Do Writers Have a Duty to Accuracy?

Do Writers Have a Duty to Accuracy?

When writing about mental health problems, I often emphasise accurate and sensitive portrayals of mental illness. But how important is accuracy in writing? Should the story come first? Last week, controversy surrounded the season finale of BBC One's drama The Syndicate. Amy, a character with Type 1 Diabetes, complained of having low blood sugar and was later administered insulin. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) criticised the episode, as giving insulin to a person with low blood sugar is dangerous. Karen Addington, Chief Executive in the UK of JDRF, said: "Television writers and producers have a responsibility to portray life with a condition such as type 1 diabetes accurately." However, Kay Mellor, writer of The Syndicate hit back. In her statement she made a number of points in her own defence. I would like to examine some of those points. Not A Medical Drama? "The Syndicate is in no way a medical drama or a serious documentary about how to treat diabetes." While I may have watched...
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Writers’ Tools: Scene-by-Scene

As NaNoWriMo drains words from me like a gigantic novel leech, I have to take that tried-and-tested piece of November advice and silence my inner editor. The emphasis of Nano has always been word count above all else, with the idea that we can fix all in the edit - in a similar way that film-makers "fix it in post". If you're an intricate plotter, you probably start any new project, novel or screenplay or other, with a thick wedge of notes and an exact play-by-play of how your finished project is going to look. If, however, you're like me, you probably start with broad brushstrokes and then fill in the finer details as you go on. You may have a beginning, a middle and an end but how exactly those are going to fit together may be a complete mystery. I hold an interesting position in that I am both a screenwriter and a novelist. Screenwriting tends to be much more heavy-handed...
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I Have Nothing: Why “The Bodyguard” Musical Needs More Plot and Fewer Songs

Yesterday, I took my parents out to see "The Bodyguard" musical. My mum loved it, my dad suffered it, my husband continues to grumble and I was entertained. Spoilers ahoy for "The Bodyguard" film and, to a lesser extent, the musical - if you haven't seen the film, why not?! Go! Watch! Done? Good. Now I'll begin. First off, I love "The Bodyguard". My mum bought it for me as my first 15-rated DVD for my 15th birthday. I've used it with script editors to discuss the plots of mysteries I've been writing, as it uses some classic diversionary tactics. The musical is, obviously, more musical than the film. There are many more songs. Because they are shoe-horned in to make a film into a musical, they are largely superfluous to the plot. I love the musical format, but I feel musicals that are not full libretto should have songs which enhance and serve the plot. Extraneous scenes are not useful in either musicals...
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