advice for writers … Enjoy!

journal

To many of us, journals seem like a thing of the past. We have a tendency to treat the art of keeping a journal as something that’s no longer relevant to our lifestyles. But get this: if you are a writer, doing this could potentially be detrimental to you!

Many classic authors and noteworthy historical figures kept journals, not merely because that was common practice in their time, but because keeping a journal can lead to an enormous amount of intellectual benefits … What’s more, it may actually lead you down the path to becoming a better writer.

Here’s 3 great reasons for writers to keep a journal:

1) To give your Vocabulary a work out

If you commit yourself to writing about your life and thoughts on a daily basis, you’re going to notice a lot of repetitive themes. You likely will use specific nouns or adjectives over and over again, because these are your everyday associations. Reading over your journal can help you pinpoint the areas in which your vocabulary is lacking. After work, your entries may frequently read that you’re “very tired”, and you may notice you’re not souping up your adjectives as well as you could. Challenge yourself to raise the bar when it comes to your vocabulary, and learn to weed out overused words and terms. MORE: 10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now

2) Become a Better Storyteller

Let’s say that today, you made breakfast and coffee, went back to sleep for an hour, woke up, got dressed, went to the grocery store, got home, put your food away, went to the gym, worked out, had a shower, grabbed lunch, met your friends for coffee, came home, had a frozen meal for dinner, watched TV for a few hours, and went to sleep.

That’s a pretty plain day. Nothing noteworthy or exciting happened and it mirrors a normal day off for most of us. This is not the kind of day you can’t wait to tell everyone about, and writing it will seem tedious and boring. It may not even seem worth journaling, but you should journal it. The key is to utilize your mundane day as a writing challenge.

If you can take the most boring account of your day and turn it into something that is fun to write and enjoyable to read, this is going to improve your storytelling abilities. Mention the waiter’s cocky smile and the tartness of your salad dressing. Write about your friends as though you are characterizing them for a reader. Give your internal dialogue as you’re browsing the grocery store. These things will help you create more believable and dimensional fictional characters and assist you in creating descriptions of scenes and events that will captivate your readers. MORE: Give Them What They Want … And Get What YOU Want

3) Banish Writer’s Block

If you’ve ever found yourself hitting a brick wall when telling your story, you understand how frustrating that can be. You may have set clearly defined goals for yourself in terms of how much you want to write within a certain time period, and these constraints can suck you dry of inspiration. Keeping a journal will get you in the habit of writing every day, so your writing muscles will stay warm and flexible.

You may be familiar with the old author’s adage, “write what you know.” That’s advice that still rings true. If you ever have trouble creating or progressing through plot points, you have your own journal to fall back on. If a scenario that happened in your life will provide you with the ability to create character development, just draw it up from your own experience and embellish it with details that better fit the scape of your story. Recalling the outcomes of your real life conversations and decisions will help you add extra layers of believability to your fiction, creating an authentic and genuine feel that will keep your readers actively invested. MORE: How to Deal With Writers’ Block: Top 6 DON’Ts

Tess PajaronBIO: With a background in Business Administration and Management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She covers stories in online learning, creativity and productivity hacks.

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

Time for Feedback

If you’re involved in Create50 (if not, WHY NOT?? It’s a great opportunity!), then you will know the cornerstone of the initiative is giving others feedback on their entries for @Londonswf‘s second crowd-sourced feature film The Impact, as well its first volume of short stories, Twisted.

However, giving good feedback is not only an artform in itself, so is RECEIVING IT. With this in mind, I composed a list of 6 reminders for all writers, whether they’re dishing it, getting it or BOTH:

1) You are the authority on your own work

This is the key element of dealing with ANY feedback, good OR bad. A good script reader or feedback-giver does not highjack the writer’s vision and try to make it their own. They understand the writer knows what’s best for their story. So if you ever receive notes that don’t seem to realise this? Thank the giver, but IGNORE THEM. MORE: Top 10 Writing Misconceptions

2) Sometimes, it’s about weighing it up

Writers now live in an age where it’s accepted that feedback is necessary. This is great, because YES, it *is* necessary. However, now we have a NEW problem because *some* writers love notes SO MUCH they tinker endlessly with their drafts in the mistaken belief that this automatically makes their drafts BETTER, when it doesn’t always.

