I Care A Lot (2020), perfectly balances character types and plot arcs.

I Care A Lot (2020) / Netflix

No matter how many movies you’ve seen or books you’ve read, to a degree you will be aware of the primary character archetypes. Every story has a hero and a villain, the person we route for to win, and the person (or thing) that has to lose in order for them to gain what they seek. Cinderella vs Her Stepmother, Harry Potter vs Voldermort, Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader, The Dalmations vs Cruella De Vil.

Let’s roll with the generality that the hero is often the protagonist and the villain the antagonist — How does it work then when our…


The world divides in a debate on expectations of suffering in silence within the British Monarchy

Oprah With Meghan and Harry 2021 / CBS

If you’ve been living off the grid, and are completely confused about the royals that stoked generational divide and social debate, then let me cast you back to 2016. Mannequin challenge, chasing virtual Pokémon, dabbing on everything, and Prince Harry goes on a blind date with American actress Meghan Markle.

Cut to an engagement announcement in late 2017 and a Windsor Castle wedding in May 2018, attended by Royals and celebrities alike. Harry and Meghan Markle become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the British Press unleash an unrelenting and unprovoked vendetta against the Duchess of Sussex.


The original series makes us rethink what makes a hero and what makes a villain.

Cobra Kai (YouTube Originals)

Cobra Kai is a follow-on series from the popular 80s movie, The Karate Kid which sees original rivals Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) reprise their roles over thirty years later.

Where the movie paints Daniel LaRusso as an underdog and hero who battles against vicious bully Johnny Lawrence, the series subverts the narrative to tell things from Lawrence's point of view when he decides to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo (school of karate).

Right from the start, as a viewer, especially one aware of the history of the programme, you are influenced by your original perceptions…


Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

The three-act structure is the most basic, and the most common model used when plotting a piece of fiction, and works in both scripts and novels. There are several points to consider within each of the three acts, but generally, the acts are described more or less as follows;

Act One — The Set-Up

Act Two — The Journey

Act Three — The Resolution

The beginning, the middle and the end. Here are a few things to consider and remember as you plot your script within this structure.

1. The Inciting Incident does not signal the end of act one

A good way to see it is that the inciting incident gives…


A review of five stories from the archives of British history brought to the small screen.

Small Axe (2020)

If you have indeed been living under a rock — or more likely having a social media break — you would have missed all the buzz that heightened over the release of director, Steve McQueen’s Small Axe. Essentially it is an anthology consisting of five made for television movies that highlight London’s West Indian culture and community since the 1960s.

The Small Axe Anthology is made up of fragments of British history that have never really been depicted like this. It consists of three true stories, and two fictionalised pieces inspired by real events.

Available on BBC iPlayer in the…


Keep moving towards your NaNoWriMo writing goal.

Photo by Laura Kapfer on Unsplash

With the average word count of a novel around 90,000, writing one that hits 50,000 doesn’t seem so insurmountable. But what it can do is feel a little anticlimactic, especially if you’ve always thought about penning a novel like one of your favorite authors.

Everyone uses National Novel Writing Month in their own way. Some as a gateway to getting halfway through a work in progress, others to finish off a novel they started the year before.

However, if you are like me this year, using these thirty days in November to write a complete novel then here are a…


An on-screen representation of a personality I feel like I need to hide.

Credit: FOX Entertainment

For those of you that have never come across the American Sitcom, Last Man Standing which first aired in 2011, is about the everyday life of ‘mans man’ Mike Baxter and his family which consists of his wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis), and their three daughters: Kristen, Mandy and Eve. The series has just gotten its ninth and final season.

Yes, it’s reminiscent of all the greats, 8 Simple Rules, Malcolm in the Middle and yes, Home Improvement. But where Last Man Standing differs? Protagonist, Mike Baxter, is an asshole.

I’m putting it lightly and not emphasising enough how much of…


Grab your reader now, or risk losing them forever

Image by Oli Lynch from Pixabay

It’s kind of a scary thought when you consider how much weight the first ten pages of your screenplay holds. I’ve heard the whispers, but I can’t contest to whether the age-old rumour is true: producers only read the first ten pages of a script, if they aren’t hooked it goes in the bin.

What I do know is that I have submitted to a few competitions over the years where their rules have been; attach the first ten pages of your feature film script.

For both of those reasons, I make sure my first ten pages are airtight, because…


If they say it on TV then it must be true… right?

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

So I hear there’s some big event coming up soon or something right?

There’s undeniably a global impact to the outcome of this Presidential election even for people such as myself who don’t live in North America.

The American political system has always been a tangled web I could never quite wrap my head around. I would hear words like, ‘take it to the hill’ and ‘Congress’ being thrown around and despite hours of research, still, be incredibly lost.

What I do know, I have picked up from various forms of fiction. Naturally, it’s all to be taken with a…


Keep these in mind if you want to finish your draft.

Photo by Editors Keys on Unsplash

November 2020 marks my sixth year taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) — a pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

It’s about as easy as it sounds, but each November thus far, I’ve had a different approach and outcome to the challenge, so here are some key takeaways.

1. Plan, Or Don’t Plan

I have spent weeks in October outlining a chapter by chapter breakdown, and on the flip side, I’ve begun with little more than a logline and a character name.

Ultimately it depends on your personal approach to writing outside November. …

Jen

Film and TV reviewer by day, opinion pieces by night.

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