Female characters. When fifty per cent of your potential target audience is female if you’re not writing them in your screenplay or novel? You’re making a BIG mistake!
But how should you approach your female characters? That’s the million-dollar question … After all, women in real life are complex, varied and flawed. Knowing where to start in creating three-dimensional female characters for your story is extremely difficult.
So … perhaps it’s easier to figure out how NOT to write female characters?
Script editor, novelist and owner of the UK’s top screenwriting blog http://www.bang2write.com, Lucy V Hay has spent the last fifteen years reading the slush pile. She has learned to spot the patterns, pitfalls and general mistakes writers make when writing female characters – and why.
In How Not To Write Female Characters, Lucy outlines:
•WHO your character is & how to avoid “classic” traps and pitfalls
•WHAT mistakes writers typically make with female characters
•WHERE you can find great female characters in produced and published content
•WHEN to let go of gender politics and agendas
•WHY female characters are more important than ever
Lucy is on a mission to improve your writing, as well as enable diverse voices and characters to rise to the top of the spec pile.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This a short read , packed with contemporary thinking, pitfalls and tips on what not to do when creating your story’s female characters. This is a reference book, something that can be used to check whether the female characters you are creating, fall into any of the pitfalls listed here.
The first part of the book deals with the current playing field, what the industry expects from writers’ female characters, and the current commercial and political environment you are working in. Knowing your audience and your critics are useful to research. This part of the book imparts useful knowledge and advice, on what you should consider, and what you should be aware of but not necessarily abide by.
The second part of the book concentrates on highlighting and exploring what not do when creating female characters. The tips are well-researched and founded by the author’s experiences. They are concisely written and provide a useful starting point and aide memoir for writers.
As a writer, I find this book informative and I will be using it as a checklist on my current and future fiction writing.
The essential message I take away is to concentrate on the craft. A focus on current commercial requirements is essential, as is an awareness of current political thinking, but a great story is the desired outcome.
REVIEWS FOR LUCY V’S WRITING ADVICE:
‘A timely guide to creating original characters and reinvigorating tired storylines. ‘
– Debbie Moon, creator and showrunner, Wolfblood (BBC)
‘Lucy V. Hay nails it’
– Stephen Volk, BAFTA-winning screenwriter: Ghostwatch, Afterlife, The Awakening
‘Packed with practical and inspirational insights’
– Karol Griffiths, development consultant and script editor, clients include ITV, BBC, Warner Brothers
‘A top-notch, cutting-edge guide to writing and selling, not just practical but inspirational. Lucy’s distinctive voice infuses the entire journey. Quite brilliant. Here’s the woman who’ll help you make things happen.’
– Barbara Machin, award-winning writer & creator of Waking the Dead
‘Delivers the stirring call to arms that writers must not only write, but take their work to the next level themselves, making sacrifices and taking risks if they want to see their stories on screen.’
– Chris Jones, Filmmaker, Screenwriter & Creative Director at the London Screenwriters Festival
‘Writing and Selling Thriller Screenplays is a must-read for any writer, producer or director looking to create (or in the process of creating) a thriller production. It could also be immensely useful for those generally curious about the genre or looking to learn more.’ – Film Doctor
‘Lucy V Hay explains what a script reader and editor’s role in filmmaking, tells you to work on your concepts and that dialogue is the last thing to work on in her new book.’ – Brit Flicks
Lucy V. Hay is an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. Lucy is the producer of two Brit Thrillers, Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), as well as the script editor and advisor on numerous other features and shorts. Lucy’s also the author of Writing And Selling Thriller Screenplays for Kamera Books’ “Creative Essentials” range, as well as its follow-ups on Drama Screenplays and Diverse Characters. Instagram TwitterFacebook
Kindle Book Currently free on AmazonUK