Get this: you don’t have to take ALL notes on board. Some notes will be stinky. In addition, sometimes, you might get a really great note, but it won’t be applicable to your vision for your story and characters. AND THAT’S OKAY.  MORE: How To Deal With Feedback

3) Feedback isn’t always agenda-free

This is a re-run of point 1, in effect. Always comb through any notes you get for an agenda. Good feedback is about FACILITATING the writer’s own ideas, not trying to get the story told the giver’s “way”. MORE: 5 Ways To Use Feedback Effectively

4) Sometimes, it’s not WHAT’S said, but HOW it’s said

We all hear a lot about the vitriolic script report that eviscerates the writer. This can happen in peer review a lot, but thankfully, professional script readers are usually better than this nowadays.

But this is the thing. A writer is not always the best judge of their own feedback. This is because you’re so close to your characters and story.

So if you find yourself feeling angry or hurt by your feedback, it’s a GOOD idea to get someone else to look at it. They may be able to confirm that yes, this feedback SUCKS! and the giver is indeed an arsehole. OR that other person may be able to make you see that actually, the feedback has some valid points to make. MORE: 5 Ways To Evaluate Your Feedback

5) Rewriting is where the magic happens

Often when I give notes, writers are despondent and say things like, “I thought this draft was the one.” In other words, they want me to tell their draft is BRILLIANT and they can take it out there.This nearly always happens with early drafts. I’ve done it myself. You’re feeling so inspired and so pleased with yourself, you think you hit the bullseye first time (or near to it).

But this is nearly always a mistake. Never forget great writing is always rewritten. Don’t be scared of the rewrite process. You might write really great early drafts and if you do, brilliant! But they can always be better. Don’t close this off, just because you don’t want to have to put the work in. MORE: All About Rewriting & Feedback

6) You have to have the guts to finish

This is perhaps the most important element of the writing process. Too many writers sabotage THEMSELVES by not realising when their draft is done! Instead, they write and rewrite endlessly, thinking they’re doing good work when in reality, they’re just moving words around on the page.

DON’T do this! Instead, have the GUTS to finish and the GUTS to move on to your next great piece of work. It’s the only way forwards in developing both your writing AND your career. So do it or go home!! MORE: 5 Ways To Keep Up Stamina For Rewrites (And How To Know When It’s Done)

Need more writing guidance?

Slide1For more on writing and feedback, check out my books from Creative Essentials, Writing & Selling The Thriller Screenplay, as well as its follow up on Drama Screenplays. See all my books, HERE.

 

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

movie-collage-2010-best-movies-ever

Genre gets a bad rap when it comes to movies and television, but these are the facts: writing good genre is REALLY DIFFICULT. Every bit as difficult as writing good drama!

Check out the famous filmmakers’ quotes below and see how many touch on the same things, including:

  • Why various genres appeal to certain audiences
  • How mixing up different ideas, threads, characters, plots can really help
  • Why genre does not automatically mean “dumb”
  • How zeitgeists can really affect the popularity of certain genres
  • Why you need to know what goes into various genres to subvert them
  • How it’s STORY, not ticking genre “boxes” that really counts

and much more! Don’t forget, you can sign up for The B2W Mailing List and get first notification of articles like this, as well as offers, tips and info NOT on the blog. SIGN UP HERE.

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Do YOU know what goes into the genres, so you can subvert them??

1) Quentin Tarantino

“I’m attracted to this genre and that genre, this type of story and that type of story. As I watch movies I make some version of it in my head that isn’t quite what I’m seeing – taking the things I like and mixing them with stuff I’ve never seen before.”

2) Christopher Nolan 

“The term ‘genre’ eventually becomes pejorative because you’re referring to something that’s so codified and ritualised that it ceases to have the power and meaning it had when it first started.”

3) Zooey Deschanel

“I like romantic comedy as a genre, but I think it can get stuck in its ways.”

4) Joss Whedon

“Limitations are something that I latch onto – like working in genre, or if you’re writing TV, there are act breaks, there’s a length of time it’s supposed to be. The restrictions of budget and sets can be really useful. When you can have everything, it’s very hard to make things feel real and lived in.”

