Tips and Hints

Lessons from UCLA Film School

March 9, 20202 min read
We had one of our best sessions with Gary Sutton, a graduate of the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Following his graduation, he forged a career in Hollywood acquiring film, video and TV rights for the territory of South Korea before returning to mid-Sussex and taking up copywriting. So what, for …

Re-writes

December 16, 20161 min read
Old stories are the best, as Shakespeare knew. You cannot copy them directly, of course, but you can re-work, re-version and re-invigorate them. Exercise • re-create a scene from a TV drama • choose any mass-market novel at random, read the opening, decide what the writer was trying to achieve and improve it • write your own version of a …

Points of view

November 18, 20162 min read
• Authors once acted as story overseers, choosing to withhold or reveal any character’s thoughts, as well as telling readers the truth as they saw it. In modern fiction, this is usually avoided, because it denies the readers the opportunity to decide for themselves. So you might two characters who will have different points of view and cannot reveal anything …

Characters

November 18, 20162 min read
‘Strong, well-rounded characters who spring from the page fully formed are the most valuable currency for every writer.’ How you find characters varies from writer to writer: – you collect details as you go along – you collate details from people you know – some emerge fully formed from the sub-conscious (like Dracula in a dream to Bram Stoker) ‘The …

Writing with colour

October 21, 20161 min read
Colours are rich in symbolic value and cultural meaning. All colours are capable of activating our senses in ways we may not be consciously of: – yellow > fun – red > exciting – green > calming – black > power and aggression The names used to describe colours are often just as important as the colours themselves … colour …

Voice

September 16, 20161 min read
‘All good writers, whether we are aware of it or not, establish a bond with their readers by sustaining a distinctive narrative voice’: Alisa Cox, Writing Short Stories, A Routledge Writer’s Guide How to find? pick up linguistic habits from the writers you are reading your writing voice will derive largely from your speaking voice forget any pressure to write …