B2W_RIGHTWORDS

1) TIP: Never Use Boring Words!

First up, the obvious … And one that some say is the ONLY rule every writer should follow‘Don’t be boring!’ Novelist Bang2writers obviously have the strongest burden in NOT being boring. In comparison to screenplays, every single word of a novel is accessible to a reader.

That said, script readers have to read a screenplay first, so it’s still not wise to be repetitive and write ‘flat’ and flabby prose. This infographic from Custom Writing breaks down some common and frankly DULL words, plus what ALL writers can use instead.

Remember, just because you’re a screenwriter does not mean you can get away with being boring though! If you bring a fresh quality to your screenwriting, even in the scene description, you’re far more likely to get noticed in the spec pile. MORE: Top 10 Killer Words That Make Writers Switch Off 

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2) TIP: Identify Which Words You Tend To Misuse Most

Lots of writers seem to believe they’re at the mercy of a bad prior education or other problems when it comes to misusing words. This is not the case. EVERY writer, including those with additional learning needs like dyslexia, can improve their writing.

But how? By identifying those words that are problematic for you. Why not keep a notebook or journal and record those words tend to give you a headache? From there, you can search out ways to remember and improve, such as quick tests online LIKE THESE.

But you need to commit. Just ten minutes a day could help you keep the spell-checker and red pen away! FURREALZ. MORE: 10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now

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3) TIP: Get Down With The Kidz

Sometimes novelists and writers will include things like text speak and social media in their writing, especially if they have teen characters in their scripts and books.

Shockingly for us oldies (ie. anyone over thirty!), the first cheat sheet on text speak is already pretty obsolete … After all, abbreviations are SO NOUGHTIES and some acronyms like LOL and OMG have pretty much passed into ‘normal speech’/typing in 2017! Eeek!

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Besides, no teen would be seen on Facebook … or rather, they may well be there BUT ONLY SO MUM AND DAD CAN SEE THEM and *think* they’re monitoring them!!

In real terms, teens and young people are far more likely to be elsewhere online, such as intagram, making use of  popular hashtags like these:

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So, the moral of THIS story?? Make sure you know WHO uses WHAT platform and HOW … Then you’ll find the authentic words to describe their online antics in your novel or screenplay! For more on this, check out How To Write Young People That Are Actually Realistic.

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4)  TIP: Avoid Weak Words

It might sound weird, but certain words can actually make your writing SOUND WORSE. These ‘weak words’ weasel their way into sentences and can be a real problem in terms of so-called WAFFLE.

Bang2writing novelists in particular must stay vigilant against these weak words, though screenwriters will also want to avoid them – especially in cover letters and query emails. MORE: Top 1o Words Or Phrases Storytellers Gave Us

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5)  TIP: Favour EMOTIONAL Words

All good writing should inspire some kind of emotional response, for good OR ill. Screenwriting in particular should use short, snappy words at the expense of all others.

HOWEVER, even if you’re writing literary fiction, you don’t want your novel to sound like some kind of stuffy manual! By all means use more ‘fancy’ words, but make sure you utilise at least two emotional ones for every highfalutin’ one. MORE: 8 Weird Book-Related Words You Need To Know

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6)  TIP: All English is not the same!

An obvious one maybe, but one issue I see all the time in the spec pile. Spec screenwriters frequently write their scripts in Standard American English – even if their stories are set in the UK and Europe. I don’t think this is a great idea. Stick with English-English.

If you’re trying to write the Next Great American Novel however, DO try and write it in American English! Same goes if you’re writing a screenplay set in America. JUST MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

There is really nothing worse than UK/US clangers, especially characters saying things they’d *never* say. Do your research! MORE: Top 5 Research Mistakes Writers Make 

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7) TIP: Remember SYNONYMS!

Repeat after me:

Repetition dulls the read and bores the reader.

Repetition dulls the read and bores the reader.

Repetition dulls the read and bores the reader.

Haha! But seriously. It does. Make sure you make use of that thesaurus!! MORE: 12 Quick Tips To Improve Your Writing Right Now 

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8) TIP: Be DESCRIPTIVE (without being ‘flowery’)

Description is brilliant … but not if it TAKES OVER. Same goes for novels and screenplays – LESS IS MORE. ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ so choosing your words carefully and being economical is the key. Expand your vocabulary and think about HOW you can do this. MORE: How To Write Tight And Visual Scene Description (screenplays) and 8 Ways To Jump-Start Your Description (novels).

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9)  TIP:  Don’t forget sound

Novelists and screenwriters alike can be so concerned about visuals, they sometimes forget SOUND – yet this can be a really potent way of getting certain feelings, thoughts and pictures across in an efficient way.

HOW you present the sounds will depend on what medium you’re writing in, but consider how words like those listed below can help you get across your story, your characters’ reactions to what’s happening and set up what’s coming next. MORE: Writing Adages Explained: ‘Show, Don’t Tell’

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10) TIP: Bring ‘colour’ to your writing

Just as description is important, so is what I call COLOUR – ie. things like slang and jargon in your characters’ dialogue; particular ways of describing things in your story world; or even your own writer’s voice on the page. Like I’ve said before, lots of times: we don’t want any more vanilla writing!!!

So, whatever you’re using to bring ‘colour’ to your writing? Make sure it hits the BULLSEYE. Movies like Sexy Beast and Dog Soldiers were cult films because they made use of particular Brit ways of speaking, as well as the actual stories themselves. Same goes for novel writers like Irvine Welsh.

One caveat though – if you’re going to do something outlandish? Do your research and do it WELL. There are no half measures. MORE: 8 (More) Infographics That Will Help You Improve Your Writing 

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Good luck!

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