5) Bruce Willis

“The action film genre is gonna have to come up with some new bad guys.”

6) Lana Wachowski

“With a genre like Film Noir, everyone has these assumptions and expectations. And once all of those things are in place, that’s when you can really start to twist it about and mess around with it.”

7) Neill Blomkamp

“There has to be the popcorn genre element, or I don’t engage the same way. I like action and vehicle design and guns and computer graphics as much as I like allegory. It’s a constant balancing game.”

8) George A Romero

“If one horror film hits, everyone says, ‘Let’s go make a horror film.’ It’s the genre that never dies.”

9) J.K Simmons

“I’m not a fan of any genre but am a fan of movies that are intelligent and/or funny. That goes across all genres: a horror movie, a zombie movie, alien invaders, chick flick, or raunchy comedy. If it’s well done, I’m a fan.”

10) John Carpenter

“What scares me is what scares you. We’re all afraid of the same things. That’s why horror is such a powerful genre. All you have to do is ask yourself what frightens you and you’ll know what frightens me.”

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11) Lena Dunham

“I think romantic comedy, when done right, is my favorite genre. It’s just a genre that’s very human.”

12) Brandon Lee

“Action-adventure, that genre, only works for me if you can care about the characters. If the hero’s not taking some kind of a journey, then there are no stakes – and no stakes, then you don’t care if he lives or dies, wins or loses.”

13) J.J. Abrams

“I think that even if you’re wondering if two characters are ever going to kiss, drawing out the inevitability is part of the fun. Whatever the genre happens to be.”

14) Jason Reitman

“I think romance is a tool, comedy is a tool and drama is a tool. I really just want to tell stories that challenge the viewer, move people, make you laugh, perhaps push an idea about being open-minded but never settle on a genre or an opinion. I hate genre. I like movies that are original in their approach.”

15) Ethan Hawke

“One of the things that separates a good genre movie from a bad genre movie, I always think, ironically, is when you care about the people. The dime a dozen ones are where you don’t have any awareness of the character.”

16) Robert Duvall

“It’s a cyclical thing. When they make one, everyone loves them. Different genres come around in succession.”

17) Josh Trank

“Filmmakers have to really find a unique take on something if they’re going to explore an already-explored genre of movies.”

18) Rian Johnson

“I do love science fiction, but it’s not really a genre unto itself; it always seems to merge with another genre. With the few movies I’ve done, I’ve ended up playing with genre in some way or another, so any genre that’s made to mix with others is like candy to me. It allows you to use big, mythic situations to talk about ordinary things.”

19) Gillian Flynn

“I think mystery writers and thriller writers – whatever genre you want to call it – are taking on some of the biggest, most interesting kind of socioeconomic issues around in a really interesting, compelling way.”

20) Drew Goddard

“A movie that’s about other horror movies isn’t interesting. A movie about who we are, is.”

21) Matthew Vaughn 

“People just want to watch movies that are entertaining, it doesn’t matter what genre it is.”

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More on Genre on B2W:

Genre Vs Drama: The Difference Between Them

What’s The Difference Between Horror & Thriller?

Genre & Tone, A Case Study: BEETLEJUICE

Genre Films: Don’t Overthink It

Genre Versus Craft 

Sign up for the B2W Mailing List, HERE

thriller Thriller is a brilliant genre for new writers and filmmakers to get noticed, even at low budgets – yet they’re one of the most difficult to master … But my book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays (published by Creative Essentials) can help! ‘Not merely a great read for those wanting to write a thriller but anyone with a serious interest in screenwriting'; ‘The SELLING SECTION is an absolute tour de force and could be a book in its own right'; ‘Like a wise friend is at your side while you write!’. GET IT HERE.

 

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

We’re **all** aware of the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but fact is, we all DO. Bad cover art or design WILL put readers off – that’s just a sad fact of life!

That’s why I’m SO proud of both the covers in The Decision Series, done by the amazing Peter at Bespoke Designs. Both my covers are dynamic, eye-catching and totally unique, whilst still drawing attention to the fact they’re in the same storyworld.

So, many thanks to Steve at Fresh Essays, who’s been in touch with this fab infographic below on the similarities between many traditionally published book covers — wow!

