10 Writing Career Lessons from Disney’s Frozen

Frozen, as the highest grossing animated film of all time, has commanded the attention of filmmakers everywhere. There have been in-depth analyses of what makes a successful animated film and how Frozen hits those buttons. This is not that kind of post. Instead, let's imagine the characters of Frozen have turned writing coach - what words of writing advice can they share? What do their life anecdotes teach us about how to be better writers? How can we learn from their mistakes? Here are 10 writing career lessons out of the mouths of Frozen characters: Don't let them in, don't let them see - be the good girl you always have to be. Most writers start out writing for themselves, for the joy of it. Because they can't not write. However, there will come a point when someone will ask why you spend all your time with a computer screen and may ask to see the finished product... I have always been something of an exhibitionist,...
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The Writing Blog Tour

Writing is not a mystical process involving tea leaves and libraries of how-to books. At least, not in my (somewhat limited) experience. However, the choices individual writers make about what they write and how they write it can often seem inscrutable. I've always been interested in how other writers go about their business, mostly in the hope that their words of wisdom will somehow improve my own attempts. So, thank you, Mysterious Person Who Began "The Blog Tour". You are the reason why I am writing this post today. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I agreed to be tagged by Phill Barron, screenwriter extraordinary, and become part of The Blog Tour before passing the dubious honour of baring their writing souls to two more unfortunates - I mean highly-privileged writers. But first, let's talk about Phill. Phillip Barron is a UK scriptwriter who's had nine feature films produced. In addition to movies he's written for BBC3's BAFTA and Rose d'Or nominated sketch show,...
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Take note

I was very flattered to read that I'm both ace and adept at taking notes. I blushed a bit and felt the warm fuzzies of a job well done. The giving and receiving of notes is the process by which a script grows into a film. I've enjoyed that experience with a fair few folk now and it's completely different every time. I don't think there's necessarily a right way to do it. With my friends I've know for over a decade, I know I can be brutally honest. And they have the same freedom with me. With a director I'm working with for the first time, we have to learn how to talk with each other - particularly when a lot of our correspondence is by e-mail. However, I think there are some general "good practice" rules: 1) Thank the note giver before you read the notes. Your thanks should be genuine. 2) Read the notes through once and allow yourself to react. Be...
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My Persona

[to the tune of "My Sharona"] I've been relatively quiet of late about what I'm working on, but that's because I've been consumed with a couple of exciting projects. You may recall me waxing lyrical about Persona last year, the app-based drama that tells four snappy stories in a month via your smartphone. At the time, I was hoping to write one of the arcs but due to various happenings in the process, that all got swept to one side. But Phill Barron, awesome guy that he is, kept all us wannabe writers in the loop about what was happening with the drama. So when he sent out an e-mail looking for a writer, I leapt at the chance. I've been working with Cameron King, director extraordinary (you can see for yourself here) on a story that pushes all my buttons and about which, of course, my lips are zipped. Suffice to say, your knuckles will be white as you clutch your phone, aghast....
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Pitching with Brits

Ahead of the LCWF, I asked Twitter for advice about pitching. Firstly, Lucy Vee has a post with 5 Pitching Tips. Then, we have advice from the wondiferous Phill Barron: Keep a check on your breathing; if it's too fast you're panicking. Force yourself to breathe slower and you'll calm down. Same goes for posture, if you're tense, your shoulders rise. Keep them low and relaxed - it'll help you relax. Eye contact, but not too much. Smile, but not too much. Rehearse, but leave enough space for improv if the mood strikes. Start with basic info, like lead paragraph in a newspaper. Genre, who, where, what ... etc. As interesting as possible. If it's a single, cover ALL the beats. If it's a series, try to make the possibilities seem endless. Most important: believe your story's awesome, only you can tell it and they HAVE to make it Excitement generates excitement Lead character and plot should be as intertwined as possible: it's a story about someone who must...
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