Sunday, 7 July 2019

Book Blog Blitz & Review: How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay

How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay

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, 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. 


'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

As someone who has written a handful of manuscripts yet hasn't taken the plunge to publish, there's always something to learn about the writing process. Packed with insightful hints and tips this short book is a useful tool for anyone who enjoys writing. 

I enjoy getting other perspectives about how to write a character and I like this book focuses on females only. Some of the scenarios used to put points across didn't resonate with me because I wasn't familiar with the examples given to highlight a point of view. However, the summing up for each point gets down to the nitty-gritty issue in a concise way to make it relatable to the writer even if the example wasn't a familiar film/book to me. 

Is this book thought-provoking? Yes, as it should be. There's always a better way of looking at how to do write certain things and it's helpful to see potential pitfalls and ways to dig your way out of a writing hole. This book also highlights things I hadn't thought of. Like I said, a lot of practical advice packed into a small space.

I didn't know the author before picking up this title, but it quickly led me to the bang2write website. How was I unaware of its presence? I guess as a yet to be published writer, it isn't possible to find every helpful blog post, website or article, however, I'm grateful I found these two useful sources of information. 

Many books out there in the market place which cover varying aspects of writing fiction and I can say undoubtedly, this 'how to' book is now a part of my go-to reference library.

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.