There’s some real food for thought here on how bestselling books can impact on the mainstream; how colours, stock photos and other such things can really impact on potential reader perception.

I’d already noticed the effect Fifty Shades Of Grey has had on various erotic and steamy books, but I hadn’t clocked some of the others … Definitely worth thinking about, especially if you’re self publishing. Enjoy!

Book Cover Twins
What would YOU do, if you could live ALL your next possible choices?

Lizzies_Story_Kindle_JPEGDownload The Decision: Lizzie’s Story, a prochoice story about unexpected pregnancy that includes abortion, miscarriage, adoption, single parenthood and more. READ EXCERPT.

 

Jasmine's_Story_KINDLE_23_May_2014 2 copyDownload The Decision: Jasmine’s Story, a tale of betrayal and best friends about two girls who find their lives turned upside down when a new girl moves to town. READ EXCERPT.

 

Read The Decision Series already?

Then PLEASE leave a review on My Amazon Page and hit the buttons below this post to share this offer with your friends and followers. I’m counting on ya!

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

When you’re us, enjoying TV can be exhausting. We’re always on high alert, you and me, ready to roll our eyes, vent our spleens or just feel a bit sad when we find for the billionth time that female characters are barely being treated like characters at all.

So it’s a pleasure when we get to watch female characters with agency, scope and realism. And it’s a pleasure to celebrate them!

That’s one of the purposes of my new blog, Good Characters and it’s also the reason why I’m all up in your face at Lucy’s kind invitation, to make a song and dance about six unique female characters from TV shows.

lagertha

1) Lagertha from Vikings

Portrayed with grit by Katheryn Winnick, Lagertha is a fierce, impulsive Northman who loves war but targets peace and she’s a fascination partly because she actively earns her prominence. She shouldn’t have to, of course: she’s an uncrushable standalone presence. But she spends early seasons tangled up in the storylines of male characters before finally breaking out with force and precision. Lagertha becomes a role model, an Earl, a legend. She shouldn’t have to prove that her story is worth telling, but she does, and it’s an epic. MORE9 Ways To Celebrate The Progress Of Female Characters, Writers & Makers

martha2) Martha from Doctor Who

Freema Agyeman’s Martha is my favourite Doctor Who companion, and I believe she’s all about having agency beyond the man she loves. The key is that she was exceptional before him, and exceptional after him. She was a tireless medic with an exhausting family, then when she leaves the TARDIS she frequently recurs as a decisive, self-sufficient livewire. But what I like best is her goodness. Martha doesn’t have to be arrogant to be confident, nor rude to be absolute. She’s a good ‘un. Utterly loveable. MORE: 5 Ways To Write A Strong Female Character

cersei

3) Cersei from Game of Thrones

My favourite aspect of Cersei, who is played by Lena Headey and needs no introduction, is that she’s bloody sick of the lack of female power in Westeros. Oh, we’re totally with her on that. Despite her proud malice, we smiled when she told her husband: “Perhaps I should wear the armour and you the gown.” In this case, the armour represents power, respect and freedom, while the gown represents a cage. Cersei is confined by her culture but rebels persistently; that is hugely admirable, despite how many lives she ruins in the process. She will never stop fighting. MORE: 5 Ways To Write A Complex Female Character

lexa4) Lexa from The 100

Post-apocalyptic drama The 100 is a feminist oasis, it really is. You can feel safe in the hands of these writers, who give us a momentous ensemble of complicated characters — among them Commander Lexa, who is incidentally a girl. Played by Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lexa has much to teach our female lead about utilitarianism, and in return Clarke has much to teach Lexa about respecting what the heart can do. They’re a fascinating pair, and I’m certain Lexa’s tenacious stoicism is ready to be shattered. MORE: Writersroom Assistant  @TeelaJBrown talks female characters on @The100

carol

5) Carol from The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead runs on adrenaline, not character development. Which is why it’s all the more impressive that the show’s most complex, evolved, riveting personality is a woman in her forties. Played by Melissa McBride, Carol begins as a familiar abused housewife, meek and obedient; she gradually transforms into a commanding, strategic, physically competent warrior. She’s a twisted butterfly and she’s earned her survival a thousand times. MORE5 Reasons “Missing” Female Characters Might Not Actually Be Missing After All (Plus What Writers Can Do Instead) 

6) Katherine from Not Safe for Work

She’s bold, sweary, and played by Zawe Ashton: that’s why we appreciate Katherine. But it’s also because she represents an unlucky generation. The twentysomethings of today are indulged but disenfranchised, but we laugh about it because if we didn’t then we’d throw ourselves under a boat. Despite her professional efforts being eroded by public spending cuts, and despite her personal life being a familiar mess, civil servant Katherine has a vice-grip on her integrity. Commendable. Terrifying. Increasingly impossible. Please don’t throw yourself under a boat, Katherine. MORE: 33 Experts share Their Notable Female Characters Of Recent Years 

If you’re game for further, deeper rambles about the personalities above, please find them on my blog, Good Characters. And in the meantime, let’s keep celebrating complicated female characters on TV. Some of them are right under our noses and some require a bit of digging. But let’s go ahead and dig! There’s gold to unearth.

———————————————————

BIOEllie is a graduate from the Scriptwriting MA at Goldsmiths, specialising in television. CLICK HERE for her Good Characters blog, which is updated weekly and follow her on twitter at @EllieDangerous, where character suggestions for her blog are welcome.

Want EVEN MORE good characters?

Slide1Then check out The B2W screenwriting books! I break down role functions and motivations for genre characters in Writing And Selling Thriller Screenplays; plus I place female characters, writers and directors at the heart of the case studies in Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays. Click HERE or on the pics. Enjoy!

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

Feminism seems to be very much in discussion online at the moment. In fact, it’s probably one of the main reasons you come to B2W, since we place feminist critique very much at the heart of our storytelling, characterisation and representation articles.

So I thought now was a good time to curate some quotes from well known writers, authors and/or performers about how they see feminism, in both a societal and writing context. I don’t agree with all of them, but it certainly makes for interesting reading, especially if you’re struggling with your own female characters right now. Enjoy!

1) Callie Khouri

To me, feminism is such a simple description: it’s equal rights, economic rights, political rights, and social rights.

2) Jane Austen

“Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands.”

3) Scott Lynch

“I’m not beholden to the confirmation of your prejudices; to be perfectly frank, the prospect of confining the female characters in my story to placid, helpless secondary places in the narrative is so goddamn boring that I would rather not write at all.” 

4) Virginia Woolf

“For most of history, ‘Anonymous’ was a woman.”

5) Chimanda Ngozi Adichie

6) Bell Hooks

“Being oppressed means the absence of choices.”

7) Amy Poehler

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, ‘bossy’ is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.”

8) M.E. Thomas

“When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.” 

9) Moderata Fonte

“Do you really believe that everything historians tell us about men – or about women – is actually true? You ought to consider the fact that these histories have been written by men.”

10) Maya Angelou

11) Joss Whedon

“Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition.”

12) Roseanne Barr

“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ”

13) Caitlin Moran

“What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy, and smug they might be.”

14) Chuck Palahniuk

“Horror stories give us a way of exhausting our emotions around social issues, like a woman’s right to an abortion, which I always thought was the core of ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ or the backlash against feminism which I always thought was the core to ‘Stepford Wives.'”

15) Tori Amos

“Some of the biggest advocates for feminism seem to believe that in order to feel powerful you have to make another woman subservient and that is not what feminism is about at all.”

16) Dorothy L. Sayers 

“A woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual.”

17) Julie Burchill

“Sadly, a lot of what passes for feminism these days is just moaning about men, congratulating ourselves on nothing in particular, and mocking them for being big kids while doing everything we can to keep them that way.”

18) Neil Strauss

“A lot of guys are very intimidated by an attractive woman, and they dehumanise her because our culture perceives beautiful women as commodities. But I think if you’re able walk up to a person and get to know them, and you see their flaws and their impurities, and realise that they’re like you, then you can humanise them again.”

19) Amy Schumer

“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story. I will.”

20) Charlotte Bronte

“If men could see women as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light … They misapprehend them, both for good and evil. Their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.”

21) Gloria Steinem

“After feminism, I suddenly realised: not everyone has to live the same way. Imagine that!”

22) Roxanne Gay

“Feminism is, I hope, a way to a better future for everyone who inhabits this world. Feminism should not be something that needs a seductive marketing campaign. The idea of women moving through the world as freely as men should sell itself.”

23) Tina Fey

“Know what? Bitches get stuff done.”

Download The Decision: Lizzie’s Story TODAY!

Blank white book w/pathHave the baby … don’t have the baby … Not quite so simple, for Lizzie! If you could live ALL the possible outcomes of a single dilemma, which would you choose? The Decision: Lizzie’s Story is a feminist, prochoice book about teenage pregnancy and takes in abortion, single parenthood, miscarriage and adoption. Download it today for just 99p, HERE or click the pic. No Kindle? No problem – get the free app for your phone or tablet, HERE.

 

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

Many thanks to Thomas from online backup company IDrive for getting in touch with B2W with this exciting news … IDrive online backup is offering Bang2writers VIA THIS POST ONLY an exclusive 75% off on the first year of their backup solution (1TB) for only $14.88!*

In light of this deal, IDrive wanted to share why online backup is not only helpful to the writing process, but essential to keeping your work safe in the modern world. (*Use Dropbox already? Then check out IDrive compares below, or see the IDrive Dropbox comparison page).

I think this is a fab deal — like most writers, I can never have enough space!!! If you take advantage, let us know what you think in the comments below this post. Enjoy!

idrive-logo

Use Dropbox already? Check out IDrive’s comparison page, link below

There’s nothing worse than working hard on a script or novel only to lose it when your computer crashes, except perhaps the anxiety leading up to the crash, knowing it’s going to happen to eventually.

Viruses, theft, water damage, hardware failure, fires. The list of potential threats to your computer goes on, so it’s essential to keep your work saved elsewhere. The best option is saving to the cloud, where your data will be safe and easily accessible from anywhere.

So here’s 3 great reasons why it’s SO important to back up your work:

1) Security

Online Backup services not only keep your data safe so you can restore it from the cloud after a crash, they also encrypt your data so online theft is no longer a worry.

Cloud backup also comes in handy for writers who want to keep track of multiple drafts. When your script gets sold, for instance, other hands might make changes to it, and you might need to fend off a dispute about who wrote what when. You also might just want to see what you wrote before major changes were made. Luckily, some backup services save multiple versions of your files, so you can refer back to past drafts. MORE: 10 Ways To Make A Good Impression As A Writer

2) Accessibility

For writers, work often comes whenever inspiration decides to strike. That’s why being able to work on-the-fly is essential.

With cloud backup, you can access your script on any device linked to your account. But be careful. Some services will charge you extra money per extra device, which can get costly considering many people own at least 3 devices. MORE: 4 Indispensable Social Media Platforms For Writers

3) Peace of mind

In the age of technology, the things we’re cherish most are often digital. That means we can access and share them easier than ever before. But it also means we can lose them instantly and forever.

Cloud backup is the safety net onto which our data lands if our computer crashes. It’s the solution to modern day tech-anxiety. Whether it’s your screenplay, or family photos, or sensitive tax documents, your data will be safe with online backup. MORE: 3 Quick, Useful And FREE Ways For Writers to Stay Up-To-Date

Bang2writers, backup All Your Data for Under $15 via this post!

There are many backup options out there, but we recommend IDrive.

They offer one of the securest solutions out there, but also have one of the most affordable pricing plans thanks to their unlimited backup model.

IDrive offers:

  • Unlimited backup for any number of devices, with no extra charge per device
  • Military grade 256-bit AES encryption with an optional private key
  • PC, Mac, iOS, and Android compatibility410431-idrive-express

“But I use Dropbox already …” ??

Many of you might use Dropbox. Check out IDrive’s Dropbox comparison page and you’ll see they offer the same filing syncing as Dropbox, so that your files and folders are synced in real time across all the devices you link to your IDrive account. But they also offer the following features that Dropbox doesn’t:

  • Mobile backup
  • Much cheaper Basic and Business pricing plans
  • Super secure Private Key encryption
  • Multiple computer backup with basic plans
  • More space for their free account

IDrive is offering Bang2writers 1TB of backup space for just $14.88. That’s ample space at price you won’t find elsewhere. Don’t wait until your computer crashes!

To take advantage of this deal, CLICK HERE and backup your writing today!

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

Many thanks to Emily from OmniPapers, who’s been in touch with this GREAT infographic and 3 tips for organising your home office. When you’re a writer, having your own space is SO important – as I know only too well, working off my kitchen table! Hey ho, one day I’ll have an awesome desk LIKE THIS (**Homer Simpson Slavering Noises**!!! If you want to help me achieve my dream desk, BUY MY BOOKS! Hahaha!) In the meantime, over to you, Emily …

My dream writing desk ... one day!!!

My dream writing desk … one day!!!

Sophisticated writers claim that a well-organised home writing office motivates you to improve your writing skills. But let’s call a spade a spade: of course your writing office has impact on your creativity, concentration and productivity!

Don’t believe me? Then check out this fab infographic, “Your Writing Cabinet Organisation: Cheat Sheet” by OmniPapers and its key points on organising your writing office the best you can:

1) Organise your writing desk

Don’t let your muse disappear! You should be always ready for inspiration boost: stickers, digital highlighters, a lamp, live plants, and a cup of green tea might help you.

Do you still have anything superfluous on your writing desk? Hide it! MORE: Top Tools of 8 Famous Writers

2) Organise your writing office 

If you want to organize your writing office, be sure you have two zones in a room: computer and non-computer ones.

As you might guess, Zone 1 is dedicated to the working process only. Be concentrated and ready to make your writing rock!

Zone 2 is for your inspiration. Here you can also gauge the quality of your papers, read something interesting and useful, and relax. MORE: Why Writer Luck Is More Than Throwing Spaghetti At The Wall

 3) Add some comfort and health

It is good when you can write great papers, but it is better when you do it in a comfortable and healthy way. Firstly, make sure your chair is comfortable, and it can support lower back. Secondly, don’t hesitate to work standing if you want to. MORE: 10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer

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Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

So I’m still working on the rewrite from Hell and God knows I’ve needed some inspiration lately, especially when I’ve been STARING INTO THE ABYSS OF NOTHINGNESS and feeling the claws of DARK PANIC clawing my chest … Okay so I’m exaggerating. Or am I?!?!?

Well, if you’ve been feeling the familiar lull of writer’s block, you’ll relate to some of these guys … I know I do. Enjoy!

1) Philip Pullman

“Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. So is the opposite, namely inspiration, which amateurs are also very fond of. Putting it another way: a professional writer is someone who writes just as well when they’re not inspired as when they are.”

2) Rebecca Jane

“Over analysis leads to paralysis”

3) Barbara Kingsolver

“I learned to produce whether I wanted to or not. It would be easy to say “oh, I have writer’s block, oh, I have to wait for my muse”. I don’t. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done.”

4) Jacob Nordby

“Writer’s block is just another name for fear.”

5) Erica Jong

“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.”

6) Ray Bradbury

“If you’ve got a writer’s block, you can cure it this evening by stopping whatever you’re writing and doing something else. You picked the wrong subject.”

7) Charles Bukowski

“Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”

8) Ernest Hemingway

“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck.”

9) Mark Twain

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

10) Dave Horowitz

“To get over artist’s block, make shitty art.”

11) Hilary Mantel 

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”

12) Ryan Lilly

“Stop waiting for creative inspiration. Start creating and inspire yourself along the way.”

13) Malcolm Gladwell

“The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. I write a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare. All hail the tortoise.”

14) Candace Bushnell

“Why do I keep evading my work? Is it because I’m afraid of being confronted by my lack of abilities?”

15) Maya Angelou

“What I try to do is write … And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’

16) Rob Bignell

“Every word I write is another stroke that takes me to the shore of a completed book.”

17) James Thurber

“Don’t get it right, just get it written.”

18) William Faulkner

“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”

19) Margaret Atwood

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”

Struggling? Get my screenwriting books

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Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!

B42ART Editing an English language document

As writers, it’s really hard not to get too close to your work. And it should be! If you’re not getting too close to it then there’s no blood going to it, either.

But there are some things that we find it incredibly hard to spot in our own writing because in our heads all the work is done already. Sharing your work is absolutely essential.

My writing group, Kites and Violence, has been running for nearly four years now and these are some of the notes that get given out time and time again (including to me!):

1) Are my characters engaging?

Without good characters, no matter what else is going on, scripts just don’t work. So all good writers make sure that they have a fascinating character before they ever start writing. The problem is, that all the nuance of those characters isn’t necessarily coming through in your pages.

You as the writer already know everything there is to know about your character. It’s impossible to unknow all your backstory, and that can make it extremely difficult to figure out what impression your characters are making.

So, script readings are essential for writers to get a feel for how fresh eyes are responding to their work, and why when it comes to shooting your own scripts, a big chunk of rehearsal time can make all the difference in the world. MORE: 7 Steps To Organise A Script Reading

2) How Is the Exposition Working?

Exposition is something that almost no writers get right on the first try. Writers already know the information that they’re passing on to their readers, which means pitching that information right is tricky.

First drafts are often very difficult to follow because writers forget to explain the minutia of what’s going on. What’s even worse is when writers are aware of this problem, and counteract it by laying the exposition on so thickly that their scripts become tiresome and hard to get through.

This is particularly a problem in sci-fi scripts, where there are often strange new concepts to get across, while also making sure the conversations are something someone who lived in that world would have, ie. if Earth was destroyed hundreds of years ago, then characters probably wouldn’t still be having conversations about how it happened.

At every step of the way, try to ask yourself whether people who don’t already know all the circumstances could understand what’s happening, and if they can, try to think of organic ways to get that information across. Again, getting other writers or actors to take a look at your work makes a huge difference. MORE: How Does Exposition Work? AKA 9 Common Exposition Qs Answered

3) Is too much going on?

Most of the time when writing scripts, it takes longer to think through an idea and figure out the structure of what’s going to happen than it does to actually write the pages down.

But all this time to think can leave you with a huge array of ideas to try to fit into a single script. To you these ideas are all connected, and thematically relevant because they’re what made you want to write the project in the first place, but it can become overwhelming to readers when there are too many concepts to grasp at once.

Of course there are certain scripts where this works as part of the appeal of the script, but the best scripts tend to set out with a mission in mind and stick to it. MORE: All About Theme

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4) Do I Have Any “Blind Spots”?

Speaking of things that don’t fit, this one doesn’t quite belong here because these aren’t things writers can’t spot, they’re things writers don’t want to spot!

These are the moments in your script that you’re not quite sure about. They don’t quite fit, but you keep them anyway because you like them, you think they’re funny, or they remind you of a film or book you really like.

In my experience, writers usually already know these chunks need removing, but can’t quite bring themselves to do it. And that’s fine, it’s ok to have these things in your first drafts, it’s your job to like what you’ve written, but they almost always get spotted in readings or rehearsals.

Every single month at our meetings somebody says “I wasn’t sure about this bit” and the writer replies “Yeah I know”. If something is sticking out to you, it probably shouldn’t be there and if you can’t trust your own instincts, then at least trust other people’s. MORE: 2 Things ALL Writers Get Wrong In Early Drafts

5) Where Are My Typos?

“Boooo! Doesn’t count, we already knew this one!” I know. But it really is true, so much so that psychologists have written a huge array of studies on why we can’t spot small mistakes in our own work.

For this one, luckily, you don’t necessarily need to bring in a group of people to help you spot them. We’re much better at spotting these mistakes when we hear them than we do just by reading them, so my tip for this is to get hold of software that reads your work aloud.

It always sounds sort of ridiculous, and hearing your dialogue read by robots or the guy that announced the Tube closures on the London Underground can be gruelling, but it really makes a difference when it comes to spotting typos in your work. MORE: 10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now

BONUS TIP!!

If you can’t find a good writing group near you, one of the great things about screenwriting is you have a huge community around you, most of whom are more than happy to help each other out, even if it’s only people you meet through twitter or websites like B2W. Use them, find people you trust and never be afraid to ask for help! MORE: Connecting With Writers, Filmmakers & Agents Online

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BIO: Sandy is the head writer at Box Room Films, and wrote Cabu Cabu, the Nigerian remake of the HBO series, In Treatment. Box Room Films are currently raising money for two new short films. If you want to help, CLICK HERE and/or attend The London Film Quiz! Follow him on twitter at @Sandy_Nicholson.

Like this post? Then please check out my books, HERE and share on your social media profiles. Happy writing!